If the veins in your feet and ankles begin to knot up and twist, you may wonder if your weight has something to do with it. Those abnormal veins in your feet and ankles are called varicose veins. People who are overweight may develop varicose veins over time. Here are things to know about the varicose veins in your feet and ankles and what steps you can take to treat them.
How Can Being Overweight Affect Your Veins and Valves?
Although your feet and ankles are weight bearing structures, they can experience poor circulation if they carry more weight than necessary. Your veins in your feet and ankles struggle to redirect or push blood back toward your heart. After a while, the valves and veins weaken. The blood traveling through your weakened vessels begins to back up and pool.
Varicose veins can swell up and show through the skin on your feet and ankles. The skin over your swollen, twisted veins might also itch or feel uncomfortable throughout the day and night. Some people develop ulcers, or sores, in the affected skin. Ulcers can be dangerous if they become infected with bacteria.
Varicose veins don't just fade away once they develop. However, you can treat them effectively with the right tips.
How Can Your Treat Varicose Veins?
One of the first things you might do is lose weight to release pressure from your painful feet and ankles. Exercise can also help improve the blood circulation in your affected tissues. You may want to begin with low-impact exercises like swimming and Pilates until you become stronger.
Also, add fruits and vegetables with bioflavonoids to your diet. Bioflavonoids may alleviate the swelling and inflammation in your veins. Foods that contain this beneficial nutrient include cranberries and dark greens like spinach.
Finally, seek treatment from a podiatrist. A podiatrist can prescribe special compression stockings to help improve the blood flow in your feet and ankles. Compression stockings create pressure on your feet and ankles. The pressure allows blood to push upward in your body, which improves your circulation and reduces swelling in your tissues.
If none of the lifestyle changes or treatments work for you, a podiatrist may recommend surgery to remove your damaged veins. However, this is something you must discuss with a podiatrist during your visits.
To learn more about the varicose veins in your feet and ankles, contact a podiatrist today.