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Top 7 Tips To Treat And Prevent Varicose Veins
By Raymond Lee
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Some people think of varicose veins as nothing more than a cosmetic problem. Yes, those blue bulges and streaks just beneath the surface of the skin may be unsightly. But they are nothing to worry about, right? Well that depends. Varicose veins can cause quite a bit of pain. And it is not the sort of pain that just disappears overnight. Once they show up on your legs, they are there for the long haul. A varicose vein forms when the wall of a vein weakens and develops a pocket. In these pockets the blood flow is slowed, leading to inflammation and a dull ache. Over time, your symptoms can intensify. The skin over the vein may become discoloured or dry and irritated. The vein itself may ulcerate, which can cause it to bleed. Since people tend to keep their varicose veins under wraps, you may not realize just how common this condition is. An estimated 30 to 60 percent of adults have them, the majority being women over age 40. Here are some tips that you can consider to adopt to treat and prevent varicose veins.
- Evaluate Estrogen
If you are a woman with a family history of varicose veins, taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy may increase your odds of developing the condition. Both contain estrogen, and estrogen opens certain connections between arteries and veins, increasing pressure. You may want to discuss your options with your doctor.
- Stay Regular
Straining to move your bowels can affect the valves in the veins of your legs. When a valve does not function properly, it causes the vein wall to weaken, which sets the stage for a varicose vein. If you are prone to constipation, increase your fiber intake. Among the best food sources are fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain breads and cereals.
- Get A Move On
Walk as much as possible. Walking creates a pumping action in your foot and calf, which reduces pressure in the veins on the surface of your legs. It also helps move the blood back up to your heart so it can’t pool in your veins.
- Have A Seat When Necessary
Do not sit if you can walk, and do not stand if you can sit. If you have a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time, try to work it so that you can sit down once in a while. You should also try to walk around for at least 10 minutes every 1½ hours.
- Stock Up On Support
Support stockings compress the vein and help keep pain and inflammation in check. They provide varying degrees of pressure. Generally, the more severe the varicose vein, the more pressure that is required. You can buy stockings over the counter to start, but eventually, your doctor may have to write you a prescription for an even stronger pair. You should wear your stockings for all your waking hours, then take them off while you sleep.
- Shed Some Pounds
Overweight does not cause varicose vein, but it can definitely aggravate them. For one thing, it puts extra pressure on your legs – just what strained veins don’t need. For another, it is usually a sign of inactivity, too much sitting or standing and not enough moving around.
- Favor Snug-Fitting Footwear
Your shoes can provide an extra measure of support in the foot and ankle area, which is just where you need it. You want the highest level of compression at the lowest part of your body. Just be sure your shoes are not so snug that they actually make your feet hurt.
Raymond Lee is one of the foremost experts in the health and fitness industry and is the Founder of Bodyfixes Group specializing in body health, muscle development and dieting. He is currently the author of the latest edition of "Neck Exercises and Workouts." Visit http://www.bodyfixes.com for more information.
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Article Submitted On: December 11, 2007