It is estimated that nearly 20% of adults will experience varicose veins during their lifetime. Varicose veins are a common condition and are caused by weak or damaged vein walls and valves. Varicose veins can be blue, red, or flesh-colored in appearance and usually occur in the thighs, calves, or inside of the leg. Left untreated, they can cause leg pain, cramping, pelvic pain, cosmetic issues, and leg swelling.
The good news is there are many treatments for varicose veins, some of which you can do at home. Home treatments may help slow the development of varicose veins before you see a doctor. While there is no way to completely prevent varicose veins, some home remedies can help prevent them including:
Increase Physical Activity
Physical activity can increase overall health and is especially important for people suffering from varicose veins. Getting active is a great first step in your home remedy plan. Exercising improves blood flow which will help push along blood that has collected in veins. Regular exercise also helps lower blood pressure, which can be a contributing factor for varicose veins.
If you sit for a long time at home or at work, get up and move around several times a day. Changing your position regularly can improve blood circulation. If you are not active regularly, start small. You don’t have to run a marathon to fight varicose veins. Start with low-impact exercises like walking, yoga, and swimming. Exercise can also help reduce your risk for obesity, another contributing factor for varicose veins.
Adopt a Healthier Diet
Diets that are rich in potassium and flavonoids help prevent the development of varicose veins. Potassium deficiency can cause water retention. Water retention increases the volume of blood in your body and creates unwanted pressure on the vein valves. High potassium foods include yogurt, salmon, tuna, almonds, pistachios, leafy vegetables, and white beans, to name a few.
Flavonoids are powerful anti-inflammatories found in nearly all fruits and vegetables. Their anti-inflammatory properties help prevent varicose veins. Some flavonoids also strengthen the walls of blood vessels and promote cardiovascular health. Foods rich in flavonoids include spinach, broccoli, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, citrus fruits, garlic, bell peppers, and even cocoa.
Wear Compression Stockings
Compression stockings can help relieve symptoms of varicose veins. Compression stockings support blood flow and decrease pressure inside of veins. They fit tighter around the foot and loosen towards the calf muscles and into the knee. They are designed to help your lower leg veins push blood back up to the heart.
There are many different kinds of compression stockings available so it can be difficult to choose the best ones for your situation. They vary in the length of the sock as well as the strength of the compression pressure. While there are compression stockings you can purchase at a store, some are medically prescribed by a doctor. Talk to your healthcare professional for a recommendation on which compression stocking is right for you.
Say Goodbye to Varicose Veins
If you suffer from varicose veins, you are not alone. While home remedies can help address symptoms and discomfort, you may want to consider working with a specialist like Dr. Mathai. Dr. Mathai and the team at Premier Vein Specialists strive to treat varicose veins safely and compassionately. Dr. Mathai offers free screenings from the York and Hanover offices, so you understand the treatment options available. Most procedures are even covered by insurance.
Make an appointment for a free consultation at Premier Vein Specialists for answers to more specific questions about your condition: Click to contact us for a free screening or call (717) 412-7226.