Varicose veins can be unsightly and sometimes even uncomfortable. It’s common for many who have varicose veins to get laser surgery to eliminate them. Fortunately, there are also some natural alternatives you can try to help get rid of your varicose veins before you turn to laser treatments.
According to mayoclinic.com, signs of varicose veins include:
- Veins that are dark purple or blue in color
- Veins that appear twisted and bulging; often like cords on your legs
When painful signs and symptoms occur, they may include:
- An achy or heavy feeling in your legs
- Burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs
- Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time
- Itching around one or more of your veins
- Bleeding from varicose veins
- A painful cord in the vein with red discoloration of the skin
- Color changes, hardening of the vein, inflammation of the skin or skin ulcers near your ankle, which can mean you have a serious form of vascular disease that requires medical attention
Arteries carry blood from your heart to the rest of your tissues. Veins return blood from the rest of your body to your heart, so the blood can be recirculated. To return blood to your heart, the veins in your legs must work against gravity.
Muscle contractions in your lower legs act as pumps, and elastic vein walls help blood return to your heart. Tiny valves in your veins open as blood flows toward your heart then close to stop blood from flowing backward.
Causes of varicose veins can include:
- Age. As you get older, your veins can lose elasticity, causing them to stretch. The valves in your veins may become weak, allowing blood that should be moving toward your heart to flow backward.Blood pools in your veins, and your veins enlarge and become varicose. The veins appear blue because they contain deoxygenated blood, which is in the process of being recirculated through the lungs.
- Pregnancy. Some pregnant women develop varicose veins. Pregnancy increases the volume of blood in your body, but decreases the flow of blood from your legs to your pelvis. This circulatory change is designed to support the growing fetus, but it can produce an unfortunate side effect — enlarged veins in your legs.Varicose veins may surface for the first time or may worsen during late pregnancy, when your uterus exerts greater pressure on the veins in your legs. Changes in your hormones during pregnancy also may play a role. Varicose veins that develop during pregnancy generally improve without medical treatment three to 12 months after delivery.
As with many conditions, prevention is preferred over treatment. Some simple, natural things you can do to avoid varicose veins include:
- Dry brushing: Use a body brush to increase your circulation and keep blood moving
- Don’t cross your legs when sitting, this can prevent proper blood flow
- Elevate your feet occasionally if you are standing for extended periods of time. This helps prevent blood from pooling in the lower extremities.
- Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods into your diet to keep inflammation low. Examples include berries, tumeric, kale, broccoli and olive oil.
I found this great DIY recipe for varicose vein body butter at The Crunchy Moose
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