Being busy is an easy excuse that many of the office-goers have for not exercising enough. This then becomes a good reason for the uninvited diseases of the modern man or the urban man. Diabetes, hypertension, Cardio-vascular diseases are so common that almost every person you meet will have at least one of these. Now a day, I find many people discussing about some strange blue bulging veins on their legs and feet. This condition is called as Varicose veins.
Varicose veins can appear anywhere in the body but most often affect legs and feet. Although they are harmless, they can be painful and disfiguring. When inflamed, they become tender to the touch and can hinder circulation to the point of causing swollen ankles, itchy skin, and aching in the affected limb.
Varicose veins are a relatively common condition, and for many people they are a family trail. Women are twice as likely as men to develop them. In the United States alone, nearly 10 percent of all adult men and 20 percent of adult women are affected by them to some degree.
Our body is specially designed to work in a wonderful manner. Take for instance our circulatory system. To circulate blood from the lungs to all parts of the body, arteries have thick layers of muscle or elastic tissue. To push blood back to the heart, the veins rely mainly on surrounding muscles and a network of one-way valves. As blood flows through a vein, the cup-like valves alternately open to allow blood through, and then close to prevent back flow.
But at times this mechanism doesn’t work as it should. Varicosity results from a chronic increase in blood pressure, which dilates the vein. When the vein walls are pushed apart, the valves no longer seal properly, making it difficult for the muscles to push the blood ‘uphill.’ Instead of flowing from one valve to the next, the blood begins to pool in the vein, increasing venous pressure and the likelihood of congestion while causing the vein to bulge and twist. Because superficial veins have less muscular support than deep veins, they are more likely to become varicose.
Now any condition that puts excessive pressure on the legs or abdomen can lead to this condition. Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy and menopause may be responsible for the high proportion of varicosities among women. Dietary deficiencies or the loss of skin elasticity due to aging are contributory factors. Prolonged standing or sitting, constipation, constrictive clothing, lack of exercise, obesity, or repeated heavy lifting can interfere with normal circulation to increase the likelihood that varicose veins will develop-and can worsen existing varicosities. In chronic cases, the distended veins may be accompanied by aching pain or itching, and if the stretched skin breaks down, open sores may form.
These are some of the tips that can help you avoid varicose veins. These are very simple and should be observed in your day-to-day life. Some of them might need your doctor’s advice.
- Exercise regularly. Staying fit is the best way to keep your leg muscles toned, your blood flowing, and your weight under control.
- Eat foods low in fat, sugar, and salt. Drink plenty of water. Take supplements of vitamins C and E.
- If your job requires you to be on your feet constantly, stretch and exercise your legs as often as possible to increase circulation and reduce pressure buildup.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking may contribute to elevated blood pressure, which in turn can aggravate varicosity.
- If you’re pregnant, sleep on your left side rather than on your back. This minimizes pressure from the uterus on the veins in your pelvic area. It also improves blood flow to the fetus.
- To ease painful swelling and inflammation, rest frequently, wear support stockings, and take one or two aspirin or ibuprofen tablets daily until the condition clears.
- If you like to sit with your legs crossed, cross them at the ankles rather than the knees for better circulation.
- Take occasional breaks and put your feet up. Periods of rest with your feet a few inches above your heart level let gravity work in your favor, helping pooled blood drain from your legs.
- Avoid high heels in favor of flat shoes.
- Wear loose clothing. Tight garments can restrict venous blood flow to leave blood pooled in the legs. Particularly harmful are girdles or pantyhose too snug in the groin area, garters, calf-hugging boots, or waist-cinching belts.
- Take an aspirin every day. This will thin the blood and prevent blood from clotting. (Consult your doctor if you are taking any heart medication or other medication for blood clotting.)
If the condition persists, than you have to see a doctor without fail. One of the state-of-art Vein treatment center in Westchester is the Premier Vein Centers run and operated by Dr. Fleisher. Dr. Arlen G. Fleisher is Board-certified in Cardiothoracic Surgery and in Phlebology (the study and treatment of varicose and spider veins). He is an expert in his field and offers state-of-the-art and most minimally invasive techniques. All procedures are performed in his contemporary office suite, located in Hartsdale, New York, and involve minimal pain, discomfort and downtime with optimal results for his patients. He offers free vein screenings by appointment.