Cold Weather and Varicose Veins
Posted in General on January 25, 2019
Those who suffer from varicose and spider veins likely know how winter months can be somewhat painful on varicose veins.
Weight gain is one of the common problems that exacerbate for varicose veins. Typically in winter people will add some weight due to cooler weather, less outdoor activity, and of course, get-togethers. We spend winter staying indoors, often with people we see seldom, which encourages not-so-healthy snacking, dinners, and grazing. So, chances are, a couple pounds here and there during the harsh cold months is a possibility.
When someone gains weight, sometimes even just a couple of pounds, it could mean more problems for your varicose veins during the winter months. This is more common in winter than during the rest of the year.
Atmospheric pressure is also a factor when the mercury starts dropping. A change in pressure like this can render the circulatory system inefficient, thus aggravating vein issues.
Some Helpful Tips
Patients who know the suffering of winter do not fear. There are a few steps you can take to alleviate poor circulation.
- Bundle up, and go walking. Even just a mile spread out over a day will get that blood pumping and help a great deal.
- Consume fiber-rich foods, these help promote circulation.
- Keep your legs elevated for 30 minutes before bed, this also can help with circulation.
- Massage your ankles and calves a few times a day to encourage blood movement.
- Stretch at least three times per day. Morning, afternoon, and evening stretching can really ease the uncomfortable conditions varicose veins can cause.
To help ease the impact winter might cause on your veins, watch what you eat, and try and maintain some sort of daily physical activity. Even if you have limits to what you’re able to do, give each day a little effort to get the blood pumping.
A surefire way to do what you can, and this is an easy one – drink lots of water. Despite what season it is, this is good advice, but in the winter it may help minimize the effects of varicose vein discomfort. It might be a good idea to set a reminder every 15 minutes or so during cold snaps to take a sip. We tend not to drink as much water when it’s cooler out, and often end up less than hydrated.
Cold Weather Isn’t All Bad
But cold climates can also benefit veins. The truth is, venous health can be improved from winter weather also. Cold weather has the opposite effect of warm when it comes to blood pooling in veins, causing them to dilate. Therefore lower temps can actually shrink veins, which promotes increased blood flow and relief from symptoms like swelling and cramps.