According to The National Women’s Health Information Center, as many as 60% of all American adults have some form of varicose veins. Women, however, are more affected by 55%. By the mid 50’s, 42% of women suffer from spider or varicose veins.
Varicose veins appear when blood collects in a vein instead of being pumped back to the heart. Any vein may become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in the legs and feet. That’s because standing and walking increase the pressure in the veins in your lower body.
Varicose veins develop in people who stand or sit for long periods of time. Lack of exercise, pregnancy, being overweight, prolonged constipation, and sitting with legs crossed can compound the problem.
If varicose veins are not treated properly complications such as swelling, restlessness, leg sores, itching, leg cramps, feeling of heaviness in the legs and fatigue can occur.
Surgical treatment is available but it’s always healthier and less expensive to prevent, rather than treat most health problems.
Prevention for varicose veins initially begins with the wearing of support hosiery. But a healthy diet and lifestyle can do wonders to avoid the occurrence of varicose veins.
Eat a balanced diet low in fat and carbohydrates and include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Take vitamin C. Vitamin C helps strengthen blood vessel walls.
Keep the diet high in fiber to prevent constipation.
Avoid sugar, fried foods, junk foods, tobacco, salt, alcohol, processed and refined foods.
Exercise daily to maintain a healthy weight. Walking, swimming and bicycling all promote good circulation.
Do not wear tight clothes which restrict blood flow.
At least once a day sit with the legs above the heart level for 20 minutes to relieve symptoms.
Avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.
Avoid crossing the legs when sitting.
Avoid heavy lifting and putting any unnecessary pressure on the legs.
Herbs, such as red clover and horse chestnut, are especially helpful in maintaining healthy strong veins.