Will Varicose Veins Go Away If I Lose Weight?

August 4, 2020 Dr Zil

Weight gain and obesity can have unexpected consequences on your health. The extra weight can exert an excessive amount of pressure on your circulatory system and lead to a condition known as varicose veins. This is when your veins valves become weak and no longer function properly, allowing blood to reflux or pool in the veins. We are often asked, will varicose veins go away in I lose weight? And although the condition differs from case to case, the truth is varicose veins may not always be as reversible as weight gain. In fact, most cases of varicose veins will not go away without medical intervention.

Why varicose veins don’t go away if you lose weight

While losing weight can benefit your overall health and by extension your circulatory system, these changes may not be sufficient enough to repair your weak or malfunctioning vein valves. Furthermore, there may be other underlying reasons for your varicose veins which may or may not be related to the weight gain.

Below are some common causes of varicose veins, other than weight:

Genetics

Research shows a definite link between varicose veins and your family history. If your mother or aunt had them, for example, your chance of developing varicose veins is fifty per cent higher than someone without this condition in their genetic lineage. That’s because it’s possible to inherit weak vein valves in much the same way you inherit your eye colour or hair colour.

Age

Not everyone develops varicose veins with age but it’s a risk factor. Daily wear and tear on your veins can weaken the valves that propel blood towards the heart. That’s why keeping a healthy weight and good eating habits can have a protective effect against varicose veins, even if you may have a family history of the disease. For more on lifestyle changes which can help manage varicose veins: Non-Medical Options for Varicose Veins.

Long periods of inactivity

Whether you’re sitting or standing, staying in one position for extended time places an undue burden on your veins and forces your circulatory system work harder. If you work at a desk all day it’s a good idea to take breaks throughout the day and walk around. Similarly, if your job requires you to be on your feet all day, sitting down and putting your feet up can improve blood circulation.

Gender and pregnancy

The hormonal fluctuations that women experience—such as birth control pills and pregnancy— can increase your risk of weakened vein valves. Pregnancy, in particular, is a major risk factor because a growing baby places pressure on your leg veins. Although your blood circulation will return to normal after your baby is born, your varicose veins may remain permanently.

Animated illustration of a normal vein and varicose vein on a leg.

History of blood clots

Previous trauma to your legs may have weakened your veins, increasing your chances of developing varicose veins and the formation of blood clots called DVT (deep vein thrombosis).

Treatment for varicose veins after weight loss

If you’ve lost the weight and still find yourself saddled with unsightly varicose veins, you may want to have them removed. Non-surgical treatments such as Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLA), Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) and Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy close off the diseased vein and reroute blood flow to other healthy veins.

Seek expert advice

The doctors at The Vein Institute specialise in varicose vein treatment. We offer patients a comprehensive treatment program to treat varicose veins, with non-surgical laser treatment techniques. The benefits of laser treatment to patients are;

  • Walk-in walk-out treatment
  • 98% success rate
  • Extremely effective
  • Can be performed at a clinic (no hospitalisation)
  • No general anaesthetic
  • Medicare rebates apply
  • No downtime or time away from work

To book a consultation and discuss our treatment program, call  1300 535 017. Or, make an enquiry via the Contact Us page.