Among the top ways to prevent or improve varicose veins is to nix your cigarette habit. Everyone knows that smoking can damage your lungs and heart. But nicotine’s affect on your blood vessels is less known.
Cigarettes are Harmful at Any Level
The fact is that the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke affects every blood vessel in your body, boosting your risk of developing varicose veins, blood clots and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Yet, upwards of 45.3 million American adults smoke cigarettes daily.
Cigarette Smoke’s Effect on Your Veins
Cigarette smoke chemicals can narrow the blood vessels, make blood thicker and reduce blood flow to the arms and legs. In fact, smoking just one cigarette can slow blood circulation for up to 45 minutes. And slow-moving blood unable to flow freely through the blood vessels is what leads to clotting. When clots form deep in the veins, it’s called deep vein thrombosis and is potentially fatal.
In a recent study of 8,889 women, researchers found that the risk for DVT in women increased by 43 percent in current smokers and 23 percent in former smokers compared with non-smokers. The risk rose with the number of cigarettes smoked daily and the length of time participants had smoked. And women smokers who also took oral contraceptives were found to be nine times as likely to suffer DVT as non-smoking females who were not on oral contraceptives.
Resources for Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking can significantly reduce your risk of varicose veins, blood clotting and DVT. It’s not easy, but there are many effective smoking cessation programs available nationwide. Find one that works for you. And if you believe you already have one of these conditions, call 904-402-VEIN (8346) and schedule a consultation at Jacksonville’s St. Johns Vein Center today.
Do your part to prevent vein disease Jacksonville, and look for ways to quit smoking today. Check out whyquit.com.