Preventing Varicose Veins

By on November 28, 2016
Preventing Varicose Veins

Most women put off worrying about varicose veins because they believe that varicose veins aren’t a risk until they are quite elderly. The truth is that varicose veins can happen to anybody at any age. They are the product of several factors.

According to the experts at the Intermountain Vein Center:

“Varicose veins are estimated to affect up to 60% of the American population and are more prevalent in women. Varicose veins are caused by the failure of valves in veins not apparent on the skin surface. Risk factors include:

  • Family history: Heredity is the number one contributing factor to the formation of varicose veins. Up to 50% of people with family history will develop vein disease.
  • Sex: Visible varicose veins are found nearly twice as often in women.
  • Pregnancy: Increased blood volume and hormones during pregnancy contributes to the weakening of veins and valves.
  • Age: Gradually the valves in veins weaken from years of use, allowing blood to reflux or travel in the opposite direction.
  • Trauma: Blood clots and trauma to veins can cause valves to no longer function, leading to the formation of varicose veins.
  • Occupational: Sitting or standing for extended periods of time can contribute to vein disease. Blood is pumped back to the heart by muscle contractions in the leg. Sitting or standing puts more strain on veins as they return blood to the heart.”

If you have a history of poor circulation or have noticed symptoms commonly associated with venous disease, it’s a good idea to get a thorough workup by your physician. They can help you figure out whether your varicose veins are a simple issue or something that requires professional intervention. If your issues are simple and your doctor allows you to self-treat here are some things you can do to heal your varicose veins and prevent them from happening again in the future.

Eat Properly

Most varicose veins are the result of circulation interference with certain areas of your veins. A healthy and balanced diet will help you maintain a healthy body weight and keep your veins from clogging up with unhealthy cholesterol, fats, etc. If you’re unsure where to start making dietary changes, look for “heart healthy” nutritional plans and meal planning guides.

Working Out

A sedentary lifestyle is perhaps the biggest contributing factor–outside of genetics–for varicose veins. When you don’t move very much, your blood tends to pool and your circulation shows down. You don’t necessarily have to go from spending every night lounging in front of the TV to going for hours long runs immediately. In fact, it’s better for you if you don’t. Start slowly and work your way up. This way you’ll build muscle while also burning fat and you’ll be more likely to stick with the routine. Couch to 5K is a great program if you want to be a runner. You can also choose lower impact exercises like walking, swimming, yoga, etc.

Change Up Your Workspace

If you spend all day at a desk, you might not think you have a whole lot of options in terms of how much activity you get during the day. To improve your circulation switch from a sitting desk to an adjustable desk. This way you can stand for at least part of your day. Some people like to stand all day. Others install treadmill desks so they can walk while they work. An adjustable desk lets you switch from one to the other as needed.

Choose Your Clothing Wisely

Nobody really wants to police your fashion choices here. What we do want to suggest, however, is that you wear looser fitting clothing. Clothing that is tight or binding can put your circulation at risk and even cut off circulation to various parts of your body, increasing your risk of varicose veins. Choose clothing that fits properly or is even a little bit loose to promote blood flow and comfort throughout the day.

Compression Gear

Compression clothing is the exception to this rule. Compression clothing–particularly for feet and legs has proven to be quite useful in the reduction of swelling and pain for people who are prone to clots and can help alleviate varicose veins as well. Talk to your doctor before you incorporate these pieces of clothing into your wardrobe, though. There is such a thing as wearing the clothes for too long.

There are plenty of other home remedies for varicose veins that you can try. Some of these might help improve the aesthetics of these veins. The only real way to get rid of them, though, is with medical intervention. Thankfully, if you use these tips and adjust your lifestyle accordingly, you can prevent them from happening in the first place.

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