Obesity is a raging epidemic in the United States. With the rise in obesity rates, obesity related illnesses, like cardiovascular disease and diabetes, have risen too right along in step. The CDC (U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention) predicts that by year 2050, one out of every three Americans will have an official diagnosis of diabetes and will need either prescription oral medication or daily insulin injections to control their diabetes. If the CDC’s predictions come true about the continued rise of obesity in America, the need for varicose vein treatment will also skyrocket!
Here’s how bad the current situation is and it’s getting worse! About one-third (33.33 percent) of the American population is now considered obese, with the definition of obesity being a person with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. Contrast that 33.33 percent obesity rate to the “obesity” rate of only 10 percent in the 1950s, less than seventy years ago. Furthermore, if we define obesity the same way, with a BMI of more than 30, there was actually a much lower than 10 percent obesity rate in the 1950s population. As Americans have gotten fatter, the CDC has changed the way it defines obesity! At any rate, with this staggering rise in obesity, the rate of varicose veins and the need for varicose vein treatment within the population have risen too.
Obesity also affects the severity of varicose veins and the number of serious complications arising from this disease. In June 2008, an excellent European research study entitled, “Obesity and Impaired Venous Function,” was published in the European Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. The function of the veins in the legs was evaluated in 934 patients using duplex ultrasound and air plethysmography. Venous disease was found in only 20.5 percent of people who were not obese. However, venous disease was discovered in 35.4 percent of the obese individuals, a more than 15% jump! Venous reflux, where blood flows the wrong way in veins, was also found to be much higher in those individuals who were obese.
So, besides the sheer numbers of cases of serious varicose vein disease, where it is medically necessary to treat the deformed veins, how else has the rise in obesity affected varicose veins?
As vein clinics like Metro Vein Centers opened their doors, they have seen an increasing number of people every year who complain about more serious SYMPTOMS of the disease. Obese people struggle with the physical ability and with the will to go for even a short walk every day. If you’re sucking air just to walk to the end of the block, you’re not going to be able to get enough exercise to keep your leg circulation humming long at an even average efficiency! In fact, your circulation is likely to be far below average and it will only get worse the longer you stay obese.
When obese people come in for varicose vein treatment, they also seem to complain more about symptoms like itchiness on their calves and burning behind their knees. It’s often bothering them so bad, in fact, it’s keeping them awake at night so they are sleep deprived as well! They are also far more prone to developing ulcers on their legs, especially around their ankles where the fluids pool very badly!
There’s another very serious issue with obese people too. They tend not to come in for varicose vein treatment until their condition is very bad. This is in part because obese people often can’t see their varicose veins very well and or they underestimate the severity of their varicose veins because they just make them out through all the fat on their legs. Therefore, they are in need of much more extensive varicose vein treatment than most average weight, or slightly overweight, people who are able to see their varicose veins more easily and also better judge the gravity of the situation.
If you are obese and need varicose vein treatment, you should make a special effort to seek out a top vein clinic, such as Metro Vein Centers, with doctors and technicians who have a great deal of experience dealing with obese patients. When conducting procedures like duplex ultrasound guided injection sclerotherapy, it takes greater skill to perform this procedure on obese patients because there’s more fat to deal with. However, at Metro Vein Centers, you’ll be in experienced hands. We also recommend you try to drop some weight, gradually over time, to reduce the severity of the varicose vein symptoms you experience.