Nowadays there is a common condition that usually cause panic at first, they are, for the most part, considered a cosmetic issue rather than a health issue, better known as Varicose veins or spider veins. The reason for this is because in most cases they are harmless, but they have an unattractive look to them. It’s understandable to want to have them removed, as they appear blue and bulgy.
There are many well-documented and well-researched ways to do this. But first, let’s look at varicose veins in more detail.
Varicose veins are regular veins which are very noticeable because they are swollen. More so, they occur in almost 50% of the adult population in the US.
A cousin of the varicose vein condition are spider veins. In this case, they don’t swell up but are equally visible. They spread throughout the leg like a spider web.
The general opinion is that varicose veins and spider veins are mostly an issue in women. The numbers are quite different. The estimate is that 55% of women and 45% of men have them. There is speculation that men simply don’t pay as much attention to them. This is because their legs are hidden by trousers most of the day. They also don’t hurt, which is why they are sometimes written off as part of the aging process.
Of course, they are indeed part of the aging process. Yet, if there is a solution for varicose veins and spider veins, why not resolve the issue?
Regardless of the case, they should be checked out by your doctor. This eliminates the possibility of a more serious underlying cause, such as deep vein thrombosis.
Why do we have veins? Veins return the blood back to the heart after the arteries send it out. That process is difficult because they are always fighting gravity. To stop blood from flowing back down to our lower extremities, we have valves that block the passages in the vein. As veins become weaker with age, the valves no longer function properly, causing the blood to pool in our legs.
The specific cause for varicose veins still remains unclear. They are usually considered hereditary. Other theories link to pregnancy, or prolonged pressure on the legs over time. Obesity and standing for long periods are considered as well.
The most common symptoms include itchiness in the affected region, with a general feeling of heaviness due to swelling. Restless leg syndrome has also been reported in many cases.
Now, to the part where we tackle treatment. Varicose veins can be treated invasively (i.e. having them surgically removed) or non-invasively. Keep in mind that many natural remedies have been developed to treat them.
Here are five non-invasive options.
1. Leg exercises
Exercise proves to be an excellent remedy for many conditions such as varicose veins. Leg muscles help veins push blood back to the heart, so even simple exercises such as walking daily can help. There are also low impact exercises such as leg lifts, calf raises, side lunges and bicycle lifts which are known to help. Talk to your gym instructor for more information on low impact exercises.
A quick visit to your local nutritionist will have you carrying out a pile of notes on different ways to battle varicose veins. Reducing your calorie intake, drinking plenty of water, getting your necessary dose of vitamin C and high-fiber foods are among general suggestions. Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 are also beneficial.
3. Compression therapy
One of the most recommended solutions by doctors are compression stockings. These are long, tight socks that gently squeeze around the ankle area, and gradually loosen as they go further up the leg. This is done to increase circulation by giving blood the extra push it needs.
Decreasing calorie intake means losing weight, but it’s important not to lose too much. Follow a calorie deficit table for more information on losing weight in a healthy way.
Sclerotherapy is a lesser-known method, but equally effective. In this procedure, a liquid which has a similar texture to watered down shaving cream is injected into the affected vein. The vein is weakened by the solution and then breaks down. After which, it is absorbed naturally by the body. Just like laser treatment, the body redirects blood flow to functional veins on its own.
The procedure takes about 10 minutes, and it is considered very effective because it also closes off “feeder veins”. Feeder veins are are the main factor in the recurrence of spider veins. Compression stockings are recommended for recovery, and depending on the case, the patient may need more than one procedure.
5. Laser treatment
If you have exercised and changed your diet and used the stockings to no success, then it’s time to …