February is American Heart Month

heartHeart disease is the number one cause of death for men and women in the United States. Heart health is important every day of the year but during the month of February, the American Heart Association raises awareness of heart disease risk and prevention.

At the Vein Centers of Connecticut, we treat medical conditions like varicose vein disease. Oftentimes, our patients seek treatment before further complications arise, but what about the most extreme cases? Is it possible for vein and heart health to impact each other?

What Causes Varicose Veins?

When veins are healthy, blood is transported back to the heart and lungs to be oxygenated. Yet several factors could impact blood flow through the veins, including age, genetics and pregnancy. When vein valves narrow or close, it becomes harder for blood to reach the heart. Unsightly, painful varicose veins can result when blood gets backed up and pools in the legs. Serious complications include ulcers, blood clots and pulmonary embolism.

About Vein & Heart Health

Although there is no proven link between varicose veins and heart disease, some of the more serious side effects of vein disease can have a negative impact on the heart, including:

  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Heart failure
  • Pulmonary embolism

On the flip side, if someone with weakening heart health develops varicose vein disease, the symptoms may be worsened. For instance, a condition like congestive heart failure narrows the blood vessels, which can put excess pressure on the veins. When blood and other fluids build up in the vein walls, the leg tissue can swell and cause extreme discomfort.

How Lifestyle Affects the Heart & Veins

For men and women with a family history of vein or heart problems, certain diseases may be inevitable. However, poor lifestyle choices can increase risk of these health issues, including:

  • Leading a sedentary life. Too much time spent sitting can lead to weight gain and Type 2 diabetes. Both can put undue stress on the heart and veins.
  • Lack of exercise. Physical activity can improve circulation and help pump blood from the legs back to the heart.
  • Excess body weight. Heart disease can result from cholesterol plaque in the arteries, which builds up from an unhealthy diet. Plus the more you weigh, the more pressure on your veins.

During American Heart Month, know your risk of heart disease and take the next steps to a healthier life and body.
If you’re suffering from varicose vein disease, do not want another day to contact us! The sooner we treat you, the sooner you can return to a healthy and active lifestyle. Schedule a consultation today!