You can prevent varicose veins, with a little help from your Houston vein specialists. When you develop varicose veins, it’s typically because your vein walls and valves have sustained damage. Often, that damage occurs because of a combination of two factors: compromised blood flow and increased pressure. When the valves in your veins don’t work well, blood has a hard time flowing back to your heart. When it can’t flow back to your heart, the blood builds up in your legs. And when the blood builds up in your legs, it puts a lot of pressure on the walls of your veins. That’s when they start to stretch and bulge, and become visible through your skin.
What are the Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
Symptoms of varicose veins include:
· bulging, blue or purple veins
· leg pain or heaviness
· itchy skin
· changes in skin color
· leg cramps, especially in the evenings
Can I Prevent Varicose Veins from Developing?
Certain factors, like your age, pregnancy and family history all increase your risk of developing varicose veins. Your job can also drastically increase your varicose vein risk. In fact, people with certain careers are very likely to develop varicose veins. These include many medical professionals, and people, like truck drivers, who often have to travel by car or plane for their jobs.
All day standing is also a big risk factor for vein health problems. Which is why restaurant and retail staff, hairdressers and barbers, and people who work on assembly lines are very vulnerable to vein disease.
But there are measures you can take to lower your risk of developing new varicose veins. Some of these moves can also improve the appearance of existing vein damage.
Drink More Water
You need water to improve your blood flow and strengthens the muscles that support your veins. Also, staying hydrated helps thin your blood, meaning it has an easier time circulating. It’s also less likely to clot, which reduces your risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). But how much water is enough? On average, you need to drink 8 ounces of water every two hours. But if you’re larger than average, or exercise more (see below), you’ll need more fluids.
You also need to avoid foods and drinks that dehydrate your body, especially ones with lots of salt (sodium.) Instead, choose foods with high-water content. We especially recommend cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, peaches, and oranges. And, on the veggie side, cucumbers, celery and zucchini are all great options.
Getting regular exercise helps improve blood flow in your legs—walking several times a week, for at least 30 minutes each time, will strengthen your calf muscles and improve your blood flow. Both will help prevent blood from pooling in your legs and putting pressure on your vein walls.
Prop up Your Tootsies
Whenever you get the chance to take a break, sit down and get your feet up (ideally above the level of your heart.) This will get that blood flowing back where it belongs.
Move More Every Day
Standing or sitting for long periods of time can take a toll on your veins. If you can get up and move around, or sit down and take a load off, at least once an hour, this will minimize the toll taken on your veins.
Drop Some Pounds
The closer you are to your ideal weight, the less pressure you put on your veins, and the better your entire circulatory system will function.
Take on Outside Pressure
When your body is having problems pushing blood out of your legs, wearing therapeutic compression socks or stockings can help minimize potential vein damage.
While all of these factors can help decrease your chances of developing varicose veins, if you have an increased risk of vein disease, you should stick to regular visits with your vein specialist. That way, if problems do develop, we can catch and treat them as soon as possible. So, if you’re overdue for your vein health check-up, schedule an appointment with our team right away!