Varicose veins are those large, protruding, and often gnarled veins found in the feet and legs. Closely related are smaller spider veins, which are not as prominent but found anywhere on the body including the face.
Though often just unsightly, varicose veins can also lead to pain, circulatory problems, and even blood clots.
• Pregnancy- Pregnancy is a common cause of varicose veins due to the amount of stress put on the feet and legs and the vascular system in general.
• Age- Through normal wear and tear, a person is more likely to develop varicose veins as they age.
Anyone can develop varicose veins, but many factors do make one more susceptible.
• Gender- Women are more likely to develop varicose veins than men.
• Obesity- Extra weight, especially around the middle, puts pressure on the feet and legs which can lead to varicose veins.
• Genetics- Like most traits, good or bad, varicose veins can be inherited.
• Occupation- An occupations in which you spend a lot of time standing or on your feet can contribute to varicose veins.
Prevention and Treatment:
There are ways in which we can prevent varicose veins or deal with them if they have already developed.
• Weight loss- If you have extra pounds, it is advisable to lose them, thereby putting less pressure on your legs and feet.
• Proper footwear- If you walk a lot or stand much of your work day, make sure you are wearing comfortable and supportive shoes.
• Exercise and relaxation- Exercise helps with circulation, especially low-impact aerobics. Equally important is proper rest. If you have varicose veins, elevate your legs while resting.
• Good nutrition- Food can be medicine with any ailment and varicose veins is no exception. Below are a couple of smoothie recipes to help you fight varicose veins.
• Mango Green– Loaded with antioxidants and vitamin K in the kale and spinach,it attacks free radicals and promotes vascular health. The ginger acts as a stimulant improves circulation.
o 3 cups mango
o 1 cup kale
o 3 pitted Medjool dates
o One celery stalk
o 1 cup coconut or filtered water
o 1-inch ginger root
Place ingredients in a blender for 30-60 seconds and enjoy!
• Raspberry Blueberry– If you’re looking for something a little less green that will fight free radicals and repair damaged proteins in the blood vessels, try this:
-1 cup fresh raspberries
-1 cup fresh blueberries
-¾ cup rice milk
-¾ cup crushed ice
-1 Tbsps. ground flaxseed
Blend and enjoy!
Ibuprofen and Vitamin K creams can help with minor discomforts. A healthy lifestyle can help decrease or even eliminate varicose veins. If, however, your veins are very painful or swollen, it is time to seek medical advice. Swelling and pain can be a sign of a blood clot, which can be a life-threatening condition.