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Applying uniform pressure on the legs with specially designed compression stockings is a tried and tested remedy for varicose veins. Loss of elasticity of the blood vessels and their consequent enlargement reduces the efficiency of the venous valves trying to stem the backflow of blood. The gentle, yet consistent pressure compresses the veins, reducing their diameter. This helps the valves to work more effectively to prevent the backflow. The additional support for the venous walls facilitates the smooth flow of blood, reducing the risk of stagnation and blood clot formation.
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Regularly getting exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve blood flow and lower inflammation, which you can add to the extensive list of exercise benefits. The National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute states that sitting (especially with poor posture — like forward head posture — or your legs crossed) or standing for long period of time without moving around much is associated with an increased risk for varicose veins and other forms of blood pooling. (5)
While people often use these two terms interchangeably, these two skin conditions are actually somewhat different. Their appearances are not exactly the same, although their causes are somewhat similar.
Varicose veins could also be caused by hyperhomocysteinemia in the body, which can degrade and inhibit the formation of the three main structural components of the artery: collagen, elastin and the proteoglycans. Homocysteine permanently degrades cysteine disulfide bridges and lysine amino acid residues in proteins, gradually affecting function and structure. Simply put, homocysteine is a ‘corrosive’ of long-living proteins, i.e. collagen or elastin, or lifelong proteins, i.e. fibrillin. These long-term effects are difficult to establish in clinical trials focusing on groups with existing artery decline. Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome and Parkes-Weber syndrome are relevant for differential diagnosis.
Hello Zaid, Sorry to hear that you have been unwell. I hope this article is helpful. You could apply the Venagel Horse chestnut topically to ease aching or heavy legs. Make sure you are getting plenty of fibre – constipation can make you more vulnerable to varicose veins! Get plenty of fruit and veg – certain herbs and spices are also brilliant for tackling inflammation, with cinnamon, garlic, turmeric and cayenne pepper being excellent for supporting a healthy circulation! Please see the web link below for more information on exercise and perhaps let your doctor know too due to your medical condition.
In addition, you can combine these with butcher’s broom (200 milligrams daily), grape seed extract (200 milligrams daily) and vitamin E (400 IU daily) to help boost blood flow, protect veins and achieve natural blood-thinning effects safely. University of Maryland Medical Center also recommends increasing intake of rutin, a type of bioflavonoid that may protect the walls of veins and help them work better. Bioflavonoids help relieve swelling, aching and pain from varicose veins and can be found in grape seed, pine bark, cranberry, hawthorn, blueberry and other plants that provide antioxidants like vitamin C. (10)
Self-care — such as exercising, losing weight, not wearing tight clothes, elevating your legs, and avoiding long periods of standing or sitting — can ease pain and prevent varicose veins from getting worse.
When the valve flaps separate, blood can flow backward through the valves. The backflow of blood fills the veins and stretches the walls even more. As a result, the veins get bigger, swell, and often twist as they try to squeeze into their normal space. These are varicose veins.
Varicose Veins Treatment
Varicose Veins Natural Treatment
The fruit of the bilberry plant can be eaten or made into extracts or tea. The horse chestnut tree (sometimes called buckeye) produces seeds, leaves, bark and flowers that can be found in extract, cream/lotion, tea or capsule form. Look for horse chestnut seed extract standardized to contain 16 percent to 20 percent aescin (escin), the active ingredient. Horse chestnut should be taken in doses around 100 milligrams once daily. I recommend taking bilberry in doses of about 160 milligrams, twice daily.
Both varicose and spider veins result when valves designed to keep blood from running backward away from the heart and back down into the leg fail or become loose and flabby — allowing backwash, which stretches veins and even slowly leaks into ankle and leg tissue, causing swelling.
All vitamins should ideally be supplied to the body through food; hence, foods rich in B6, folate, and B12 can benefit people with varicose veins. Tuna, salmon, shrimp, chicken, turkey, and egg are excellent sources of these vitamins. Sweet potatoes, potatoes, sunflower seeds, avocados, bananas, broccoli, lentils, and lima beans are also good vegan sources.
Since legs are the farthest extremity from the heart, it requires extra effort to pump the blood up the veins in the leg and back into the heart against gravity. This is done by the calf muscles. There are paired valves in these veins to prevent backflow of the blood, but as the veins lose their elasticity and become dilated, these valves fail. This results in blood getting pooled in the veins, causing them to twist and bulge out.
Medical procedures are done either to remove varicose veins or to close them. Removing or closing varicose veins usually doesn’t cause problems with blood flow because the blood starts moving through other veins.
Gloviczki P, et al. The care of patients with varicose veins and associated chronic venous diseases: Clinical practice guidelines of the Society for Vascular Surgery and the American Venous Forum. Journal of Vascular Surgery. 2011;53:2S.
Rutin is considered an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antidiabetic supplement. It also has vascular benefits. It can strengthen weak blood vessels and capillaries that are often a precursor to varicose veins. Rutin has been used as a treatment for spider veins and varicose veins, as well as for swelling in the calves and ankles. As a dietary supplement, rutin typically comes in tablets or capsules.
“I usually explain that endovenous laser ablation [EVLT] provides a very good option, allowing patients to walk out of the clinic and go back to work the same or next day. I also explain that one treatment does not fit all and so we always consider other treatment methods,” he says.
You can use apple cider vinegar both externally and internally. For spot application, just dip a wash cloth in apple cider vinegar diluted with equal amount of water and place it over the swollen veins. Its drying effect reduces swelling and relieves pain.
