The Effects of Obesity on Spider & Varicose Veins

Picture of obese woman checking her waste size

Varicose veins and spider veins can happen to you even if you are not an overweight person. Varicosities are usually due to an abnormal valve in the vein that causes twisting and enlargement. Spider veins happen when the varicose vein backs up and the capillaries have to help carry the blood. There has been research that can link the causes of varicose and spider veins formations from obesity.


Both of these types of abnormally functioning blood vessels commonly occur in the pelvic area or in the legs. The reason for this is the amount of pressure put on these parts of the body while standing, walking, sitting with crossed legs, etc. and the fact that the blood is trying to go up towards the heart. It is always easier for the blood to flow down than back up. Obesity only adds to the downward pressure making it all the more difficult for the blood to flow upward.

When the body weighs more than it should, the additional adipose tissue, fat, requires additional oxygen and nutrients. The blood vessels now have to work harder to get these additional necessities to the tissue. The heart’s workload is increased and the circulating blood puts additional pressure onto the walls of all blood vessels, weakening them and increasing the chances of varicosities or enlarged capillaries.

Being overweight also increases the heart rate, reducing the body’s ability to circulate blood. Because the legs are far away from the heart they are already at a disadvantage for circulation. Add to that the extra weight from obesity pressing the blood downward and you have a recipe for disaster. Varicosities can be rerouted and enlarged capillaries can removed by laser surgery, or other therapies such as: VNUS Closure Fast, Sclerotherapy or Ambulatory Microphlebectomy (a minimally invasive procedure to remove the affected vein area). Losing weight will reduce pressure on blood vessel walls in the legs and pelvis.

Obesity can make varicosities more difficult to diagnose. In a thinner person, varicosities can appear large and bulge from the skin. A person with more fatty tissue that a varicosity can be hidden in causing it to appear smaller or thinner. Varicosities do not have to be at the surface of the skin alone. They can be hidden in extra adipose tissue. If you are overweight, talk to your doctor about ways to lose weight. This is especially important if you are feeling a dull throb in your legs or pelvic area. A dull throbbing can indicate an abnormally functioning blood vessel.