One of the problems for many women and about 15% of men is varicose veins on their legs. In this disease, the vessels in the legs (veins) that return blood rich in carbon dioxide and waste products of metabolism deform, expand, lose tone and appear under the skin.
In addition to cosmetic damage, changes in the structure of the veins and impaired blood circulation lead to unpleasant sensations in the legs, and even to pain, edema and a feeling of heaviness. Although there are various medical tools and procedures that help in treatment, it is important from the very beginning, as soon as the first signs of varicose veins appear, to get involved in prevention - it will help you avoid pain, swelling, tired legs, external cosmetic defects. / p>
What's the problem?
Varicose veins, commonly called varicose veins, are severe changes in the venous wall, its weakness, excessive stretching that causes dark blue or purple twisted swollen veins to appear under the skin. In the initial phase, small "stars" may appear from dilated capillaries, small wreaths, and then larger ones.
Veins have a special structure: in addition to the elastic wall, they also have small valves (pockets) that prevent blood from flowing in the opposite direction. Varicose veins occur when the valves on the walls of the veins weaken, stretch, deform and do not close completely. Excessive stretching of the walls and damage to the valves eventually lead to the fact that the blood flows worse through the veins, its movement slows down and even stops. Small, star-shaped veins or spider legs appear first, and then thicker twisted veins appear.
Other symptoms of varicose veins can appear as:
- burning in the calf, throbbing feelings;
- discomfort in the legs, feeling of heaviness or pain;
- muscle cramps, cramps, more noticeable at night;
- swelling of the feet and ankles;
- Dry or itchy, pale skin that looks thinner than healthy skin
If there is a tendency to varicose veins or the first symptoms appear, there are a number of procedures that remove discomfort and pain in the legs, help improve blood circulation and tone the veins.
Exercise and physical activity
Regular exercise improves blood circulation in the legs. Muscle contraction helps push blood that has accumulated in the veins. Exercise also helps lower blood pressure which is another negative factor that contributes to varicose veins.
Low intensity exercise helps to contract the calf muscles. They work without excessive stress.
Effective low-impact exercises include:
Compression socks and tights
Compression stockings are available at most pharmacies and orthopedic stores. They distribute pressure to the legs, squeezing the walls of the veins from the outside. It helps transfer blood to the heart and relieves blood clots in the lower extremities. The study found that people who used knee-length compression stockings maintained a pressure between 18 and 21 mmHg. within one week, they noticed a reduction in pain and discomfort associated with varicose veins. It is important to choose socks and stockings with a doctor or salon specialist so that you do not make a mistake with the degree of compression.
Studies have shown that horse chestnut extract can help reduce leg pain, heaviness and itchy skin in people with chronic venous insufficiency (this is one of the main causes of varicose veins).
A review study showed that sea pine extract and butcher's broom extract can reduce leg swelling or edema, which is often associated with varicose veins.
Herbal extracts and essential oils should be diluted before application to the skin or used in an aromatherapy diffuser.
Foods rich in salt or sodium contribute to swelling, including the feet and ankles, so reducing salty foods can minimize water retention. Foods high in potassium such as almonds and pistachios help prevent and treat varicose veins by reducing water retention in the body. This group includes:
- almonds and pistachios;
- lentils and white beans;
- leafy vegetables;
- some species of fish, such as salmon and tuna.
Fiber fibers help maintain bowel function and prevent constipation. This can be important because stress can damage valves or cause blood to clog in the veins. High fiber foods include:
- nuts, seeds and legumes;
- oats, wheat and flaxseed;
- whole grains.
People who are overweight are more likely to get varicose veins, so losing extra pounds can reduce pressure on the veins, reduce swelling and discomfort.
Flavonoids in food
Adding foods that contain flavonoids to your diet also helps reduce the risk of varicose veins. Flavonoids, as biologically active substances, improve blood circulation, maintain a uniform blood flow and reduce the likelihood of blood accumulation in the veins. They also help lower blood pressure in the arteries and relax blood vessels, reducing stress on the veins and reducing the risk of varicose veins.
Foods that contain flavonoids include:
- vegetables: green onions, peppers, spinach and broccoli;
- citrus fruits and grapes, cherries, apples and blueberries;
Some herbal preparations help to tone the veins and reduce their deformation. It is believed that taking grape seed extract can reduce leg swelling and other symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, although there is currently little evidence of its effectiveness. If you are taking blood-lowering medications, you should avoid taking grape seed extract as a dietary supplement, as it may interact with medications and increase the risk of bleeding.
Choosing the right clothes
Wearing tight, tight and synthetic clothing can restrict blood flow to your legs. Wearing loose, breathable clothing that does not restrict blood flow to the lower body improves blood flow through the veins and reduces valve deformation.
It is also forbidden to wear tight and narrow shoes. Shoes with narrow toes put pressure on blood vessels and cause pain. It is recommended to choose shoes with orthopedic insoles.
Wearing shoes with a low heel or a comfortable, stable sole instead of high heels can also help relieve pain from varicose veins on the feet.
You need to lift your legs more often
Periodically lifting your legs up, ideally to the same height as your heart or more, helps improve circulation. This reduces the pressure in the veins of the legs, and gravity helps the blood to flow back to the heart. You should try to lift your legs if you plan to sit for a long time, such as working or resting.
Gently massaging your feet, legs and thighs can keep blood in your veins. For optimal results, you can use gentle massage oils or moisturizer. However, it is extremely important to avoid putting pressure directly on the veins, as this can damage the fragile tissue. No less useful massage with water jets in the shower, including contrast
Avoid sitting for long periods of time. If you have to sit at work for a long time, you have to make an effort to get up and move, or at least change position often so that the blood flows completely through the veins in your legs.
Avoid sitting cross-legged, as this can further restrict blood flow to the legs and feet and worsen blood circulation problems.
Varicose vein treatment procedures
If preventive measures at home have not improved the condition of your veins, severe discomfort, pain and swelling appear, and medical treatment is necessary to remove varicose veins.
Your doctor may prescribe the following:
- Endothermic ablation.This is a procedure in which heat is applied to seal the affected veins;
- Outpatient phlebectomyThe doctor pierces the skin and removes small varicose veins in small incisions. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia, there are practically no scars left;
- Sclerotherapy.This procedure uses a special foam to close damaged veins. Blood will flow through the system of bypass veins;
- Ligation and removal.In this procedure, varicose veins are surgically removed;
- Laser operations.Intense rays of light are directed towards the vein, causing it to fade;
- Endoscopic surgery.During this operation, a tiny video camera is inserted into the leg to help the surgeon better see what is happening to the veins. Veins are removed through several small incisions.
Varicose veins cause discomfort and cosmetic defects. Prevention of varicose veins at home is possible, and changes in diet and lifestyle can reduce unpleasant symptoms. But as the disease progresses, you need to seek medical help to remove visible blemishes and heal the veins yourself.