FAQs for Your Varicose Veins
Can I eliminate or reduce my varicose veins?
While it's true gender, pregnancy, hormones, sex, aging, trauma, and genetics affect varicose veins, there are ten easy lifestyle changes you can start to prevent them!
- Start with exercise. Choose your favorite sport or activity or learn a new sport or activity! You'll find the options to be limitless and you may even find yourself having fun along the way. Be smart and start small. Easy or low-impact exercises are best. Start with walking, dancing, or swimming to improve your circulation. Impact exercises tend to increase the blood pressure and promote varicose veins. Stay away from weightlifting, too, for the same reason.
- Elevate your legs whenever possible. And don't cross your legs.
- Interrupt long periods of sitting and standing.
- Try compression hose or stockings.
- Make the necessary dietary changes. For example, add fiber and vitamins to your daily regimen. Avoid foods, such as processed and refined foods, alcohol, cheese, fried foods, ice cream, and sugar that aggravate varicose veins.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing.
- Lose weight. Excess weight can put undue pressure on your legs.
- Massage or rub your legs. Be careful not to apply pressure directly on the varicose veins.
- Aromatherapy and external and internal herbal treatments are highly recommended.
- Incorporate an all-natural dietary supplement in your daily regimen.
What are blue veins and what causes blue veins?
The blue veins you see just under the skin are called blue because of the deoxygenated blood that goes from the body to the heart. You may hear them referred to as varicose veins or spider veins.
What are the symptoms of varicose veins?
Varicose veins may be responsible for the achy or heavy feelings you've experienced. Or perhaps your legs feel fatigued. Most people feel these aches and pains towards the end of the day. Symptoms may also include burning, cramping, itching, restlessness (not to be confused with Restless Leg Syndrome), and throbbing.
Are varicose veins considered serious?
For most, varicose veins are simply a cosmetic nuisance and not a medical emergency. However, if they are not treated with self-care or medical intervention, they will worsen.
What could happen if I don't tend to my varicose veins?
If varicose veins are not tended to, the following could result:
- Blood clots
- Vein infection
- Swelling of the feet
- Venous ulceration (ulcers at the ankles)
- Thrombophlebitis (inflammation of the varicose vein)
- Venous eczema (dry and itchy skin surrounding the varicose vein)
- Venous pigmentation (brown-stained colored skin around the ankles)
How common are varicose veins?
Varicose veins affect one out of every two people over the age of 50. Women are two three times more likely to get varicose veins than men. According to the U.S. News & World Report, 25 million Americans live with varicose veins. Broken down, 50-55% of all women and 40-45% of all men live with varicose veins.
Is self-diagnosis good enough?
While your varicose veins are obvious, only your health care professional can accurately diagnose the severity of your condition.
So there is life after varicose veins?
Absolutely! As you read those lifestyle changes above, hopefully you realized a healthy lifestyle really isn't so difficult. Here's to you, your healthy veins, and healthy lifestyle!
Photo Credit: Edith Ogleby