Summer is just around the corner & most of us are excited to lose our long pants/leggings & replace them with summer dresses, skirts & shorts. Not all of us, however. My mother had beautiful legs but always refused to wear a shorter skirt or shorts because of her varicose veins. I would tell her that people would not notice, but she thought that her legs looked like a road map so no matter how warm the weather, she covered her legs.
Unfortunately , during the warmer months, many women (& men) would never think of appearing in public clad in shorts or a bathing suit. Not because of modesty but because of the veins decorating the backs of their legs. First spider veins. Then varicose veins. The main problem with varicose veins is not that it takes a toll on our self-image , however. It is an important medical condition that requires treatment.
Symptoms may not be as obvious as one would think. Yes, the veins can be dilated and may bulge, but other symptoms include chronic pain or aching in the legs which are relieved by elevation, water retention in the ankles, skin ulcerations, or superficial thrombosis. If you suspect varicose veins, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis, as other conditions can cause some or all of these symptoms.
Preventing & Managing Varicose Veins
As you may suspect, there is much in nature to either prevent them or ameliorate the symptoms once they occur. There is a genetic link here, so prevention is important. Avoid prolonged sitting, standing, or walking. In other words, change your body position and activity frequently. Exercise regularly, because vigorous exercise improves circulation. Avoid constipation, which can involve bearing down on weakened veins.
Enjoy foods that are rich in bioflavonoids like onions, berries, and dark leafy greens because these foods strengthen collagen tissue. Herbs may also be helpful. Horse chestnut seed extract, butcher’s broom, gotu kola, and bilberry come immediately to mind. (Horse chestnut seed is also good for hemorrhoids and comes as either capsule or ointment preparations.)
A cold compress of witch hazel and yarrow tea may provide temporary relief.
In addition , it is super important to maintain an appropriate weight to decrease the likelihood of varicose veins (thrombosis).