If you have a genetic predisposition, varicose veins may be unavoidable. But staying healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, and staying active will help.
Sleep & Dietary Habits
Getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and keeping your weight down will also improve vein health. Each of these things will also help improve your overall health and lessen the likeliness of other illnesses.
Regular exercise, particularly aerobic exercise focused on the legs and calves, can be very beneficial to reducing the symptoms of vein disease. When you use your calf muscles, they act as a pump that helps blood flow from the feet back to the heart. You don’t have to commit to intense cardio or weight training, but make sure you are performing actions that continuously work calf muscles, like walking or using an elliptical machine. Doing these things for 30 minutes a day will increase circulation and improve overall health.
If your job requires standing or sitting for most of the day, changing up your habits may help increase circulation to your veins. If you usually sit, make a point to get up and walk around a few times a day. If you have to stand for most of the day, wear comfortable shoes, and take a few moments a few times an hour to flex your calf muscles.
Directed measures involve taking various herbal supplements which have been shown to decrease pain and swelling from varicose veins. Some of these supplements, such as Horse Chestnut, work by decreasing inflammation that may contribute to vein disease. They may help to support proper vein function and overall vein health, but it is important to remember that they will be of little use once varicose veins have begun to form – once this begins it is important to seek the help of a vein specialist.
Wearing graduated compression stockings has been found to be a very effective way to alleviate pain and reduce swelling and hopefully slow the progression of venous disease. These are not your everyday "support hose" that you could find at your local department store, they stockings designed by medical professionals to improve the flow of oxygen to the muscle and tissue, reduce the swelling, and increase blood flow, all helping to alleviate the symptoms associated with vein disease.
Each of these preventative measures will be beneficial, but if you think you might have varicose veins already, it will be important to consult a vein expert. Vein disease can develop as a result of many different factors. For some, vein disease may be preventable, but for others it may not. About 26% of the population has vein disease, but it is estimated that only about 1 in 25 of those who suffer from varicose and spider veins actually seek treatment.
Avoiding treatment commonly leads to more apparent varicose veins, worsening pain and swelling, and tired and achy legs. In more serious situations, patients can develop Edema (an excess of watery fluid collecting in the leg tissue), Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clots in the leg), and even venous ulcers.
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Seeking Relief from a Board Certified Vein Specialist
At Illinois Vein Specialists, we care just as much about the medicine and the specialized practice of Phlebology (the treatment of vein and lymphatic disease) as we do our patients. We focus only on treating varicose and spider veins and treat patients from Buffalo Grove, Cary, Elgin, Algonquin, Palatine, Vernon Hills, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Fox River Grove, Mundelein, Grayslake, Wauconda, Chicago, and all areas of Barrington, Illinois.
We understand that when you choose a doctor you want to go to someone you know, like and trust, and honestly so do we. We know that patients come to us most often from satisfied patient referrals, but we encourage you to do your own homework and ask around. In the end no matter where you live or who you decide to have treat your varicose or spider veins find someone who focuses only on diagnosing and treating varicose and spider veins — find a Board Certified Venous and Lymphatic physician.