Venous Disease Contributes to Poor Mental Health
Chronic health conditions affect quality of life. Pain, discomfort, and physical limitations can lead to fatigue and depressed mood. This is equally true if you have venous disease. According to studies, patients with venous disease have comparable Quality of Life (QoL) scores to patients who have had heart attacks, strokes, and hip fractures. For patients who also have leg ulcers, the QoL score is comparable to patients who have had congestive heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Essentially, having varicose veins can affect your mental wellness the same way living with heart disease of COPD would. Are you surprised? A lot of people are shocked by these results, but it’s not shocking when you consider how much venous disease interferes with daily life. Just listen to the stories of people just like you — mothers, firefighters, ex-military, and countless teachers — who suffered through painful, diseased veins, and how getting treatment changed their lives!
A Cycle of Poor Physical and Mental Health
The worse your mental health gets, the more your physical health suffers; the more your physical health worsens, the more your mental health declines. If you are living with mental or chronic physical illness, it’s important to know you are not alone and that help is available.
Seeking care for both mental and physical health problems is important. It is what is commonly referred to as a holistic approach to healthcare. By addressing both simultaneously, you increase the success of conquering both conditions.
How We Help You at Vein Specialists of the South
Our caring, compassionate team of vein specialists are here for you. Your quality of life is just as important as the condition of your veins, legs, and physical health. Our approach to vein health includes both lifestyle changes and procedures to treat affected veins. And while our lifestyle changes are geared toward improving your vein health, they are also a great way to improve your overall physical and mental wellbeing.
Our recommended lifestyle changes, known as our Better Veins for Life® principles, include:
- Exercise, necessary for healthy circulation and strong veins, is essential for overall physical health. Mental health advocates also highly recommend exercise for improved mood, enhanced energy, and better sleep. Take a walk, ride a bike, or go for a swim.
- Compression stockings for improved circulation, aiding blood flow from the feet back up to the heart. In patients with venous insufficiency, the blood struggles against gravity, pooling in the leg. This leads to varicosities and, in some cases, bulging veins and blood clots. A side-effect of compression and improved blood flow is increased energy, which improves mood. Compression also reduces leg fatigue and aching, symptoms that can cause mental fatigue.
- Leg elevation works similarly to compression, aiding circulation and reducing blood pooling in the legs. We recommend daily leg elevation, with feet above the heart, for best results. This also reduces leg swelling, aching, and throbbing.
- Sensible footwear and avoiding high heels to reduce pressure on the veins, and while this doesn’t have a direct impact on mental health, comfortable shoes lead to good vibes and fewer blisters.
- Weight loss, which helps reduce pressure which weakens vein walls. But weight loss also boosts energy and self-esteem. Both can help improve your mood.
Additionally, our walk in walk out procedures are performed under gentle local anesthesia in an office based setting. Your care is designed to meet your specific needs ;with a goal of treating your unhealthy veins and improving your quality of life as well. When the affected veins are addressed with one of our minimally invasive procedures, pain and discomfort associated with venous disease will quickly improve. Furthermore, if visible varicose veins or spider veins make you feel self-conscious in shorts or swimsuits, our procedures may be just the confidence boost you need.
Of course, these are bonus mental health benefits of lifestyle changes and vein procedures, but they will in no way cure a mental illness. We highly recommend seeking care from a psychiatrist or psychologist. Discuss your options with your primary care physician.