The body relies on around 60,000 miles of arteries, veins, and capillaries to transport blood and nutrients throughout the body. Veins have the major task of returning blood to your heart, making them a vital part of your overall health, yet we tend to undervalue the importance of vein health, until something goes wrong.
At Advanced Heart & Vascular Associates, vein specialist Dr. Nader Chadda provides top-tier heart and vascular care and helps patients maintain the best vein health possible. If you have vascular disease or a vein condition such as varicose veins, our team will recommend the most appropriate treatment option to manage symptoms, prevent complications, and improve vein health. Preventive care is also essential. For patients at risk of vein disease, Dr. Chadda can discuss ways to lower your risk of vein problems.
If you’re unsure where to start, check out these practical tips for things you can do right now to support vein health.
Hydration is essential for a healthy body, but it’s especially beneficial to veins that are already sensitive to insufficiency. When your body is hydrated, blood flows more smoothly.
Dehydration causes blood to thicken, and it puts veins at risk for clots and insufficiency. Bloating and swelling, which often accompany dehydration, are often signs of inefficient blood flow and can progress to more serious complications.
To keep your heart and veins healthy, aim to drink at least eight 8-oz cups of water daily.
Lead an active lifestyle
Being active is good for heart and vascular health in many ways. When you move, your calf muscles force blood upward, helping it return to your heart. Strong calves and surrounding muscles keep veins well-supported. Because the veins in your legs must fight against gravity, they’re more vulnerable to insufficiency.
What’s more, prolonged sitting is bad for vein health. In fact, a sedentary lifestyle raises the risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions. Being active and moving your body, in addition to changing your position if you sit or stand for long periods of time, is crucial.
Set a timer to get up and stretch your legs, or go for a walk around your house or office. When blood pools at the bottoms of your legs, the pressure causes your veins to enlarge over time.
Maintain a healthy weight
Excess weight puts added pressure on the lower body and is bad news for vein health. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best things you can do for vein health. Make it a priority to shed excess weight if you’re overweight.
Talk to your primary care provider about medication and resources that can help you slim down. This should be done in combination with, not in place of, lifestyle changes. Dr. Chadda can also make recommendations to help you reach your optimum weight.
Weight often builds in the abdomen, putting pressure on your internal organs and making it difficult for the veins in your legs to send your blood upward. When the pressure becomes too high and veins become constricted, they expand, valves have difficulty closing, and varicose veins form. Losing even a modest amount of weight improves vascular health.
Use compression and elevation
If you are predisposed to venous insufficiency due to genetics, pregnancy, or the nature of your job, compression stockings and elevation are a good option.
Compression stockings help to drive blood flow back to the heart by contracting muscles around the veins continually throughout the day. If you spend long periods of time sitting or standing, or if you have added pressure on your legs due to pregnancy or obesity, compression stockings can help.
Treat vascular conditions
Don’t delay seeking treatment if you have signs of conditions such as venous insufficiency or peripheral artery disease. Dr. Chadda uses specialized imaging tests to evaluate and diagnose vascular disease. Once a disease is diagnosed, you can begin a treatment plan to improve your vascular health.
To learn more and to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chadda, call the office nearest you, and a scheduling coordinator will be happy to assist. We have offices in Land O’ Lakes, Brooksville, and Hudson, Florida. You can also schedule an appointment online. Now is the best time to prioritize your heart and vascular health!