Does Alcohol Make Varicose Veins Worse? | Siragusa Vein & Laser

Call (615) 777-0744
Free Screening

logo - 2013-11-08 00:08:29

Does Alcohol Make Varicose Veins Worse?

Varicose veins often appear due to a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, and history of smoking, which all impact the health of the circulatory system. Alcohol is another likely culprit even though it doesn’t get as much attention as the other leading causes. All it takes is a moderate uptick in how much and how often you drink to aggravate your varicose veins.

Thankfully, you can slow down the appearance of varicose veins by making smart lifestyle changes. Then, you can seek treatment by scheduling a consult appointment and coming out to meet our vein physician in Nashville, TN. Here’s what you need to know before you do that.

Why Alcohol Damages Your Circulatory System

When you drink alcohol, your heart rate usually increases to help the liver detoxify your blood. As this puts excess stress on your circulatory system, the veins in your lower extremities may start to weaken.

Making matters worse, the stress on your liver causes it to slow down in processing all that alcohol, especially when drinking frequently or in large amounts. Your blood flow may slow down as a result, putting even more stress on your veins.

How Drinking Affects Varicose Veins

Each time you drink alcohol, especially in excess, the stress can cause varicose veins to get worse. Despite the increase in blood flow, the venous valves try to pump blood like normal. This results in backflow that allows the blood to pool in certain spots and stretch out the already inflamed veins.

As that occurs, the veins bulge outward and become even more apparent at the surface of your skin. You may then notice that your varicose veins are bigger or more numerous than before each time you drink alcohol.

Drink Responsibly for Vein Health

If you have any varicose veins, it’s apparent that your circulatory system is under stress. For that reason, it’s often best to only drink beer, wine, and liquor on rare occasions – if at all. By limiting your alcohol intake, you can prevent your varicose veins from getting worse, although it won’t cause them to go away. To do that, you’ll need to seek treatment from a vein specialist.

Treatments for Varicose Veins

Your vein specialist can help you find the best treatment for your varicose veins, such as:

Compression Stockings

Since compression stockings help promote good blood flow through the body, wearing them is a great way to prevent varicose veins. They can also help to slow progression of the condition once bulging veins appear.


Sclerotherapy is a popular varicose vein treatment that involves the injection of a special solution into the affected veins. The solution helps your body reabsorb the aggravated veins, but it can take multiple treatments.

Endovenous Ablation

When varicose veins cause swelling and pain, endovenous ablation is usually the treatment of choice. For this treatment, your vein specialist will cauterize the veins to close them off and allow them to disappear.


Small varicose veins just at the surface of your skin are easily removed through the microphlebectomy procedure. This in-office procedure only requires the use of a numbing medication and demands very little downtime.

All these treatments are minimally invasive and highly effective for varicose veins. You can work with your vein specialist to find the best one for your needs.

Siragusa’s Vein Clinic in Nashville

If you’d like to discuss vein treatment with your specialist in Nashville, TN, schedule a consult with a call to 615-777-0744. At your free screening, Dr. Siragusa will discuss all the treatment options available to you, including sclerotherapy. So, give the clinic a call today to set up a convenient time for your visit.

About the Author