Varicose vein is a condition that affects all people irrespective of gender and age. However, not everyone is at the same risk level. There are those whose vulnerability is higher because of the underlying set of factors. Knowing your risk factors will help you in choosing a healthy lifestyle that will prevent varicose veins. These risk factors include:
Age – Generally, aging causes your veins and capillaries to lose their elasticity and the valves inside them to function less efficiently. This is a catalyst for varicose veins.
Gender – Women are more prone to developing varicose veins compared to men because of the complex hormonal changes their bodies go through during pregnancy and menopause.
Obesity – If you are obese, chances of you developing varicose veins is higher because the excess weight exerts pressure on the blood vessels located at the lower limbs.
Limited Movement – When you sit or stand for longer periods of time, your body risks developing varicose veins. This is because the prolonged sitting or standing posture piles pressure on your veins and lowers their ability to pump blood back to the heart.
Trauma or Injuries – If you have suffered either trauma or injuries in the past, you stand at a higher risk of developing varicose veins. This is because such injuries or traumas may cause your blood to clot and hence interrupt its flow within the veins causing it to pool and pile pressure on your veins.
Lowering Your Vulnerability To Prevent Varicose Veins
In light of the above factors, it is somewhat impossible to completely eliminate the risk of varicose veins because in some cases, it is inevitable as in age, gender and pregnancy. However, there are things you can do to lower the probability of you developing the problem. Some of these things include:
Exercises help in promoting healthy veins. As a matter of fact, health experts recommend exercises in almost every health condition a person is diagnosed with. As you exercise, the muscles around your veins contract and relax thereby pushing blood back to the heart particularly from the calf muscles and the veins located in the arch of the foot. A strong calf muscle is associated with healthy blood circulation and minimal vein disease.
Some of the exercises to engage in include walking, riding, and running. Caution however should be exercised when jogging or running because the pounding impact may have adverse effects on the joints. Try running on grassy surface or a synthetic track. There are other exercises that you need to avoid because they put a strain on your venous system. These exercises include weightlifting, sit ups, lunges and crunches.
Watching Your Weight
Excess weight is one of the causative factors behind varicose veins. According to research, 30 percent of people develop the varicose veins condition at a given point in their lives. Out of this, a good number of them are overweight. The danger with obese people is that their varicose veins condition may not show on the surface of their skins because the nature of their bodies makes the problem hidden from view. However, with time, the pressure in the veins causes them to leak and cause further damage on the lower legs.
The best way to check your weight is to establish a healthy exercise regime, diet and have a weight goal that you constantly work towards.
The best diet plan to treat varicose veins is one that is rich in fibers bur low in salts. The calories consumed should be restricted because high energy intake increases your vulnerability to varicose veins due to its contribution to weight gain. Foods rich in Vitamin C help in building up elastin and collagen, the connective tissues that help in keeping the veins toned and strong. A diet rich in fiber is good for fighting off constipation which increases pressure on your veins. In addition, take lots of water and eat foods rich in bioflavonoids.
Avoiding High Heels
High heels are great because of the way they accentuate your posture making you look more beautiful. However, you should moderate the frequency with which you wear them because they can negatively affect your venous blood flow. High heels change your walking posture by shifting your weight to the toes and fore foot causing the calf muscles to remain contracted. The calf and foot veins then fill with blood which the calf muscle cannot pump towards the heart hence causing a pool of venous blood. To prevent this, reserve high heels only for special occasions, limit their height, wear them with compression hose and use heel raises to activate your calf and foot pump when standing or sitting.
Compression stockings work by squeezing the legs to improve circulation. They work from the ankle up – being tighter at the ankle and gradually loosening to encourage the blood to flow upwards and towards the heart.
Whilst they are proven to help relieve any pain, swelling or discomfort associated with varicose veins it is not definitively proven that they prevent varicose veins forming in the first place.
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