Varicose Veins – Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment Options

Varicose veins are a common problem for so many people around the world. Mostly affecting adults over the age of 40, this problem manifests as swollen, twisted or enlarged veins mainly affecting the legs.  Even they are simply a cosmetic concern for most people, sometimes the condition can be really painful and uncomfortable, requiring the patient to seek medical attention as soon as they can. As a matter of fact, sometimes they can lead to certain complications.

Without further ado, here are the symptoms, preventive measures, and treatment options available for varicose veins.

Symptoms

In most cases, varicose veins are not painful and show no major symptoms at all. However, in progressive stages, the patient may experience discomfort and pain as a result of the swollen veins. Other symptoms include:

  • Veins that may appear twisted, lumpy, and swollen
  • Visible blue or dark purple veins
  • Swollen ankles
  • Aching legs, sometimes feeling heavier than usual
  • The skin may appear discolored especially around the varicose veins
  • Restless leg syndrome

If you notice that the symptoms are advancing from mild to worse, it is best to seek medical attention as soon as you can since as earlier mentioned, varicose veins can lead to other complications.

Prevention

Prevention is the best cure, so they say. There are various ways to reduce the risks of developing varicose veins. Some of these include the following:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Avoid sitting with legs crossed
  • Avoid standing for long hours and if you have to, move around.
  • Exercise a lot
  • Visit a qualified doctor for regular checkups, which can help diagnose the issue early and provide suitable treatment options.

Nonetheless, it is important to note that the prevention of varicose veins id dependent on the actual causes and the risk factors. For instance, there is little you can in the case of hereditary causes, age or gender.

Diagnosis

It’s imperative to always visit your physician at least twice every year. A visual examination by your doctor may help detect the onset of varicose veins. Other tests may include a Doppler test or a Color Duplex Ultrasound Scanning.

Treatment

There are various treatment options for varicose veins. As it is described on https://eastbayvein.com/does-insurance-cover-varicose-vein-treatment/, there are some that are covered by insurance. Depending on who your health insurer is, however, it is important to note that you could possibly be required to pay for the procedure out of your pocket when seeking varicose vein treatment for cosmetic purposes. Nonetheless, some common treatment options include:

Endovenous Treatment (Laser)

This is a treatment method that involves inserting a laser threaded catheter into the vein. Once inserted into the vein, it is then positioned right at the top of the target vein to deliver short bursts of energy that help to seal the vein. This is a procedure done under local anesthetic.

Sclerotherapy

This treatment option involves injecting a form of a chemical into the varicose veins (both small and the medium-sized varicose veins), which then scars in inwardly and thus shutting it completely. The chemical may have to be injected more than once for the best results. After a few weeks, the varicose veins should fade away.

Home remedies

These involve natural home remedies that have been tried and found to be effective in alleviating discomfort, pain, and reducing the appearance.  

Exercise

This is perhaps the best home remedy for varicose veins. Exercising regularly helps to improve blood circulation. This, therefore, helps to push all the blood collected in the veins. Additionally, exercising helps to lower one’s blood pressure, one of the major contributing factors of varicose veins. The most effective low impact exercises include yoga, walking, swimming, and cycling.

Investing in compression stockings

Compression stockings do help in applying pressure to the muscles, thus aiding the veins to move the collected blood towards the heart. Compression stockings are available in most pharmaceutical stores

Plant extracts/ Natural supplements

There’s a wide range of plant extracts to choose from that have been found to be effective in reducing itching, pain, and heaviness. You may also opt for natural supplements that work similarly to plant extracts. Some of the well-known and researched plant extracts include horse chestnut extract, Butcher’s broom extract, and sea pine extract.

Dietary changes

It’s been found in food, rich in sodium or salt may cause your body to retain water. This, therefore, means that cutting down on such will either reduce the risk of developing varicose veins or help to minimize water retention. On the other hand, eating foods rich in potassium may also help to reduce water retention. High potassium food include potatoes, leafy veggies, lentils, and white beans.

Now, that having been said, it’s very important for pregnant women to ensure that they don’t stand for too long. This is because they are more susceptible to varicose veins. Other than that, a balanced diet and regular exercising are the best preventive measures one can take.

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