Obesity And Venous Diseases
are well established partners of obesity. In the United States alone, 20% children and 65% of adults are overweight. Obese and overweight individuals are more prone to diseases of the blood vessels than individuals with normal weight.
Morbidly obese and super morbidly obese individuals very often tend to have some form of venous disorder. In obesity, the tissues undergo inflammation. The inflamed tissue starts exerting a compressive pressure on the blood vessels inhibiting the normal blood flow causing the manifestation of various vein related diseases.
Let us look at the common venous diseases associated with obesity.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)
: Chronic Venous insufficiency affects around 25 % of adults. It is caused by damaged valves in veins or a blockage caused by a clot in the deep veins of the legs as in Deep Vein Thrombosis. In obesity, the excess accumulation of the adipose tissue around the abdomen can result in secretion of substances such as fibrin which actually facilitates the formation of clots. The vein walls becomes weak and cause the veins to enlarge. The valves start to function improperly causing the blood flow to reverse itself. The pressure of the blood flow increases. This is known as Venous hypertension. The condition can become extremely painful and can affect mobility of the individual.
Varicose and Spider Veins
: It is estimated that 20 to 25 million Americans have varicose veins. They are the superficial veins that are located below the surface of the skin. When these veins become inflamed and bulge out, they are associated with excruciating pain in the legs. Varicose veins are caused when the walls of the veins become thin due to inflammation and the valve in the vein stops functioning normally. Again, excess of the adipose tissue in obese people is associated with the release of chemicals like cytokines and chemokines which are well established inflammatory markers.Varicose veins are normally more than 3 mm in diameter. Spider veins are essentially superficial veins which when dilated are less than 1 mm in diameter.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
: Deep Vein thrombosis is the obstruction caused in the blood flow due to the formation of a clot in the deep vein of the legs or arms. Obese women are 2-3 times more likely to develop blood clots in the deep veins of the legs than women with normal weight.The condition has the potential to become life threatening. The blood clot may travel to the blood vessels of the lungs and get lodged there. This condition is known as Pulmonary Embolism. A study conducted among women found that a 4 point increase is the Body Mass Index (BMI) increased the risks of Deep vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism by 26%.
Superficial Vein Thrombosis or Phlebitis
: It is a condition which is characterized by the formation of a clot in the superficial veins that are close to the surface of the skin. It is associated with inflammation, redness and pain.
: The accumulated blood because of the malfunctioning valve in the vein causes ulcers. Ulcers are open wounds or sores that fester and do not heal quickly. Mostly seen in the ankle and in areas below the knee. Obese people heal a lot slower than individuals with normal weight. This is because of the alteration in the collagen structure in the cells, excess fat cells in the body coupled with decreased strength and ability to repair.
: Formation of a blood clot is again associated with obesity. The excess secretion of fibrin by the adipose tissue result in the formation of blood clots. Besides the clots formed by atherosclerois, or fat deposits in the veins, are also closely linked to the adipose tissue. The adipose tissue decrease the levels of the protein adiponectin available in the blood stream. An increased level of adiponectin is associated with a marked decrease in stress and inflammation.
Above are a few
which are associated with obesity. It has been documented in several studies that weight loss is definitely linked with a decrease in pain and inflammation from the above mentioned diseases.