Published: 12/17/2012 - Updated: 02/20/2018
Varicose veins are veins that are swollen or twisted, either by a weakness in the vein wall or a faulty valve somewhere in the same vein. In either situation, the pain in the legs, with the bumps and discolored skin, are evidence of this condition, also known as venous insufficiency.
Veins are prominently visible. They may also appear spider veins or spider sprouts, which are tiny dilated veins that lie between the layers of the skin. Cramps in the calves, especially at night, are often recurrent symptoms. The same happens with itching or a burning sensation on a prominent varicosity.
Why does this happen?
Considering that the veins in your legs support a column of blood of considerable height, varicose and dilated veins are common. At each step, a column of blood from several centimeters high hit in the leg veins as a battering ram. The repeated impacts stimulate inflammation of the lining of the vein (phlebitis). Moreover, if there are clots in the veins or scabs (usually attached to the inner surface), the impact can release into the bloodstream and cause them to be dragged to the heart and lungs, causing thrombophlebitis.
Other causes are pregnancy, chronic constipation, low-fiber diet, obesity or sitting or standing for long.
Prevention is best
To remove varicose veins can become a real problem. The best recommendation is to take precautions to prevent them, and if you already have them, the following recommendations can help to prevent pain and improve your appearance:
- During a long trip by plane or train, get up and walk every half hour. If you are traveling by car, for a long time, stop frequently to get out of the car and stretch your legs.
- Keep your feet up while reading or watching TV. Rest your legs on a chair or bench. The practice of placing the feet on the desk is helpful.
- Exercise helps circulation in general. Walking is particularly suitable for the movement of the muscles in the legs; it helps the blood to go up. Swimming has the same effect as the pressure of the water against legs helps the blood up the legs.
- Avoid thigh stockings that can cut off circulation.
- Sleeping with feet raised above the heart level helps the blood to return from the ankle (not recommended for some people, ask your doctor).
- When you sleep, do it on the left side, to encourage the flow of blood from the legs to the heart.
- Do not expose yourself to too much sun, because the heat causes tiredness, heaviness and bad circulation; therefore, avoid saunas, hot showers, and high-temperature waxes, better use cold wax or creams.
- Never cross the legs, constant pressure compresses the veins. Again, lift your legs whenever possible.
- Do not stand in one place too long. This only aggravates blood flow back to the veins. If you stand in one place for too long, stand occasionally on the tips of your feet and keep your fingers moving.
- Watch your weight. Obesity means more pressure to the legs, which is a common reason that pregnant women develop this disease. Keep your weight healthy and you won’t have problems with varicose veins.
Nutrition against varicose veins
To avoid the appearance of varicose veins in the legs, enjoy all foods containing vitamin "C", as they help to produce collagen to repair the blood vessels. At least, eat three servings daily of the following fruits and vegetables: green peppers, broccoli, blackberry, strawberry, cherry, apple, pear, guava, lemon, orange and grapefruit.
Natural remedies to treat them
A food that will help you look beautiful legs and improve the appearance of varicose veins is the pea:
- Boil a cup of peas in two cups of water and wait until they are very soft.
- Let cool slightly and crush them to make a sort of puree, add a little water if necessary, and apply in areas with varicose veins for 10 minutes.
- Wash during bathing with warm water, not hot.
The Indian chestnut is a very useful and popular remedy against varicose veins; the crust is mainly used as a tea. It helps to improve circulation, reduces edema, and has anti-inflammatory and vasoconstrictor effect.