You woke up and noticed a tingling in your leg. You reach and feel a lumpy vein. It’s pretty big, it’s ugly, and it’s incredibly visible. This is the the world of varicose veins.
Though your heart may skip a beat and you may be motivated to jump on your computer to diagnose yourself, with racing thoughts of some life-threatening disease, don’t worry. Varicose veins are mostly a cosmetic issue, and truthfully, half of the people in the U.S. over 50 in experience some sort venous disease. Of those affected, 55% female and 45% male have varicose veins. Nevertheless, there are more serious conditions such as deep vein thrombosis which causes varicose veins. It’s best to make an appointment with your doctor and get examined.
With age, the elasticity in our veins begins to decrease. Our circulatory system is no longer as efficient at pumping blood through our body and back to the heart. The valves in our veins which block the blood from trickling back down to our lower extremities don’t perform properly, and blood pools at the bottom of our legs. The veins are filled with blood, they expand, and all of a sudden they are extremely apparent.
This is the way in which varicose veins appear, however, the actual origin of the condition is unknown. Specialists have concluded it to be heriditary, or different forms of extended pressure on the legs such as standing for long periods of time, pregnancy, and obesity. After they develop, common symptoms of varicose veins include discomfort, pain, swelling and itchiness in the affected area. In other cases, restless leg syndrome has also been reported.
Your doctor will quickly diagnose you via a standard physical check up, or Duplex Ultrasound. What follows is an explanation of the variety of treatments readily available to remedy the problem. Doctors will always suggest lifestyle changes such as more exercise and a better diet first and foremost. Many patients also prefer noninvasive procedures such as sclerotherapy, compression stockings and laser treatment as an immediate substitute.
Although the following methods are effective and proven to work, it’s important to note that there are various natural remedies to treat varicose veins nowadays. Now, let’s check out some of the best ways to deal with varicose veins:
- EXERCISE YOUR LEGS
Physical activity is one of the main ways of maintaining ideal cardiovascular health. Thus, a common suggestion for overcoming varicose veins is to keep active. Especially, leg muscle exercises because they aid in blood flow. Muscles in the legs contract and in accordance with veins, blood circulates to the upper part of the body. If patients suffer pain from their varicose veins; then high impact activities like running or jogging should be avoided. Low impact exercises such as leg lifts, bicycle, calf raises and side lunges have been proven to reduce varicose veins.
- IMPROVE YOUR DIET
A great to inform yourself on all the to fight varicose veins with your diet is by visiting a nutritionist. Amid all the changes are drinking lots of water, calorie intake reduction, and an increase in foods that has a lot of Vitamin C and fiber. Also, increasing B Vitamins such as B9, B6 and B12.
When losing weight by reducing the amount of calories you ingest, it’s important to remember that a significant cut in calories may result in losing too much weight, and in turn becomes detrimental to vein health. Citrus fruits, kiwi and brussel sprouts are a great source of Vitamin C. As for Vitamin B, consider eating more chicken, egg, fish, bananas and avocados.
- USE COMPRESSION STOCKINGS
Doctors commonly suggest the use of compression stockings, as the method has existed for a long time and has been proven to work against varicose veins. They make blood circulation easy in the legs by way of a stocking that fits snugly around the foot and ankle, and loosens further up the leg. There are different compression levels available to fit your needs.
- TRY SCLEROTHERAPY
To remove varicose veins as fast as possible, then Sclerotherapy is probably one of the best treatments available. The affected vein is injected with a sclerosing substance which is agitated with air to resemble the texture of watered down shaving cream. The substance expands within the vein and breaks apart its lining. Once the vein is completely damaged, the body naturally absorbs it and reroutes the blood flow naturally on its own.
The procedure takes about 10 minutes, after which the patient must wear bandages or compression stockings for about two weeks. During that time, they are encouraged to walk a lot. Keep in mind that some cases may need more than one session for the removal of the vein.
- LASER TREATMENT
Varicose vein laser treatment is sometimes mixed up with lipo using laser, but it’s very different. The development of laser treatment is one of the most advanced methods available, and best of all, it is pretty much painless. A direct laser beam is targeted above the skin at the affected vein, which causes it to develop scar tissue. Once the scar tissue has formed, it blocks the vein from continuing to circulate blood, and similarly to sclerotherapy; the vein is absorbed by the body with the same result.
Due to the pain and discomfort some people may experience, it’s easy to understand why people want to get rid of varicose veins as soon as possible. Sclerotherapy and laser treatment are safe and cost effective, however it’s would be a good idea to look into natural ways of making them disappear.
Do you have any effective treatments you’ve heard of or discovered for varicose veins? Please post your own list below!
Luca Tofan is a Canadian freelance writer living in Colombia. He likes to write about a variety of topics including travel, health, lifestyle and business.