Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that appear on the back or lower leg. These enlarged veins appear flesh-colored, dark purple or blue. At times, these veins are just above the surface of the skin. When they become severe, however, varicose veins form clumpy masses above the skin. Hemorrhoids, which develop on the vagina or anus, are actually a form of varicose veins. Varicose vein symptoms range from mild pain and swelling to severe pain that require medical intervention. Certain risk factors increase peoples chances of developing this condition, but lifestyle changes are the first line of defense in varicose vein prevention.
Being overweight or obese is one of the risks factors for developing varicose veins because excess pounds place pressure on the legs as well as the entire circulatory system. Losing weight removes some of the pressure placed on the legs. Losing as little as 10 to 15 pounds helps improve a person’s varicose vein symptoms.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Women’s Health Information Center states that exercise improves leg strength, increases blood circulation, and supports healthy veins. Exercise also promotes weight loss, one of the symptoms of varicose veins. Women’s Health recommends activities like walking, swimming and running. Because pregnancy is a risk factor for varicose veins, exercise should be part of the routine.
Women’s Health states that people can prevent the development of varicose veins by elevating their legs as much as possible. Legs should be raised 8 to 10 inches above the heart to promote blood flow and boost circulation. This varicose vein prevention method can be done in a reclined position or when sitting on a sofa or chair.
Like many health conditions, dietary changes help with varicose vein prevention, primarily fiber. One of the causes of varicose veins is straining during bowel movements due to constipation. In addition to eating fresh fruit and vegetables, people should eat a fiber-rich diet as a varicose vein treatment and prevention option. Whole grains like bran prevent constipation. Reducing sodium prevents water retention and swelling.
Natural Remedies states that maintaining good posture helps prevent varicose veins. Maintaining good posture includes not standing on one foot, which places pressure on that leg. To prevent these veins, people should also avoid sitting or standing for a long time. To increase blood flow, walk every 30 minutes if working in an office job. After long car or plane trips, move feet up and down as much as possible.
Varicose vein prevention includes avoiding clothes that cut off circulation. Clothing that increase the risk of developing varicose veins consists of items such things that are tight around the waist or legs. These items of clothing cut off circulation. Women should avoid wearing high heel shoes for on a daily basis. To increase circulation, invest in compression stocking.
If people happen to get varicose veins, they may have to invest in varicose vein treatments that reduces inflammation or decreases the appearance of veins, such as laser treatments or injections. Being proactive about varicose vein prevention reduces the chances of getting this condition.