If you deal with varicose veins, you’re in good company. According to NCBI, about 20 percent of adults will deal with varicose veins at some point. For many people, they are little more than a cosmetic concern. But for others, varicose veins can be a bit more troublesome, causing pain and discomfort, and in rare instances, can even point to a more serious condition.
Varicose veins occur when a person’s veins become swollen and enlarged. They may appear purple or blue through the skin and sometimes bulge outward quite a bit. They are most commonly found on the backs of the calves or the inner leg.
Here, we will take a look at the most common home remedies for varicose veins. We will also dive into when you should seek the help of a professional in dealing with your vein issues.
Top 4 Home Remedies for Varicose Veins
Regular exercise is good for you for about a million reasons! But consistent exercise also encourages better blood circulation in the legs, which in turn, helps to push along the blood that has collected in the veins. Exercise can also help lower blood pressure, which is another contributing factor to the development of varicose veins. So, lace up those sneakers and get after it!
Lower impact workouts are best as they help get calf muscles working without undue strain. Walking, yoga, swimming and even cycling are all great low-impact choices.
Choose Clothes Wisely
Although it may seem to be conflicting advice at first glance, people with varicose veins may want to invest in both compression stockings and loose-fitting clothing.
Compression stockings, which are available at most pharmacies, can help by applying pressure to the legs, aiding the muscles and veins in moving blood toward the heart. Conversely, wearing tight-fitting clothes can restrict blood flow. You may find that your circulation is improved by wearing loose-fitting clothes that do not restrict the blood supply to the lower body. Also, wearing flat shoes instead of high heels may also help with varicose veins in the legs.
Plant and Herbal Extracts
A study from 2010 reports that sea pine extract and Butcher’s broom extract may both reduce leg swelling, or edema, that is often associated with varicose veins. And according to the National Institute of Health, taking grape seed extract may help to reduce swelling in the lower legs and other symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, though there is currently limited evidence for its effectiveness. As some dietary supplements can interact with prescription medications, we always recommend talking to your doctor about any herbal or plant-based supplements you are thinking about taking.
Look at Your Diet
Sodium-rich foods can cause the body to retain water, so cutting down on salty food can minimize water retention, which may help with discomfort from varicose veins. High-fiber foods can help to keep bowels moving and prevent constipation. This might help, as straining can aggravate damaged vein valves or make them worse. Foods high in fiber include whole grains and many fruits and vegetables.
Who Is Most At Risk for Varicose Veins?
- 60 years old or older
- Female (hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy or menopause can be a factor, as can birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy)
- Family history of varicose veins
- Standing or sitting for long periods
- Trauma to the leg
When to See an Expert
Varicose veins can definitely be more than a cosmetic concern. In some cases, if left untreated, they can pose significant risks to your wellbeing. Some significant health conditions related to venous disorder include:
- Superficial phlebitis is inflammation of a vein just below the surface of the skin, caused by decreased blood flow through the vein, damage to the vein or even blood clotting. Symptoms include redness and a firm, tender, warm vein. Pain and swelling also may occur. This condition increases your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, a potentially serious condition that involves a blood clot in a deep vein.
- Spontaneous bleeding can occur as the skin on top of the varicose veins becomes thin. The affected vein can be easily injured, even by clothing, bedding or a slight bump.
- Venous leg ulcers can develop when the enlarged vein does not provide adequate drainage of fluid from the skin. The swollen skin receives insufficient oxygen and an ulcer can form.
Putting off treatment for your varicose veins is unwise, and in some cases, can lead to more serious issues. No more hiding!
If home treatments for your varicose veins are not working or you are experiencing severe discomfort, it is time to see an expert. Lam Vascular & Associates offers several advanced treatments for varicose veins.
Dr. Russell Lam, Dr. Cassidy Duran, Dr. Esther Mihindu and Dr. Andres Katz treat your varicose veins in a variety of ways depending on how severe they are and your overall health. Advances in technology have allowed for minimally invasive treatments that have great success.
- Venefit Targeted Endovenous Therapy
- High Ligation
- Vein Stripping
Learn more about Lam Vascular’s advanced varicose vein treatments.
Not sure if your vein issues require treatment? Come see us. We can help you determine if one of the above treatments is right for you. Treatment can often be performed in-office on an outpatient basis with minimal downtime. Schedule a consultation now.