Weather, Altitude, and Varicose Veins
- Posted on: Oct 30 2017
When you have varicose veins, your mind is consistently searching for answers. You may find yourself looking for clues about what helps you to feel more comfortable, and about what causes discomfort to increase. We often look at factors such as weight and how long we sit or stand, but did you know that there may also be a correlation with the presentation of venous insufficiency and where you are located at any given moment? Let’s take a look . . .
Things are Heating Up
It is common for people to look at the ways that cold weather affects the body. Joints seem to get a little more creeky and cranky when the temperature drops. When it comes to veins, though, pay attention to how you feel when things heat up. Some studies indicate increased symptoms and complications with varicose veins in warmer temperatures. These include not only that sense of pressure, but also cramping in the leg muscles, swelling, and itching.
Knowing your Risks and Acting Accordingly
So, if varicose veins become more symptomatic in hot weather, the next step is to take appropriate action. This does not mean staying indoors in the nice, cool, air-conditioning. Physical activity is integral to managing vein health. To offset the effects of heat, experts recommend taking extra care to hydrate. When we drink plenty of water, we have more water and salt running through the body; its muscles and tissues, and even the blood. Hot weather makes us sweat, which decreases salt-levels, which causes the body to retain fluids. Fluid retention equals swelling. Swelling means pooling blood. You see the pattern.
Going to New Heights
We’re relatively safe from exorbitant heat now that summer is behind us, but many people may be planning a winter vacation that will take them to new heights. Heading up to the top of a mountain, or traveling by plane to see loved-ones, may feel unnerving if you’ve heard that altitude will affect the presentation of varicose veins. Fortunately, this is more myth than fact. Yes, flying could cause varicose veins to feel more “pent-up” or swollen. However, experts believe that he may have much more to do with the lack of movement than altitude. If you plan to fly, take time to walk during layovers, or before and after flights. Also, when possible, get up and move around the cabin to prevent stagnation in the lower extremities.
Posted in: Vein Health