Constipation and Varicose veins

It is said that varicose veins affect up to 40% of adult.

It is more common in obese people and women who have had more than two pregnancies. But is it possible that these unsightly and sometimes painful varicose veins may also cause constipation? The answer is yes. Varicose veins are the result of poorly functioning valves in veins, along with decreased elasticity of the vein wall. This allows pooling blood within the veins, and their subsequent enlargement. These swollen and twisted veins are visible just below the surface of the skin. Straining due to constipation can cause damage to the veins of the legs.

According to the Gastroenterological Association (AGA), 16% of adults experience constipation. That number increases to 33% for adults over the age of 60. Constipation is generally associated with infrequent bowel movements, typically fewer than three per week. However, other indicators of constipation may be abnormal discomfort, feeling of incomplete evacuation, bloating, distention, hard stool, and excessive straining. These indicators may be overlooked causing addressing of constipation to be delayed or nonexistent until infrequent bowel movement is present. Identifying the culprits of constipation and making the necessary changes may help in avoiding the onset of varicose veins.

One major reason for constipation is dehydration. Most people just are not drinking enough water. Another reason for constipation is inadequate intake of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is transformed to a gel-like substance that feeds healthy bacteria in the gut. This type fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes and whole grains. Insoluble fiber takes in fluids, making the stool larger and softer. This helps to speed up the movement and processing of waste. This type of fiver can be found in wheat bran, vegetables and whole grains. Low physical activity levels can be another reason for constipation. Incorporating some form of daily physical activity is important for multiple reasons.

Varicose veins affects up to 40% of people in America. By reducing constipation, it is likely that the number of people affected by varicose veins each year can also be reduced. Increasing fluid intake, developing healthy eating habits and incorporating some form of daily physical activity may be the key for some.

*This article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general information purposes only.


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