What is BMI, and how does it affect your vein health?

55316815_SIf you’ve ever gone to the doctor’s office for your annual check-up, you know that there is a part of the visit where your doctor gives you a BMI rating. BMI or Body Mass Index measures your body’s weight to height ratio. By dividing a person’s weight by the square of their height, doctors can get a BMI measurement and place your bodyweight into different categories ranging from very severely underweight to very severely obese.

While BMI is a standard diagnostic tool, it is not a perfect measurement of a person’s health. A BMI rating does not consider body type, exercise levels, genetics, and other factors. So even though BMI ratings are used to estimate a person’s body fat content, they are often far from accurate and may not give a complete picture of their health.

As a vein health clinic, we often treat patients who struggle with their weight and may be obese. Unfortunately, it is very common for overweight or obese people to develop vein health issues like varicose or spider veins because of the added pressure their weight puts on the circulatory system and their veins. Research shows that women with a BMI over 30 are three times as likely to develop varicose veins. However, weight is not the only determining factor in developing vein health issues. Almost anyone can develop varicose or spider veins!

We do not believe in shaming or guilting our patients for weight issues. It’s not productive and does not help our patients find healing or relief from the shame and stigma that may accompany vein health or weight issues. A person’s BMI does not indicate their overall health. It is simply one of many tools that may help guide medical treatment. We believe that medical practitioners need to use a combination of tools to formulate a proper treatment plan. That’s why in our clinic, we use plenty of tools to determine the best course of treatment for your vein health, including an in-person exam, a family medical history, and ultrasound examinations. We need all of these tools to understand the full scope of your vein health before we recommend a proper treatment plan.

Please don’t be afraid, scared, or shamed when you come to visit our clinic for vein treatment. There are a lot of factors that go into developing vein health issues, and your BMI index is only one of them. We believe that getting vein treatment should help you feel good about your body and relieve the symptoms of poor vein health. So if you’re ready to feel better and stop living with the symptoms of varicose or spider veins, give us a call for your initial consultation.