Water Retention, Dehydration, and/or a Poor Diet Can Lead to Varicose Veins

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Varicose-veins-west-florida-vein-center-dr-zuzga-300x225We have all heard the phrase “you are what you eat”, but how literally do you need to take that? The answer depends on your health and genetics.

Your diet directly affects your vein health as well as your overall state of being. Those who lead a very sedentary lifestyle put themselves at risk for varicose veins and other venous insufficiency related diseases.

If you have varicose veins already a bad diet can make them harder to treat and more difficult to keep from spreading.

The human body in adulthood holds approximately 5 liters of blood. Additionally, the body holds a balance of water and minerals. This proper balance must be maintained in order for proper function. If just one element is thrown off balance, it can have a detrimental effect on other parts of the system as well. These include vitamin deficiencies and electrolyte imbalances.

When you consume an excess of foods that are high in sodium, the body’s natural reaction is to retain more water in order to keep up a healthy ratio of minerals in that water. When the body retains more water,  the volume of blood in the body also grows. This gain in blood volume then increases the pressure that the blood is putting on the veins and valves. This can easily weaken them over time and cause their appearance to become more visible under the skin – developing into spider and varicose veins.

For someone who has maintained a poor, high-sodium diet for many years, the constant and continual water retention can make it very likely that they will develop varicose veins at some point later in life. Additionally, if you are chronically dehydrated over time this can cause vein problems as well, especially if you eat a high-fat diet.

It’s also important to avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates. Carbs break down in the body in a very similar way to sugar. Both cause your body to release insulin, which in turn inhibits your body’s ability to excrete sodium. This results in even more water retention. A diet that is both high in sodium and high in sugar can be a dangerous combination.


There are a couple of foods that you can add to your diet to help rid yourself of symptoms and prevent the formation of future varicose veins.

  • Potassium is excellent for helping heal varicose veins, as it causes cells to release water which has been previously retained, allowing the excess water to leave the body in the form of urine.
  • Maintain a high fiber diet. This helps aid in bowel movement processes and prevent any unnecessary exertion or pressure.

Maintaining a healthy diet alone can not completely prevent the future occurrence of varicose veins. Staying active, exercising frequently, and maintaining a healthy weight, in addition to avoiding cigarettes, restrictive clothing, and injury all also can play their part.  While keeping an eye on all of these areas of your life can be challenging, it is certainly not impossible.

To learn more about how your diet is affecting your vein health, as well as to learn more about varicose vein treatment and prevention, contact Dr. Zuzga at West Florida Vein Center today. 727-712-3233. www.westfloridaveincenter.com.

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Tampa Vein Specialists

No one needs to suffer from untreated varicose vein disease anymore. In addition, with today's favorable insurance coverage, the procedures are even more accessible. If you have a vein problem, you need Dr. Zuzga and West Florida Vein Center!


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