Problems with varicose veins and vein related disorders now affect over 40 million people in the US – this makes venous disorders one of the most frequent chronic conditions. Issues with poorly functioning vein valves and chronic venous insufficiency are related to our modern lifestyles of prolonged sitting and standing, unhealthy diet, as well as other risk factors, such as family history, gender, pregnancy, birth control pill, etc.
Serious conditions of varicose veins should always be treated by a medical professional – if you are in extreme pain, don’t hesitate and seek medical attention. In some cases, varicose veins can lead to much more serious conditions such as deep vein thrombosis or leg ulcers.
However, mild cases of chronic venous insufficiency can be taken care of with some common sense tips and recommendations:
- Maintain a healthy diet – avoid foods high in salt and include foods high in fiber and potassium. Drink lots of water throughout the day to keep hydrated and thus maintain healthy blood circulation.
- Exercise on a regular basis – especially exercise such as walking, cycling, swimming or yoga will tone your inner calf muscles that are vital for the properly functioning valves. Physical exercise will also help you maintain your weight – obesity is another aggravating factor when fighting vein related disorders.
- Try giving up smoking if you are a smoker – smoking contributes to high blood pressure, one the most common risk factors of varicose veins.
- Elevate your legs regularly throughout the day, especially if your job requires constant standing or sitting. Bringing your feet above your heart for at least 15 minutes at a time will improve your blood circulation, reduce ankle swelling and make it easier for your heart to pump blood against gravity.
- Wear supportive compression hosiery – compression stockings will keep vein valves in the right position to function more properly, and thus reduce pain and swelling.
- Avoid crossing your legs when sitting, or at least cross them at your ankles rather than your knees.
- Adjust your fashion style – for as great as they look, heels are the worst enemies of varicose veins, and so are skinny jeans! Wear loose clothing that will provide proper blood flow.
- During pregnancy, sleep on your left side to reduce the pressure from the uterus on the veins in the pelvic area.