Approximately half of the United States population suffers from debilitating varicose veins. These dilated blood vessels usually occur in the legs. They are often caused by increased pressure in the veins which, after time, can weaken the walls of the vessel. This, in turn, causes the vessels to bulge as blood pools in certain parts of the vein. While many people who are affected by varicose veins only have a minor case of unsightly appearances, others have a much more severe reaction. The bulging purple veins can be excruciatingly painful, and can make it hard for people to complete their daily tasks. Luckily, there are ways that people can prevent varicose veins from occurring. Here are some tips given by leading medical professionals on ways you can strengthen your vessels, and avoid being plagued with the occurrence of varicose veins.
- Exercise: Not only does exercise strengthen the circulatory system, it improves overall blood circulation to the entire body. When the blood is able to move through the vessel walls smoothly, varicose veins are less likely to occur. Regular exercise also has many other positive health benefits, such as lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol, and muscle strength.
- Avoid standing for long periods of time: As you stand for an extended period of time, increased pressure is put on your legs and feet. This causes blood vessel walls to weaken. Due to the fact that standing is a requirement in various work environments, it is a major culprit of cases of bulging veins. If you need to stand for a long time period, try moving around as often as possible. You may even want to wear support stockings in order to minimize the pressure being put on your vessels.
- Lose Weight: People who are overweight are putting extra pressure on the vessels in their legs. By practicing healthy eating habits and exercising regularly, you will have many positive health benefits.
- Put your feet up: If you are on your feet all day, take some time to elevate your feet and relax your legs. Try to raise them level with your heart. This will allow gravity to release some of the pressure put on your legs all day. Not only will this help to prevent your blood from pooling within your vessels, but it is a great way to relax and reduce stress levels.
- Quit Smoking: It isn’t surprising that smoking has a negative effect on your blood pressure. High blood pressure leads to varicose veins in many individuals. The nicotine found in cigarettes can also help to create plaque along the walls of the vessels. This can limit the blood flow, and create bulging.
- Watch out for high heels: Rethink your footwear when it comes to high heels. Opt for a more comfortable flat shoe. Not only will your feet be happier, but your leg vessels will be too.
- Don’t cross your legs: Sitting properly with your feet on the floor will help to improve circulation. Many women cross their legs while sitting, which can restrict blood flow from and to the legs.
- Limit birth control pills: Long-term use of birth control pills that have high-estrogen levels are thought to alter the functioning of the circulatory valves. Weakened valves often fail at pushing the blood up toward the heart, against the force of gravity.
- Compression Stockings: Although compression stockings are often worn after certain surgical procedures, they work great for protecting your legs against varicose veins as well. They reduce pressure in the legs by offering medical grade compression. As these stockings come in various compression levels, you will want to talk to your pharmacist or doctor before purchasing a pair. They can help you determine which compression is best for your legs.
- Medical Treatments: If your varicose veins have become painful, there are medical options available to reduce the incidence, as well as remove current vessels. Treatments are able to stop new varicose veins from forming. There are also procedures that can reduce the appearance and size of existing varicose veins.
Many times, varicose veins can indicate a more harmful underlying condition. It is important to see your doctor right away if you are having painful varicose veins. Most insurance will pay for varicose vein treatments, as the occurrence of these veins may lead to more severe health problems.