Outsmart the heat to keep your legs comfy and yourself happy
Maybe the heat waves this summer have got your legs feeling swollen, painful, inflamed, itchy or any combination of those for the first time, or maybe this has become something you’re used to dealing with, but it’s getting harder to manage.
Either way, there’s enough to contend with this summer without leg pain that’s likely caused by chronic venous disease (CVD) (sometimes called chronic venous insufficiency or CVI) getting in the way.
Having fun this summer requires a big checklist: making sure you’re masked up, have enough sanitizer and are focusing on having fun from a distance, for starters. It’s important to understand how heat conditions may worsen your chronic venous disease symptoms so you can easily plan accordingly to keep them under control.
Why does CVD get worse with heat?
If this is your first introduction to chronic venous disease and its symptoms, it’s important to understand that chronic venous disease is the result of poor blood circulation in your leg veins. Stretched out, internally damaged or defective valves cause blood to pool in the affected veins, which causes them to deteriorate even further as the disease progresses.
High temperatures can cause veins to dilate, which is bad news for veins that are already operating inefficiently. This makes them expand and allow more blood to flow into the legs,, which just further exacerbates this vicious cycle by causing even more swelling.
Yikes, right? It’s important to have some much needed fun this summer, but with skyrocketing temperatures, anyone with chronic venous disease must make sure they’re taking care to not worsen their symptoms. For starters, pay attention to whether irritating symptoms in your legs are increasing, like: heaviness and fatigue; itchiness and discomfort; cramping and aching and even bulging veins (varicose veins), and help yourself understand how to stop them from getting worse in the heat. It’s not as hard as you may think.
These three key things are simple principals to help guide you this summer, as you plan for activities that will keep your leg pain and irritation in check while still having a great summer.
Since extreme heat causes blood vessels to dilate and expand, the most effective way of preventing it from worsening your symptoms is to limit your exposure to it as much as possible.
Plan your activities strategically so you can avoid going out during the hottest parts of the day. Mornings (the earlier the better), evenings and nighttime after the sun has set can be cooler than parts of the day when the sun is directly overhead and at its hottest.
Ensure you are staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water or other non-diuretic beverages like milk or juice. This might mean drinking a bit more water than you’re used to.
Avoid or lower alcohol consumption, especially during the hottest parts of the day, as it causes blood vessels to dilate and can lead to dehydration. Constant proper hydration will help with this overall, but limiting consumption of alcohol is best.
If you have access to a pool, lake or other body of water fit for swimming, it’s an excellent way to regulate body temperatures. Even a cool bath or shower will help. Simple exercise in or outdoors, even just a walk around the block or up and down the stairs, can help get circulation going in the calf muscles.
Take it easy
Whatever activity you’re doing, be sure to take frequent breaks. Don’t push yourself too hard in the heat.
If your legs are sore from working outside or midway through an ambitious walk, remember that taking a break is okay. In fact, it’s the better thing to do for the health of your legs.
While it’s important to keep active to maintain healthy circulation in your legs, identifying the right balance is key. Too much can be just as bad as not enough, especially if you’re living under a heat warning.
As much as possible, find time during the hottest days to relax and elevate your legs. Use a pillow, chair or lay on the floor with your legs elevated against the wall. This can help reduce swelling and increase blood circulation.
Seek further treatment
Are you doing everything right, but the heat still has leg pain getting in the way of your summer vibes? It’s not just you, and there are treatments out there that can help get you relief fast.
Maybe it’s time to try a venoactive product like Venixxa, an over-the-counter pill-based treatment that will help you find relief for chronic venous disease symptoms such as leg pain, functional discomfort, sensation of swelling and heaviness. Venixxa is a natural health product, made from immature oranges, which is available without a prescription in pharmacies and online.
If your leg pain is cramping your style this summer, you may be suffering from chronic venous disease. If that’s the case, it’s important to speak to your healthcare provider because only they can properly diagnose your condition.