Although fever, cough, and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms associated with COVID-19, those aren’t the only symptoms. As researchers continue to learn more about the virus, it’s becoming clear that it affects many different systems in the body, including the vascular system. But how does COVID-19 impact your vein care?
With five convenient locations throughout Connecticut, the team of providers at Vein Institute provides comprehensive vascular care. Whether you’re concerned about varicose veins, spider veins, or hemorrhoids, we offer cutting-edge treatments for those with venous disease.
We know these are unusual times, and that’s why we’ve created this guide to help you stay informed. Here’s what you need to know about vein care and COVID-19.
COVID-19 is the disease caused by a type of coronavirus. There are many different types of coronavirus, but the one responsible for this pandemic is called SARS-CoV-2. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 is a respiratory tract infection. Both the upper and lower respiratory systems can be compromised, leading to the most common symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
Other symptoms include body aches, chills, fatigue, loss of taste and/or smell, nausea, and diarrhea.
Can COVID-19 cause vein issues?
In addition to the symptoms listed above, researchers and doctors alike have discovered that COVID-19 also affects the vascular system. This includes your veins, heart, blood, and even your brain. Vascular system symptoms reported include:
- Increased blood clots
- Increased strokes
- COVID toes
How does a respiratory disease lead to blood clots? Researchers discovered that when the virus invades the endothelial cells in the lungs, it can contribute to the development of blood clots, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Another group of researchers found that 1.6% of adults with COVID-19 experienced an ischemic stroke — a type of stroke that occurs when a blockage prevents adequate blood flow from getting to the brain.
And even though COVID toes look like they’re sporting a rash, the experts at Cleveland Clinic explain that the appearance is caused by microclots in the toes’ small vessels. This is just another example of the way the new virus affects veins and blood vessels.
In good news, according to a study published in June, researchers note that anticoagulants show promising results for individuals with severe cases of COVID-19. The anticoagulants may help reduce the risk of serious vascular-related complications including heart damage, strokes, and deep vein thrombosis.
How to keep your veins healthy
It can be a little overwhelming to read about the various ways COVID-19 can affect your body, especially if you already have an underlying venous disease.
In general, it’s a good idea to support healthy veins. You can promote healthy veins by:
Exercising regularly — and staying active in general — is an important part of keeping your veins healthy. Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. This includes walking, jogging, dancing, and biking. In addition to exercise, try to stay active throughout the day. If you sit at a desk, get up at least once an hour and walk around the room.
Smoking is often linked to lung issues, but the reality is that smoking also negatively affects your veins. Nicotine, an ingredient in cigarettes, can both harden and narrow the walls of your veins.
Managing underlying health conditions
If you have any underlying health condition that impacts your veins, it’s important to manage that disease. Diabetes, for example, can cause high blood sugar levels, and those high levels can weaken your vessels.
Don’t postpone your vein care
If you’re already experiencing the signs of vein issues, don’t postpone your care. Our compassionate providers offer vein care while upholding coronavirus guidelines from the CDC to keep you safe during your visit. Whether you’re dealing with varicose veins or spider veins, we can help.
If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, call the location of your choice or book online.