Can Your Bowel Movements Offer an Indication of Vein Health?
Source: Reviewed by Dr. Victor Marchione, MD.; Written by Mohan Garikiparithi Published on August 17, 2020
Constipation hurts. Sitting on the toilet trying to force out a small, often painful bowel movement is never comfortable. And it’s easy to chalk it up as something that “just is what it is.” But it’s more than that, and it could be affecting your vein health.
When you’re struggling to pass stool and pushing hard to get it out, your muscles tense up. Your face may even change color. This overexertion is felt throughout your entire body, and over time, these tense moments on the toilet can potentially lead to permanent and destructive changes.
Constipation can lead to varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and broken capillaries. The increased blood pressure when you strain on the toilet causes veins and capillaries to stretch and lead to potentially long-term damage. There is even research linking constipation to major cardiovascular events.
You don’t want to wait too long to see if these conditions affect you. Clearly, hemorrhoids and varicose veins are not high on the list of things people want in life, so stopping them before they get started is essential.
Although it might not seem like your gut is related to vein health, it is. When you’ve got a healthy gut, the rest of your body functions at a higher level. This includes your digestive and cardiovascular systems.
Fiber is an essential dietary component of heart and digestive health. There is plenty of evidence to show that getting the recommended daily serving of 28-38 grams of fiber per day can soften stool to make it easier to pass while improving transit time.
Another component of a healthy gut is its microbial makeup. Prebiotics, which are typically fiber-rich foods, help to feed healthy gut bacteria to improve digestion in ways that can help alleviate constipation.
In addition to including more fiber-rich food in your diet, probiotics may also help. You can introduce these healthy bacteria into your gut with high-CFU probiotics, and including foods like kefir, sauerkraut, and papaya in your diet.
Exercise can also help battle constipation.
The less effort you need to expend to pass stool, the healthier your veins are likely to be. Using nutrition and other lifestyle interventions to improve gut health can take a lot of pressure off your veins to potentially reduce the risk of hemorrhoids and varicose veins.