Varicose veins symptoms with natural treatments and prevention methods
Varicose veins symptoms are the first signs of alarm which you should look out for. Although varicose veins rarely lead to any serious health problems, if you have them, it is a sign that something is negatively affecting your circulatory system.
They appear due to malfunctioning valves in the veins which can be caused by several reasons. Although they can appear all over the body, people usually get them in the legs and feet.
Causes of varicose veins includes excess weight, hormonal imbalance, pregnancy, bacterial or viral infection, sedentary lifestyle as well as too much exercise, smoking, injuries, high blood pressure, surgery, clogged blood vessels caused by high cholesterol and any other factor which may put too much stress on the blood vessels thereby damaging the valves.
Age and genetic predisposition to venous diseases also increases the risk of varicose veins.
VARICOSE VEINS SYMPTOMS
They are usually very easy to recognize, especially if the condition is more serious or the veins at the surface of the skin are affected. Varicose veins symptoms are:
- Swelling - the most common symptom
- Bulging or twisted veins
- Changes in the color of the skin
- Feeling of heaviness, mainly in the legs
- Itching at the affected area
- Pain which may get worse after standing or sitting for a long time
- Skin ulcers - they usually appear if condition is more serious
If smaller surface veins are affected, it is not that serious but if the deeper, main arteries are affected, condition can lead to health problems. This includes blood clots and ulcers.
Don't confuse varicose veins with the spider veins. Spider veins don't cause swelling but they do cause changes in the color of the skin. Their shape looks like a spider's web from which the name comes from.
The doctor diagnoses the condition based on the varicose veins symptoms since most of them are easily visible. He may also try to feel the affected area in order to get the better estimate, besides looking for changes in skin color, swelling, ulcers or rash.
However, if only the deeper veins are affected, then more tests will be required. This may include doppler ultrasound, MRI of the veins or blood tests.
While there are standard medical treatments such as surgery, laser treatment, sclerotherapy and radiofrequency treatment which either close, destroy or remove the vein, I will focus on natural treatments that I have tried and that have worked for me. This includes:
- Elevating your legs up, above the heart, helps drain the blood thereby easing the swelling and the pain.
- Ice or cold bandage also helps ease the pain and ease the swelling by improving blood flow.
- Circulatory supplements containing Butcher's Broom, Hawthorn and Horse Chestnut.
- Cream made from Butcher's Broom and Horse Chestnut which in my case worked even better than the supplements.
- Healthy diet rich in citrus bioflavonoids that can help in treating venous diseases, including varicose veins.
- Have a moderate amount of activity such as walking to encourage blood flow and avoid putting too much pressure on the blood vessels.
- Lower stress and cortisol levels through relaxation and rest.
- Balance estrogen and progesterone with Vitex(Chasteberry). Vitex can be used by men and women.
HOW TO PREVENT VARICOSE VEINS
In my case, varicose veins symptoms were caused by too much exercise, that is, by too long and too frequent low intensity cardio exercises such as jogging. Although, exercise is good for blood vessels, too much of anything can be bad.
In this case, too much exercise put a lot of pressure on my blood vessels damaging to the valves of blood vessels in my right calf muscle.
Also, too much exercise, especially long bouts of low intensity cardio, spikes up cortisol and affects progesterone which leads to unbalanced progesterone and estrogen ratio. By disturbing the balance between these two hormones, testosterone is also affected.
As a consequence of hormonal imbalance, veins are one of the first to be affected which causes damage to the valves of the blood vessels. By having a healthy diet and exercising according to your abilities, you are making sure that your hormones are at their optimum levels which decreases the risk of varicose veins.
Some herbs, besides the ones mentioned above, can also help. This includes adaptogens, cayenne pepper, turmeric, ginkgo as well as supplements such as fish oil and Diindolylmethane(DIM).
If you have family history of venous diseases, then you should pay special attention to the varicose veins symptoms. Although you can diagnose them by yourself, it is always better to see a doctor to get a better estimate of your condition.
Doctor may offer you surgery or some other treatment but if you are like me, then you will first try to treat it naturally. While circulatory herbs such as Butcher's Broom and Horse Chestnut can help almost everyone by strengthening the blood vessels, taking any other natural remedy, and its effectivness, will depend on the cause of the disease.
It is up to you and your doctor to determine the cause of this varicose veins, whether it is hormonal imbalance, stress, infection, weight, blood clot, lack of activity or too much exercise.
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