Varicose veins are unfortunately a frequent, and at the same time unpleasant and unsightly, condition of lower limbs. They mainly affect women of mature and elderly age, obese people and those with jobs requiring prolonged sitting or standing. And although in its advanced stage it usually requires surgical intervention, it is also important to treat varicose veins at home and prevent their formation.
Table of contents
- 1 Disease Characteristics and Causes of Leg Varicose Veins
- 2 Leg varicose veins – treatment. External and internal measures, surgical interventions
- 3 Leg varicose veins – home treatment
- 4 Principles of a good diet to minimize the risk of varicose veins formation
- 5 Home concoctions, ointments and compresses – the most effective herbs for varicose veins
- 6 Prevention as always the best
Disease Characteristics and Causes of Leg Varicose Veins
Varicose veinson legs are excessively dilated and enlarged superficial veins caused by circulation failure in lower limbs. At the root of this condition lie disorders in the functioning of venous valves. As a result of blockage in the free flow of blood through the veins, blood backs up and pressure increases, resulting in unnatural venous dilatation and deformation in the blocked areas. Initially, the lesions are invisible or manifest themselves as so-called spider veins, i.e. networks of emphasized blood vessels. In time, varicose veins become more and more visible and their number increases with time.
Even the first, seemingly harmless symptoms such as the aforementioned spider veins, the feeling of heavy legs, the inability to keep them still, swelling, cramps and pain in calves should not be ignored. Venous insufficiency as a result of untreated varicose veins is a dangerous disease that can even lead to congestion and death. The causes of varicose veins are often genetic, but equally important are diseases of the circulatory system, lifestyle and work, obesity, pregnancy. According to estimates, venous insufficiency may affect up to 50% of adult Poles, and the threat increases with age.
Leg varicose veins – treatment. External and internal measures, surgical interventions
External methods of fighting varicose veins include primarily the use of various creams and ointments for varicose veins, containing substances that have a beneficial effect on strengthening vessel walls and better nourishment of blood system cells, which has a major impact on efficient blood circulation. Gels and creams also contribute to the elimination of swelling and dilated capillaries, as well as, to some extent, the reduction of already existing varicose veins.
Another way to minimize the symptoms is to wear compression stockings or tights. The technology used to manufacture these products means that they exert a specific compression, the greatest around the ankle and decreasing upwards, which aids the outflow of venous blood from the lower extremities.
There are also various oral preparations. The tablets for varicose veins, just like the ointments for external use, contain substances that promote circulation and improve vessel elasticity, such as diosmin, or pain-relieving and anticoagulant substances, such as heparin.
Many specifics are based on diosmin, such as the popular Diosminex, but as a treatment for varicose veins it is worth using multicomponent preparations, such as Varicosen or Varicorin, whose formula includes a number of active substances that have a positive effect on circulation and mobility, flexibility and strengthening of vessel walls, elimination of swelling and dilated vessels and veins.
In advanced states of venous insufficiency and strongly developed varicose veins, it is usually necessary to intervene by a vascular surgeon. Varicose veins are removed by one of the methods, namely: shrinking and closing the veins with the use of laser, removal of varicose veins through a procedure using steam, the so-called obliteration, which involves injecting the veins with a special fluid, and finally classical surgery during which the skin is incised and the diseased veins removed.
Leg varicose veins – home treatment
An important role in the treatment of circulatory insufficiency of the lower limbs is also played by actions taken individually by patients and concerning changes in certain habits and behaviors and compliance with certain rules. So called home remedies for varicose veins, contrary to appearances, are of great importance because the proper functioning of the whole organism is a prerequisite for good circulation and thus for the proper blood flow also in the lower limbs.
An absolutely basic matter is the observance of a proper diet, the main tasks of which are maintaining or achieving a correct body weight, improving the digestive process and preventing constipation as well as strengthening the vein walls.
Correct body weight
Why is it so important in case of varicose veins? Overweight, especially obesity, is generally an extremely unfavorable condition for the body and can be the source of many dangerous diseases. In addition to other negative symptoms, excess weight also puts too great a strain on the circulatory system, causes an increase in arterial pressure in the lower limbs, which promotes circulatory disorders and venous insufficiency progressing over time.
Improved digestion, elimination of constipation
An inadequate diet usually causes problems with digestion and, consequently, with bowel movements. It happens when our diet contains too little liquid and vegetable products, i.e. invaluable sources of fibre, and too much sugar or trans-fats. And constipation is dangerous because it additionally increases blood pressure in the abdominal cavity, as a result of which blood starts to back up in the lower limbs.
Condition of vein walls
It is obvious that the diet has a major impact on the entire body structure, including the circulatory system. If there are not enough beneficial substances of plant origin in our diet, such as bioflavonoids, vitamins, minerals, and finally unsaturated fatty acids, the veins are weakened, more susceptible to stretching and damage, which in turn promotes the formation of varicose veins.
