Find out about some simple changes you can make right now to help address and prevent varicose veins
If you suffer from varicose veins then you’re well aware that they’re not just an aesthetic problem. They can be incredibly painful and can lead to complications such as ulcers, bleeding, blood clots and even deep vein thrombosis. The good news is there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help you manage these symptoms, to keep your varicose veins from worsening and to prevent new ones from forming.
1. Commit to a regular exercise routine
This doesn’t necessarily mean running 10k six times a week or bench pressing your body weight. In fact, activities like weight lifting, distance running and yoga can actually put more stress on your diseased veins, meaning that you should stick to gentler activities anyways. A simple 30 minute walk several days per week is enough to improve your circulation. Try swimming, walking or cycling.
2. Be aware of what you wear
Believe it or not, the clothes you wear actually have a big effect on varicose veins. Tight clothing that constricts your waist, groin or legs can restrict blood flow between your legs and your heart, increasing the stress on the veins in your lower legs. Avoid tight underwear, belts, waistbands, body shapers, or panty hose. Loose clothing gives you an unrestricted range of movement and blood flow. Prolonged used of high heels should also be avoided.
On the other hand, or foot as the case may be, compression garments on your lower legs and feet can help to keep the blood flowing in the right direction and keep it from pooling. Compression socks and stockings are made with a flexible fabric and are designed to apply different pressure to different areas to keep the blood moving.
3. Think about what you’re eating
It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that what you eat will have an effect on your varicose veins. With just a few simple substitutions you can make a real difference in how you feel! Processed sugars place added stress on your vascular system and can exacerbate issues with varicose veins over time. Try to replace as much processed sugar as possible with fruit. Simple starches are processed similarly to sugar by the body, so try replacing items made with white flour with whole wheat equivalents.
It’s time to beat the habit of asking someone to “pass the salt” at every meal. Salt can cause the body to retain water, leading to swelling and increased pressure in the veins.
4. Elevate your legs
Whenever possible, raise your legs when you’re sitting or lying down. Sitting or standing for long periods can cause blood to pool in the legs and feet as your body is working against gravity to move your blood back to your heart. If you have a sedentary job, commit to making a serious effort to get up and move around, changing positions several times throughout the day. At the end of the day try elevating your legs on a pillow while you’re sitting at the couch or lying in bed.
5. Maintain a healthy weight
This will come along naturally if you are eating healthfully and exercising regularly, but it’s important to mention that this is a key factor in managing your varicose veins. Excess weight puts additional pressure on the veins in the lower legs, making them more likely to wear out over time. Additionally, being overweight can actually decrease the effectiveness of any vein treatments. Reach and maintain a healthy weight to decrease the chance of new varicose veins forming and to make treatment of existing varicose veins more effective.
Vein Doctors Group is your choice for addressing problem veins.
With locations in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Cairns, Ballina, and Mackay, we are proud to provide Queensland and Northern NSW with a variety of treatments to target the root cause of problem veins and offer a long-term solution.