Understanding How Stress Affects Vein Health

Understanding How Stress Affects Vein Health

Stress can cause several negative responses in the body, from inflammation to exhaustion. But do you know that stress can affect the health of your veins? Healthy stress management skills are needed to relieve tension and anxiety that can cause varicose veins, high blood pressure, and weight gain. These factors can lead to vein insufficiency or other health concerns. Learn more about how stress affects your vein health and how you keep your veins healthy.

Stress Can Lead to Weight Gain

Stress affects vein health indirectly by creating and contributing to other problems throughout the body. For instance, a side effect of stress is weight gain. “Stress eating” can be an unhealthy coping mechanism for dealing with emotional tension. This is caused by the excess production of cortisol, a stress hormone. While some levels of this hormone are natural, cortisol initiates the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates to maintain healthy blood sugar and insulin levels. The more the weight on the legs, the more blood can pool in the vessels, causing swollen, twisted, and visible varicose veins to form in the legs. Varicose veins can become painful, achy, and swollen and can lead to venous disease and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). 

Making even small changes to your daily nutrition can make a big difference to improve your body fat and blood pressure. Incorporating exercise and stress management can help you to not only achieve a healthy body weight but also take better care of your veins. 

Stress Can Cause Circulation Issues

It’s no secret that stress raises your blood pressure. But how does this affect your veins? As your blood pressure increases, so does the tension on the walls and valves of your veins. If you have sudden onset stress or prolonged stress, this can take a toll on your veins, even preventing them from pumping blood properly. Just like your veins can be affected by weight gain, high blood pressure can lead to gnarled, engorged veins. And not only can these puffy varicose veins be unsightly, but they can also be painful. They can lead to ulcers and restless legs, and be indicative of serious health issues. Inactivity, long periods of standing, excess weight, and stress can all contribute to these circulation issues. 

Talk with a healthcare specialist about solutions for your stress. And if you notice the formation of varicose veins, contact our vein experts at the Cardiovascular Institute of the South Leg & Vein Center for a vein consult.

Practice Healthy Stress Management

Stress and anxiety management is not only essential to your vein health but your full body health as well. Finding enjoyable, maintainable exercise habits like yoga, walking, or bike riding can keep you from living a sedentary lifestyle. Meditation, adequate hydration, and healthy eating along with making time for rest and hobbies can go a long way in alleviating your stress. Make healthy changes and establish daily habits to help keep your stress low. You will notice a change in your overall wellness, too.

Find a Solution to Stress-Induced Veins

If you are worried about how your stress affects your vein health, it is important to help change the way you respond to stress. At the Cardiovascular Institute of the South Leg & Vein Center, we can help to monitor the health of your veins, identify problems or risk factors, and provide solutions for varicose veins, spider veins, and possible venous disease. Our locations are throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. Give your closest clinic a call today to take the first steps in determining the best treatment plan for you.

Do you know your risk of venous disease? Take our seven-question vein assessment.

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CIS Staff

Written by CIS Staff