Are the enlarged veins on your legs causing trouble? Are you sure they are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are large, twisted blue colored veins commonly found on the legs, thighs and ankles and occasionally around the anus. They are either genetic or congenital. Obesity, pregnancy, prolonged standing or straining due to chronic constipation or cough are the common reasons for varicose veins. They are mostly found in elders which worsen with age. Normally they have no symptoms except for their blue twisted and unpleasant appearance.
A varicose vein occurs when a vein becomes weak and incapable of carrying blood to the heart. Blood that gets pooled in these veins causes them to swell and enlarge. Varicose veins give you achy legs or ankles which are swollen and tired. The skin becomes dry and itchy as the condition worsens. The swollen veins break open resulting in bleeding sores.
The tiny varicose veins showing of the surface on the skin in red or blue are called spider veins. They are quite often seen on the legs and face of many people.
Living with Varicose Veins
- Eat fruits like grapes and berries. Blueberries and the like contain bioflavonoids which provide strength to the blood vessels.
- Avoid tight clothing especially socks or stockings, belts, pants or any other clothing that is tight on the waist or thighs.
- Always wear full-length, supportive stockings. Instead of knee-highs use regular support panty hose. Physicians can help on choosing the right kind of stockings for you to wear.
- Remember to put your feet up when you sit. You can also sit with your ankles crossed instead or crossing legs at the knee. It helps if you can sit with your feet flat on the floor too.
- Prop up your legs above your heart level as you lie down in the night.
- Eat a lot of fiber and increase your water intake.
- You also need to get extra Vitamin C for strong blood vessels.
- If your work demands a lot of sitting make sure to walk around every hour or so. Exercise your legs as you sit by resting the heels down and by lifting your toes up and down. Doing this for a few minutes every hour works well according to experts. This kind of exercise may seem a little odd for others but they are beneficial.
- With varicose, you should also sit down for a while and prop up your legs if you have been walking around a lot.
- Walking, running, cycling or dancing helps to push up the pooling blood from the bottom of the legs back to the heart. Look for yoga postures which can help blood circulation in the legs. The key is to exercise the muscles on the leg.
If you have the history of varicose running in the family you may want to look for preventive measures. Doctors generally suggest calf raises and exercises like walking half a mile daily as a preventive measure. Exercise would aid blood circulation in the body, pushing blood back toward the heart and preventing it from pooling in the legs.
If you have a painful clot or profuse bleeding you will have to seek immediate medical attention. In the same way, the appearance of a sudden lump or an open sore will have to checked by your physician. A medical evaluation is required to find the severity of your varicose veins and to decide on the right kind of treatment or surgery.