Principles of a good diet to minimize the risk of varicose veins formation
Vegetables and whole-grain cereals should be the basis of a diet that favours proper digestion, strengthening of capillaries and veins, as well as a slim figure. They provide the body with the most valuable nutrients: fibre, flavonoids, polyphenols, vitamins and minerals.
Blackcurrants, strawberries, citrus fruits, sauerkraut, parsley, red pepper, beetroot, spinach, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and other vegetable products containing vitamin C should also be included.
Also important in this context is vitamin E, found in dairy products, vegetable fats, bran, nuts, seeds, and vitamin PP, which can be found in cereal grains, nuts, and meat.
An important element of an anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic diet are Omega3 unsaturated fatty acids present in fish meat and seafood. Vegetables, as well as whole-grain cereal products, also provide the body with valuable fiber, which regulates the digestive processes and significantly supports weight loss.
The mentioned flavonoids, anthocyanins and polyphenols contained in products of plant origin play a huge role. Flavonoids, such as diosmin, hesperidin or rutin, strengthen the walls of blood vessels and improve circulation. Flavonoids and anthocyanins can be found in citrus fruits, cherries, blueberries, chokeberries, red cabbage and beans, and buckwheat groats. In turn, polyphenols, protecting the heart and circulatory system, fighting free radicals and preventing the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, are present in green tea and cocoa, among others.
Home concoctions, ointments and compresses – the most effective herbs for varicose veins
It is probably not necessary to convince anyone about the medicinal properties of herbs. In relation to varicose veins, some of the plants show particularly significant effects resulting from the presence of beneficial active substances. Many of the herbs have such a wide spectrum of pro-health attributes that one can speak of a positive influence on the entire body.
Herbs and home remedies for external use
Stimulates blood flow, strengthens blood vessels, acts anti-inflammatory. Additionally, it is a source of valuable flavonoids, minerals and vitamin C. You can use it in the form of compresses or make a homemade ointment from ground leaves, a bit of honey and water. Apply on the affected areas.
Cabbage has been used for a long time as a natural remedy for varicose veins and other inflammatory conditions, it also strengthens blood vessels. Cabbage leaves should be pounded with a pestle so that they begin to exude juice and the limbs should be poulticed with them.
Apple cider vinegar for varicose veins
This is also a way that has been known for a long time, as it is known that apple cider vinegar is great for improving the condition of the vessels and stimulating blood flow. It can be rubbed directly into the areas of varicose veins or an ointment can be made with grated carrot, beetroot and aloe vera extract.
Ointment of Rhinoceros
This is a plant used by folk medicine for centuries, both in the treatment of varicose veins and joints, and even in cases of bone fractures. It shows strong anti-inflammatory effects, stimulates cell regeneration. For topical poultices, a paste is made from the crushed root with the addition of oil.
It turns out that in addition to the fruit, the leaves of the grape show valuable properties. The whole plant is rich in flavonoids, anthocyanins, amino acids and vitamins. Grapevine has an effect stimulating proper blood circulation. The ointment is made from the leaves mixed with olive oil, which also has an anti-inflammatory effect and stimulates the circulation.
Horse-chestnut extract for varicose veins
Horse-chestnut fruits have outstanding medicinal values. They support the functioning of the circulatory system, seal, strengthen and increase the elasticity of blood vessels, accelerate the flow of blood, thin it and prevent stasis, the main cause of varicose veins. No wonder that horse chestnut extract is a component of numerous ointments, creams, as well as oral preparations – tablets or extracts intended for drinking.
Witch hazel for varicose veins
Similarly to horse chestnut extract, witch hazel is used both in preparations for external and internal use. Witch hazel positively influences the condition of blood vessels and blood circulation. It shows anti-inflammatory properties, seals capillaries, combats swelling. Witch hazel extract can be used as a poultice and the dried leaves can be used to make a health tea.
Herbs for internal use
Widely appreciated for its culinary qualities, garlic also has valuable medicinal properties. Called a natural antibiotic, it has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It is rich in the most valuable nutrients, moreover, it strengthens immunity, inhibits platelet aggregation and dilates blood vessels. Apart from eating garlic (preferably raw), in treating varicose veins we can use it for external poultices, previously rubbing it into a homogeneous paste with the addition of olive oil.
Hawthorn and mistletoe
They are most often used in the form of herbal tea or infusion. Hawthorn contains a lot of vitamin C, flavonoids and zinc, useful in the treatment of venous insufficiency. Mistletoe has a diastolic effect, dilates blood vessels, thus improving blood flow.
Prevention as always the best
The answer to the question how to get rid of varicose veins is not simple. What’s more, in the advanced stage of the development of circulatory insufficiency of the lower limbs, we must honestly admit that home remedies will probably prove to be insufficient. It is all the more important to prevent the formation of varicose veins in advance, especially if this risk is increased by genetic factors or the type of work.
Physical activity and even short exercises while sitting or standing, involving mainly other parts of the body, are extremely important. It is important to have a healthy diet and proper weight, avoid overloading, stimulants and overheating the body. It is also worth knowing that even if you have already developed varicose veins, following all of the above tips can significantly inhibit further progression of the disease, and this is also of great value.
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