Varicose Veins

If you have noticed blue or purplish protruding veins running down your legs you probably suffer from varicose veins. The condition is a lot more prevalent among older individuals, and is unlikely to affect teenagers or young adults. Women are also a lot more susceptible to varicose veins, especially during pregnancy, pre-menstruation and menopause. There are different types of varicose veins, some of which include varicose veins in the scrotum, venous lakes, telangiectasia, varicose veins in the pelvis, feeder veins or reticular veins and spider veins. Hemorrhoids are also a form of varicose veins, as the swelling and enlargement of veins around the anus is caused by a venous insufficiency. This is why most people who suffer from hemorrhoids are also likely to develop varicose veins in the legs.

Varicose Veins Picture

Varicose veins can occur in any part of the body, but the veins that are affected are more commonly found in the legs, especially near the feet. This could be due to the fact that activities like walking and standing put added pressure on the veins in this region. Varicose veins causes pain and discomfort in the area affected. The severity of the pain caused by varicose veins depends on several factors and varies from mild discomfort to unbearable pain. Varicose veins is not just a health concern and to many individuals this becomes a cosmetic blemish as well.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for varicose veins, but under doing the right treatment in the earlier stages can help manage the condition to a great extent. You could opt for some commonly used varicose veins treatment options like vein stripping and sclerotherapy in order to deal with the condition.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

It isn’t necessary that if you have varicose veins you will experience pain, as this symptom is not common to everyone afflicted with this condition. In such cases, the varicose veins related symptoms that may be evident include a change in the color of the veins, as they become bluish or even dark purple. One of the other common varicose veins symptoms in both men and women is the twisting and bulging of the veins on the legs. This symptom is clearly visible as the veins take on the appearance of tightly wound cords. However, as the condition progresses, the symptoms may become more uncomfortable. Some of the other varicose veins symptoms include:

  • A heavy and achy feeling in the legs
  • Intense pain, which could worsen upon sitting
  • Appearance of skin ulcers, mainly around the ankle area
  • Itchiness around the veins
  • Muscle cramping, burning, swelling and throbbing in the lower leg

One of the main concerns for people with this condition is the cosmetic affect, as the condition can be quite unsightly. This is particularly worrying for women and you may have to put away those skirts and shorts for a while. Until you can get some varicose veins symptom relief this may be your only option.

It is very common for women to experience at least one varicose veins symptom in pregnancy. This could be due to the increased amounts of blood in the body, which exerts increased pressure on the veins. Fortunately, when varicose veins symptoms appear during pregnancy, they are just a temporary problem. The condition resolves naturally once your pregnancy concludes. There are also many ways in which the uncomfortable symptoms can be controlled during pregnancy.

Causes of Varicose Veins

The exact causes of varicose veins are still not clear, but it is believed that increased pressure on the veins could cause them to enlarge and bulge. Weakness or the absence of valves in the veins could also lead to poor circulation and subsequently the development of varicose veins. Some of the common causes of varicose veins include:

  • Weakness in the walls of the veins
  • Formation of blood clots in the veins, which obstruct the flow of blood
  • Genetics and heredity factors
  • Obesity or being overweight significantly increase the amount of pressure exerted on the veins
  • Congenital abnormalities in the veins
  • Spending a long period of time in one position, which restricts the flow of blood

Pregnancy is also regarded as one of the causes of varicose veins, due to the increase in weight, which translates to an increase in pressure on the veins in the legs and feet.

Men on the other hand are more likely to suffer from testicular varicose veins, which is one of the leading causes of male infertility. One of the main testicular varicose veins causes is the dilation of blood vessels in the scrotum. This is the result of valve failure in the veins.

When dealing with varicose veins the causes and cures are inseparable, which is why an accurate diagnosis is crucial to effective treatment. For this reason, it would be best for you to consult a professional health care provider for accurate information on varicose veins causes, prevention and cures.

