Varicose veins, often thought of as a cosmetic problem, are actually a sign of an underlying disorder of the circulatory system. Vein disease occurs when veins have trouble carrying blood from your body back to your heart. The main cause is heredity. You are at higher than average risk if your mother or grandmother — or even someone on your father’s side — suffers from serious vein problems. Also, due to pregnancy, women are more often affected than men.
Symptoms of vein disease may seem harmless at first but can develop into serious problems if left untreated. In the beginning, many people experience leg “heaviness”, which is sometimes disregarded and attributed to stress or exhaustion. However, experiencing continual “heaviness” should be taken seriously. Other symptoms include pain or tenderness along the course of a vein, itching or burning sensations and “restless” leg syndrome, typically occurring at night as the muscles tend to contract to push blood back toward the heart. Aching, swelling, muscle cramps, exercise intolerance, bulging veins, blue veins and enlarged veins are other symptoms that can occur. Patients typically experience relief of symptoms when walking or elevating their legs.
Even though these symptoms can sometimes be tolerated or brushed off, they should be taken seriously. They can progressively get worse and turn into bigger problems if treatment is not sought.
If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. You may also want to consider being evaluated by a vein specialist. For more information on varicose veins and treatment options visit www.renoveinclinic.com.
- Avoid wearing heels for a long period of time. High-heeled shoes can put stress on your veins. If you want to wear heels, try to find shoes, like wedges, that offer more support. Even with shoes that offer more support, you should give your legs a break periodically.
- Uncross your legs while sitting. When you sit with your legs crossed you are limiting the blood circulation in your legs. The more often this happens, the harder it gets for your legs to recover. Try crossing your ankles when you sit instead.
- Get your Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids (a kind of antioxidant). Both will help with circulation and reduce pain. Bioflavonoids also strengthen weak blood-vessel walls. Foods high in Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids include: sweet peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, strawberries, apricots, cantaloupe, and dark colored berries like blueberries.
- Limit high-sodium foods. Too much sodium will cause your body and veins to retain more water. This can be hard on your veins because too much water retention can limit blood circulation.
- Exfoliate your legs in the shower. By using a simple loofah or one of our skin scrubs on your legs daily, you can help improve blood circulation and lymphatic stimulation.
- Get your Vitamin E. This vitamin is an excellent blood thinner that helps improve circulation and also helps to relieve pain. Foods high in Vitamin E are: wheat germ, egg yolks, butter, nuts, whole wheat flour, liver, and dark leafy greens.
- Work out your legs. The more you move your leg muscles, the stronger you blood circulation will become. Working your legs will get you blood moving and help keep you blood moving.
- Stretch your legs. Stretching helps the blood flow increase and opens up the fascia so that blood can get to the tissue more easily. Stretching is also important to help your legs recover from a long day.
- Get your fiber. Constipation can be a factor in spider or varicose veins, because straining in an effort to force a bowel movement puts added pressure on veins. This pressure can lead to poor circulation.
- Avoid fried foods. Fats add to circulation problems by causing plaque to deposit in you vein and arteries. By eating less fat, you can keep you blood flowing and keep plaque out of your veins.
How sitting all day at your desk can compromise vein health and overall well being.
Sure, you’ve probably heard how getting up and moving every once and a while is key if you have a desk job. However in an article by Huffington Post Healthy Living, it can be more detrimental than you think.
According to the article, “Prolonged sitting has been shown to disrupt metabolic function resulting in increased plasma triglyceride levels, decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and decreased insulin sensitivity.”
While there may not be much we can do about changing they way we work, the article did offer some helpful tools people can use to stay more active in the workplace:
. Standing desks- some are even able to adjust to sitting and standing heights
. Take an office walk every few hours to get your heart rate up and blood pumping.
. Yes, a treadmill desk actually exists so you can type and walk simultaneously. —
. Yoga ball chairs are a great way to engage your core as you work
. Consider proposing active meetings. Instead of a conference room, suggest a walk around the office or outside to get moving, talking and thinking.
Blood vessels are part of the circulatory system that transports blood throughout the body. There are three major types of blood vessels.
Arteries carry blood away from the heart. Both arteries and veins have the same structure with three layers: tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. The largest artery is the aorta, which carries blood out of the heart.
Capillaries enable the exchange of water and chemicals between the blood and tissues. Capillaries consist of a layer of endothelium and occasional connective tissue. Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels.
Veins carry blood from the capillaries back toward the heart. Veins are either arterial or venous, depending on whether the blood in it is flowing away from (arterial) or toward (venous) the heart. Most veins carry deoxygenated blood from the tissues back to the heart except for the pulmonary and umbilical veins. Veins are classified in a number of ways. Superficial veins are those that are close to the surface of the body and have no corresponding arteries. Deep veins are deeper in the body and have corresponding arteries. Pulmonary veins are a set of veins that deliver oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart. Systemic veins drain the tissues of the body and deliver deoxygenated blood to the heart.