Most of us enjoy have a few drinks with friends or after a long day but how does it affect venous disease. Moderate alcohol consumption, one glass of wine with dinner or a single nightcap, is not harmful. However, excess consumption can affect those with varicose veins or venous insufficiency. Alcohol does not contribute to the development of varicose veins, however, it can worsen venous insufficiency and the symptoms that go along with it.
When consuming alcohol, your heart rate increases causing more blood to be pumped through the heart muscle at a faster rate of speed. This causes the veins to receive an influx of blood flow. If your veins are already weak, the increase in blood flow can increase the stress on vein walls which can impact vein size and reflux.
If you already have venous insufficiency, faulty venous valves, the increase in blood flow can increase swelling and, in some cases, pain. Alcohol consumption is not a recognized risk factor in the development of varicose veins. However, people with venous insufficiency are encouraged to take extra care with alcohol consumption and pay close attention to how it affects their varicose vein symptoms.