Maintaining Good Health Even When You're Busy

Weight Loss: Your Greatest Venous Leg Ulcer Prevention Tool

by Caitlin Obara

It's estimated that venous leg ulcers affect as many as 2 million people every year. While there are a number of factors that can contribute to the development of this condition, excess weight remains a leading cause. Those individuals who are considered obese are at an increased risk of developing these ulcers than those individuals at a healthy weight. If you have been diagnosed with venous ulcers, losing weight may be able to help you.

How Does Weight Impact Venous Leg Ulcers?

Your legs are designed to accommodate your body at a healthy weight. When you're heavier, your legs have to work harder to support your weight. However, when you are obese, you also place a greater amount of pressure on your lower extremities.

This increased pressure can damage the small blood vessels in your skin, eventually making them weak. As the blood vessels weaken, they can also cause the skin around them to weaken. Once your skin is weak, it's fairly easy for it to break open, causing the ulcer to form.

How Can You Lose Weight?

Since it's more difficult to exercise, losing weight when you're obese is challenging, but possible. The best approach is to transform your diet. Begin by creating a food journal where you list everything you eat or drink throughout the day, for at least two weeks.

Make an appointment with your primary physician and bring the journal along. Your physician can compare the information in the journal with your exercise and lifestyle habits, to come up with a daily calorie goal. Adhering to this program can help place you on a solid pace to your weight loss goal, even if you can't exercise.

What Else can You Do?

Since weight loss is gradual, you might not necessarily see immediate results. Fortunately, wearing compression stockings can aid your prevention efforts while you're working towards your weight loss goals. Compression stockings are worn under your clothing and work to improve circulation throughout your legs.

This is beneficial since poor circulation can also contribute to the formation of these ulcers. Generally, the tights are tightest at the ankle and loosen as they travel up your leg. This design causes your blood to flow upward, which is important to proper circulation.

This is a serious medical situation that requires the care of a medical professional. If you have venous leg ulcers or believe you are at an increased risk, it's important to speak with your physician.