The first official day of winter may not be until December 21, but by then, much of the U.S. has already been dealing with frigid temps for weeks or even months. Occasionally, even in sunny Texas, our winter temperatures can take a dip, and if you have varicose veins, spider veins or other forms of venous disease, you may notice some changes to your condition when that happens.
The Good and Not-So-Good News About Vein Issues in the Winter
Let’s start with the good news. Colder temperatures can actually cause your veins to shrink, making it easier for valves inside the veins to function properly and keep pressure from building around your ankles and calves. This could mean fewer leg cramps and swollen ankles.
That said, winter weather does present certain challenges to managing varicose veins. Some factors to be aware of:
- Weight gain – We don’t really want to talk about it either, but weight gain is fairly common during the holiday months. Carrying extra weight puts legs under more stress to pump blood back to the heart. Even if the weather is cold, try to stay active indoors to keep the valves actively pumping blood through your veins, and try to limit high-fat and high-sugar foods.
- Cold weather – In addition to making it more challenging to get in those outdoor workouts, chilly temps can slow down bodily functions (such as the circulatory system), making them less efficient, which can aggravate vein problems.
How to Care for Your Veins This Winter
For healthy veins at any time of the year, but especially in winter months, consider adding these easy tips into your lifestyle.
- Elevate your legs for at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep. Consider this your permission to watch one episode of something on Netflix before bed (as long as your feet are up!).
- Choose high-fiber foods like berries, beans and broccoli to promote good circulation.
- Stretch a few times a day. Preferably, in the morning, at midday and before bed.
- Massage your ankles and lower legs when possible. Better still, have your partner do it for you!
Healthy Legs for a Healthy Life
Hey Dallas, why not make this winter the last season you live with varicose veins? Whether your veins are causing pain, burning and swelling or even if they’re just more of a cosmetic concern, you don’t have to just live with it.
The Vein Center at Lam Vascular & Associates is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated entirely to the diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment of venous conditions. At The Vein Center, we know veins. We are your go-to for helping you fully understand your options, and with guidance from our team of specialists, choose the right varicose vein treatment for you.
Advanced Treatments Allow you to Get Back to Your Life Quickly
Advances in technology have allowed for several minimally invasive treatments that enjoy excellent success rates and outcomes while offering you the comfort, confidentiality and convenience of an outpatient experience. Depending on the severity of your condition, we may recommend one of these procedures that are performed right here in our office, including endovenous laser ablation therapy or sclerotherapy.
We invite you to schedule an appointment at The Vein Center at Lam Vascular & Associates today.