Do Varicose Veins Get Worse During Winter Time?

Written By Center for Vein Restoration
effects on veins in winter

How to Help Your Varicose Veins During the Winter Months

One of the things that many people don't realize about varicose veins is that they have a tendency to get worse during those cold winter months of the year. This is because when the weather is warm, people get outside to enjoy the temperature and lead more active lifestyles. However, when the weather gets colder, people stay indoors and become more sedentary, worsening varicose veins.

Likewise, colder climates typically have lower atmospheric pressure than warmer ones, which can absolutely have an impact on circulation throughout the body in a way that makes varicose veins worse.

Symptoms to Expect

Even if your varicose veins are only a cosmetic issue during most other months, you may experience certain symptoms as they worsen during cold winter. The most immediate may be an achy or otherwise heavy feeling in your legs that you don't normally deal with.

Patients with extreme varicose veins usually report some type of burning or throbbing in the impacted areas, which can lead to muscle cramping and even swelling in the lower legs. Finally, you should pay attention to any type of itching around one or more of your veins or pain that worsens after sitting or standing for long periods.

Indoor Exercises That Help

As is with most conditions, the key to helping your varicose veins feel better through the winter involves exercising as often as possible. Note that you don't have to work out for hours at a time - even just walking or doing yoga and/or Pilates for 15 to 30 minutes a day will make a big, big difference in a positive way.

Calf stretching, leg lifts, bicycle legs, and thigh raises will also play an important role in maintaining proper blood flow throughout your body in the winter.

Vitamins and Food Choices for Varicose Veins

Copper is an essential nutrient, and it's also one that will help you maintain better control over your varicose veins in the winter. Lentils, almonds, and even asparagus are all great, delicious ways to get as much of this into your body as possible.

Bioflavonoids will also be critical thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the swelling in your varicose veins. This means you should eat more cherries, grapes, papayas, and even chocolate to help.

Finally, you should increase your intake of fruits because they're also anti-inflammatories but have strong antioxidant properties as well. So try to eat as many strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries as you can all winter long.

Meet our Fairbanks, Alaska Vein Specialists

Peter Liao, MD, PhD
A board-certified general surgeon, Dr. Liao has vast experience using minimally invasive procedures to relieve those suffering from venous insufficiency (vein disease). Dr. Liao earned his medical degree from the Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, PA, and completed a residency at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, in the Department of Surgery, where he was Chief Resident. He completed his Surgical Endoscopy and Advanced Laparoscopy fellowship at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Cynthia "CJ" Smith, PA-C
CJ Smith is an experienced certified physician assistant who is proficient in diagnosing and treating vein disease using proven office-based procedures. These minimally invasive techniques are completed in under an hour, and patients can return to their normal routine with few restrictions. CJ completed a Bachelor of Science in the Physician Assistant Program at MEDEX Northwest, Seattle, Washington, earning a Master of Arts degree in Adult Education at Tusculum College, Greeneville, TN.

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