The procedure to eliminate varicose veins and spider veins is called sclerotherapy. Generally a salt solution is injected directly into the vein. The solution irritates the lining of the blood vessel, causing it to swell and stick together, and the blood to clot. After a period of time, the vessel turns into scar tissue that fades from view.
The heart pumps blood into the arteries, but its return to the heart from the legs is aided by the movement of the calf muscles. That is why sedentary lifestyles are bad for varicose veins. When you have this condition, standing and sitting for extended periods should be avoided. Walking is a good activity since it boosts blood circulation, even though the veins in the legs have to carry the blood upwards against gravity.
If, at any time, the patient feels chest pain or have trouble breathing, this may indicate the presence of a blood clot in the blood vessels of the heart or lungs. The patient should go to a hospital emergency department immediately.
A 1996 study reported a 76% success rate at 24 months in treating saphenofemoral junction and great saphenous vein incompetence with STS 3% solution. A Cochrane Collaboration review concluded sclerotherapy was better than surgery in the short term (1 year) for its treatment success, complication rate and cost, but surgery was better after 5 years, although the research is weak. A Health Technology Assessment found that sclerotherapy provided less benefit than surgery, but is likely to provide a small benefit in varicose veins without reflux. This Health Technology Assessment monograph included reviews of epidemiology, assessment, and treatment, as well as a study on clinical and cost effectiveness of surgery and sclerotherapy.
Traditionally, varicose veins were investigated using imaging techniques only if there was a suspicion of deep venous insufficiency, if they were recurrent, or if they involved the saphenopopliteal junction. This practice is not now widely accepted. People with varicose veins should now be investigated using lower limbs venous ultrasonography. The results from a randomised controlled trial on patients with and without routine ultrasound have shown a significant difference in recurrence rate and reoperation rate at 2 and 7 years of follow-up.[unreliable medical source?]
For all of these procedures, the amount of pain an individual feels will vary, depending on the person’s general tolerance for pain, how extensive the treatments are, which parts of the body are treated, whether complications arise, and other factors. Because surgery is performed under anesthesia, pain is not felt during the procedure. After the anesthesia wears off, there can be some pain at or near the incision(s).
Vitamin B: There are a variety of B vitamins from the B complex group of vitamins that can help treat and prevent varicose veins by strengthening blood vessels. The B vitamins include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate (folic acid), vitamin B6, vitamin B12, biotin and pantothenic acid. If you eat a healthy balanced diet, this group of vitamins will be well distributed to aid vein health.
“Being a runner doesn’t cause varicose veins,” adds Gibson, though there’s controversy about whether exercise makes them worse or not.” Compression stockings can help prevent blood from pooling in your lower legs during exercise. “For patients who haven’t had their varicose veins treated and are running, I recommend compression. When you’re done running and are cooling off, elevate your legs,” she says.
The exact cause of this unwanted “body art” is not known, but a genetic tendency toward weak, vein valves plays a big role, Weiss says. Hormones also play a part, accounting for the increased incidence in women. Puberty, pregnancy (pregnant women are very prone), and menopause, as well as taking estrogen, progesterone, and birth control pills, can weaken vein valves and change leg circulation.
Stripping consists of removal of all or part the saphenous vein (great/long or lesser/short) main trunk. The complications include deep vein thrombosis (5.3%), pulmonary embolism (0.06%), and wound complications including infection (2.2%). There is evidence for the great saphenous vein regrowing after stripping. For traditional surgery, reported recurrence rates, which have been tracked for 10 years, range from 5–60%. In addition, since stripping removes the saphenous main trunks, they are no longer available for use as venous bypass grafts in the future (coronary or leg artery vital disease).
7. Lasers and intense pulsed light. Surface laser or intense pulsed light treatments, such as Vasculight and PhotoDerm, are other options. These devices use heat energy to selectively damage or destroy abnormal veins. An advantage of these treatments is that no needles or sclerosing solutions are required; however, there may be some minor discomfort. Side effects do occur, including discoloration or staining and blister formation. The results are often disappointing.
The illustration shows how a varicose vein forms in a leg. Figure A shows a normal vein with a working valve and normal blood flow. Figure B shows a varicose vein with a deformed valve, abnormal blood flow, and thin, stretched walls. The middle image shows where varicose veins might appear in a leg.
Many people experiencing symptoms of varicose veins will not require treatment. However, treatment may be considered if you experience troublesome symptoms, or if you suffer from complications of varicose veins. In addition, some people seek treatment for varicose veins for cosmetic reasons.
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Just like varicose veins, spider veins normally show up on the legs, backs of the thighs, calves, ankles and feet. Spider veins are usually smaller than varicose veins and not as painful or likely to cause symptoms since they’re located on the surface skin layers. Another similar condition is called reticular veins, which are larger than spider veins but smaller than varicose veins.
A 2007 report published in the Journal of the Royal College of Surgeons of England found that nerve injuries following varicose vein surgeries are common and that more than half the patients treated will develop some recurrent varicose sites within 10 years of surgery. (4)
SOURCES: Robert A. Weiss, MD, assistant professor of dermatology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore. Sandy S. Tsao, MD, instructor of dermatology, Harvard Medical School, Boston; dermatology assistant, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Molly Kimball, RD, sports nutritionist, Ochsner Clinic’s Elmwood Center, New Orleans. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.
Varicose veins can be found in many parts of the body. However, the term when used refers to the most common form of varicose veins in the body – those in the calf and thigh. This page describes the treatment options available for varicose veins in the legs.
According to a 2012 report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, “treatment options for varicose veins range from conservative (e.g., medications, compression stockings, lifestyle changes) to minimally invasive (e.g., sclerotherapy or endoluminal ablation), to invasive (surgical techniques), to hybrid (combination of ≥1 therapies).” (3)