14 Tips to Improve Varicose Veins Naturally
Many people suffer from varicose veins. Overweight, carrying heavy loads, feet injuries, pregnancies, and medications that contain estrogen can aggravate the problem. However there are ways to alleviated or prevent this phenomenon from getting worse.
When summer comes, it’s the time to pull out the swimsuits, sandals and shorts from the closet. But what do you do with all those ugly veins that look like bluish spiders or snakes tangling up under the skin? What causes them and how to prevent them?
What Causes Varicose Veins
It is thought that varicose veins are primarily an aesthetic problem, but it is important to know that varicose veins may indicate venous insufficiency – a medical problem that requires investigation and treatment.
Dilated veins in the legs may be due to a problem of the venous valves, whose role is to ensure the blood flows only in one direction – toward the heart and the legs. When these valves don’t function properly, blood flows to the legs, puts excess pressure on the walls of the veins causing them to expand, swell and protrude through the skin. This phenomenon of varicose veins is called in the medical language “venous insufficiency”. This is one of the common diseases in the world: one in two women and one in four men will suffer during their lifetime from varicose veins and venous insufficiency.
As mentioned above, overweight, carrying heavy loads, feet injuries, pregnancies, and medications that contain estrogen (such as birth control pills) may aggravate the problem. It was also found that it is particularly prevalent among people with professions that require prolonged standing, including surgeons, hair dressers, cashiers and sellers. Genetic weakness of the vein walls and valves, and excessive pressure in the veins are also among the causes for the phenomenon.
Dilated veins can cause swelling, edema, heaviness and pain in the feet, bleeding and infection, and sometimes even deep wounds and venous leg ulcers. In addition, patients may develop leg cramps, redness, skin color changes around the ankles, skin thickening and hardening of the legs and ankles, joint pain and more. More severe cases may develop inflammation of a vein.
Despite the prevalence of the disease, and the risks which it entails, only 10% of those with varicose veins treat the problem. While it is very hard to completely prevent the appearance of varicose veins, it is possible to delay and prevent it from getting worse.
How to Delay the Appearance of Varicose Veins?
1. Avoid standing or sitting for long periods without movement. If you need to stand for a long time, you should move your legs from time to time to avoid the stress resulting from the accumulation of blood.
2. Avoid strenuous physical activity which applies heavy pressure on the veins, such as weight training.
3. Exercise moderately such as walking or swimming. These activities may strengthen the walls of the blood vessels and prevent or delay the development of prominent veins. When you go, make sure you do a full motion from heel to toe. This movement stimulates the blood flow to the heart.
4. Avoid hot tubs, prolonged sauna, long stay in the sun and hot wax hair plucking. The heat involved in these activities expands the capillaries.
5. Make a cold or lukewarm showers. It shrinks the veins.
6. It is recommended to sit or lie down with your legs raised slightly. This position will improve the blood flow from the legs to the heart. When sitting, rest your feet on a chair or stool. When lying down, place a pillow under your feet, and make sure they slope upward.
7. Avoid sitting cross-legged. Such a sitting will increase pressure on the leg veins.
8. Apply elastic stockings or elastic bandages. These socks will not eliminate prominent veins, but they may prevent them from getting worse.
9. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and avoid wearing high heels. Walking in high heels could exacerbate the phenomenon of prominent veins if it already exists.
10. Maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight puts unnecessary pressure on your veins.
11. Try to avoid situations of constipation that increase the pressure on the legs.
12. During long haul flights (and only after consulting and obtaining a prescription from your physician) take blood thinners such as aspirin to prevent blood clots and venous thrombosis. Also avoid prolonged sitting and make sure you move to prevent edema and reduce venous pressure in the legs. In addition, during long-haul flights make sure to wear elastic socks.
13. Take nutritional supplements (after consulting with your doctor). B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc help to maintain the elasticity of blood vessels and strengthen their walls and can prevent or delay the appearance of varicose veins.
14. Consume herbs for improving blood flow as bilberry and butcher’s broom.
How to Get Rid of Spider Veins
Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but smaller. These tiny veins, found close to the surface of the skin, resemble spider webs or branches of a tree and are usually red, purple or blue.
Most often, spider veins are found on the legs (thighs, back of the calves, insides of the legs, ankles). This is due to the high pressures veins in the lower extremities have to endure – just think about the force of gravity, the pressure of body weight, and needing to carry blood all the way up to the heart!