Remedies for Varicose Veins

Fortunately, varicose veins is rarely threatening and in most cases you wouldn’t even require hospitalization. Treating varicose veins could include self-care measures, some basic lifestyle changes and different medical procedures. In case the problem is severe or if it is a source of great discomfort to you could avail of some of the treatment options below to get rid of the condition:

  • Sclerotherapy: Small and medium-sized veins are injected with a solution that scars and closes them, and in a few weeks, the bulging and discoloration should fade. No anesthesia is required and if done correctly, this procedure can be quite effective.
  • Vein Stripping: Making small incisions, a long vein in the leg is removed, without affecting the blood circulation in the legs
  • Catheter Assisted Treatment: In this option, a catheter is inserted into an enlarged vein and its tip is heated. When the catheter is pulled out, the vein collapses and just seals itself shut.
  • Endoscopic Vein Surgery: This procedure is more suitable for cases of varicose veins where there is ulceration on the legs. A minute video camera is inserted into the leg, so that the varicose veins can be seen and closed. After that, the veins may be removed through a small incision.
  • Laser Surgery: This is one of the newest and most advanced forms of treatment, where a strong burst of laser light is used on the vein, to make it fade and disappear, without the help of needles.

Most people opt for natural varicose veins treatment, which could include the use of natural herbs and home remedies. One of the most commonly used ingredients in varicose veins natural remedies is Horse Chestnut Seed extract, as it reduces the swelling and the discomfort. Some of the other commonly used herbs in the treatment of spider veins or other types of varicose veins include Butcher’s Broom, Dandelion, Bilberry Extract, Yarrow, Witch Hazel, Hawthorn and Gotu Kola. Many enthusiasts of natural and traditional medicine also suggest that apple cider vinegar and honey are excellent home remedies for varicose veins.

It is a well-known fact that when it comes to varicose veins relief, lifestyle changes alone can bring about a big difference. Some of the effective varicose and spider veins remedies include:

  • Getting an adequate amount of exercise each day
  • Shedding the extra pounds, to reduce the pressure on the legs and the feet
  • Wearing appropriate footwear; tight fitting or high heeled shoes are best avoided
  • Improving the circulation of blood in the legs, by moving around or keeping the legs elevated for short periods of time at regular intervals
  • Try to avoid sitting with your legs crossed.

These tips may help to control or prevent the occurrence of varicose veins, but medical attention is necessary. This is particularly true for individuals suffering from varicose veins related to heart conditions, as it is absolutely essential to have a doctor monitor the condition closely.

Diet for Varicose Veins

The influence of your diet on your health can never be understated. Many people claim to have found relief from the condition, with the help of varicose veins diet therapy. Avoid going on any restrictive or rigorous diet plan. Instead consult with your doctor and a nutritionist to formulate a balanced and wholesome diet plan. This said there are some foods that should be consumed in greater quantities because of their beneficial effects, while the intake of certain other foods should be reduced. Given below are some foods that are a part of the varicose veins diet prevention therapy:

  • Foods high in B-Complex Vitamins, like unprocessed brown rice, barley and wheat. Concentrated meat varieties like tuna, liver and turkey are also quite high in the vitamin. Some of the other foods that are excellent sources of Vitamin B include brewer’s yeast, beans, chili pepper, bananas, molasses, nutritional yeast, tempeh, lentils and potatoes.
  • Vitamin C rich sources of food, like peppermint, watermelon, pineapples, asparagus, zucchini, limes, oranges, snow peas, spinach, chard Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, strawberries, kale, broccoli, parsley, fennel, lettuce, celery, raspberries, tomatoes, grapefruit, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, cabbage, papaya, turnip greens, strawberries, kale and broccoli.
  • Beta carotene or vitamin A high source of food, like carrots, pink grapefruit, water squash, pumpkin, eggs, yogurt, chicken liver, beef, green leafy veggies, cottage cheese, milk, sweet potatoes and cantaloupe.
  • Varieties of food, high in Vitamin E, like leafy greens, milk, nuts, eggs, avocado and asparagus.

Following a varicose veins diet and an exercise routine can bring about a significant amount of relief. These lifestyle changes are however necessary to bolster the effects of medical treatment and it is important to have the condition monitored by a doctor regularly.

Suggestion for Varicose Veins

One of the simplest methods of relieving varicose veins pain would be through the use of compression stockings and socks. This method has traditionally not been very popular because of the appearance of the stockings and also because of doubts about their effectiveness. The variety of compression stockings available today are however of a much higher quality and they do help considerably. The stockings exert a gentle pressure, supporting and encouraging an efficient flow of blood.

Exercise of any form is beneficial not just for weight loss, but also because of its effects on circulation. Yoga is probably the best fitness discipline for sufferers of varicose veins as it exerts an enormous positive influence on circulatory problems. Inverted postures are an important feature of yoga and their practice eases vascular pressure in the lower extremities.

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