How Can I Stop My Varicose Veins from Getting Worse?
Because varicose veins are a progressive condition, it’s important to take steps to prevent them from getting worse.
If you’ve noticed the beginning signs of varicose veins — bulging, twisty, rope-like lines on your lower legs or feet — you may think they’ll simply go away. Unfortunately, varicose veins are a progressive vascular disorder, and the only proven method of permanently eliminating varicose veins is through medical treatment.
Even if you aren’t experiencing any pain and swelling from varicose veins, and they are merely a cosmetic issue for you, you should nevertheless monitor their status for any worsening symptoms. Without treatment, varicose veins can progress to several serious complications, including slow-healing sores that lead to infection or even blood clots. So the moment you see varicose veins pop out is the exact time you should begin to stop them from getting worse.
How to Stop Varicose Varicose Veins from Getting Worse
Nearly a third of all Americans have varicose veins, so you are not alone. Some causes of varicose veins are out of your control — namely, heredity and gender. Women tend to get varicose veins because of hormonal changes in pregnancy and menopause. Fortunately, you have the power to slow the progression of varicose veins by:
Exercising. A sedentary lifestyle forces your veins to work harder to pump blood back to the heart. Overwhelmed by too much blood, tiny valves tasked with pushing blood upward through the veins are weakened by the pressure of gravity, which allows blood to accumulate in the vein. Once that happens, varicose veins emerge from under the skin. But strengthening the calf muscles can help you support your veins; strong muscles help the veins pump blood, thus minimizing pain and swelling. Focus on workouts that target calf muscles, such as walking, biking, and swimming. When not working out, you can still reinvigorate your muscles. If you sit or stand for long periods, take short walks or flex your ankles to keep the blood moving.
Elevating Your Legs. Whenever possible, raise your legs above your heart by propping up your legs on a pillow or chair. This simple action counteracts gravity and drains blood back to the heart, thereby reducing the strain on your leg veins.
Losing Weight. Obesity is one of the main culprits in varicose vein development. Excess weight puts even more stress on your veins, which are already contending with downward gravity. Plus, obesity can cause high blood pressure, which damages fragile veins and arteries due to increased pressure within the vein walls. Losing weight can help with all of these concerns.
Eating Right. Choose your menu with your vein health in mind. Meals should include a good amount of bioflavonoids, which fight inflammation and boost blood flow and are most commonly found in colorful fruits and vegetables. Bioflavonoid-rich foods include strawberries, broccoli, oranges, and asparagus, among many others. In addition, avoid foods high in sugar and salt, and drink plenty of water to maintain healthy circulation.
Wearing Compression Stockings. These tight-fitting elastic hosiery gently press the veins and encourage blood flow in the legs. Compression stockings come in a variety of styles and pressure grades. Your vein specialist will discuss how far your varicose veins have progressed to decide which pair is right for you. You might only require a lower-grade compression class of stockings, which can be purchased in your local drugstore or medical supply outlet. For a stronger grade, you’ll need a prescription. Compression stockings are strongly recommended if you sit for extended periods, either at work or on a plane.
Getting Treatment. Despite your best efforts to slow the progression of your varicose veins on your own, you may not be able to do so without medical intervention. Fortunately, current varicose vein treatments are vastly different from those of decades ago, when invasive surgery was the only option. Today, you have several minimally invasive and surprisingly quick procedures from which to choose. Sclerotherapy and endovenous ablation use either a safe solution or thermal heat to close up the clogged vein, so it eventually disappears as blood diverts to healthy veins. With few precautions, you’ll return to your normal routine in days.
Is it Time to Take Care of Your Varicose Veins?
The physicians at Center for Vein Restoration are specially trained in vein care, including the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins. We offer the latest in therapies, both surgical and nonsurgical. Contact us for an appointment.