How do you get rid of spider veins at home? Is there swelling of legs and feet? Those dark blue veins are annoying you? Do you experience a burning or throbbing sensation in the leg? Are your veins in the legs twisted? Then, you might be suffering from varicose veins. If you have a varicose veins problem, then exercising, wearing compression stocking, plenty of walking, leg elevation, and having apple cider vinegar can temporarily help manage your varicose veins problem. Varicose veins enlarge over time and maybe embarrassing to the person, robbing them of their peace of mind. They present as pain after sitting or standing for long periods, heaviness and itching in the legs and swelling of the lower limbs. The reason behind varicose veins is faulty valves responsible for the reversal of blood flow in the veins. Long-standing veins get twisted due to dilatation and elongation. Here are some natural home remedies to deal with the problem.
Dr Jaisom Chopra, Sr consultant vascular surgeon, Apollo Spectra Delhi shares the following home remedies can be tried by a person who has varicose veins to manage and improve the symptoms
- Compression stockings: Compression stockings pressure to the legs can help muscles and veins move blood easier towards the heart. These are graded compression stockings with maximum pressure at the ankles and progressively reducing the stress as you go up the leg. They must not be worn at night when your legs are elevated on two pillows. They are worn immediately when the patient gets up. After that one can do everything like working at home, going for a walk and even to the gym but you must not remove your stockings. Remove them while taking a bath and after that put them on again. Wear them right through the day, and they only come off when you go to bed at night.
- Leg elevation: Legs should be kept elevated to help improve blood circulation, mostly if you will sit down for a longer time at work. This is a simple and essential part of your treatment. You are only eliminating gravity which helps dilate your veins. We mention elevating your legs at night without stockings. During the day mobility is excellent but avoid prolonged standing at one place. Whenever you have to stand for some time, keep moving your legs. While sitting on a chair, watching TV or talking to guests at home, try to elevate your legs on a stool. The purpose is to eliminate the pulling force of gravity, as much as possible.
- Can Apple cider vinegar and garlic do the trick? Some advocate using apple cider vinegar which is applied to the leg veins locally and gently massaged twice daily. Should you feel any itching or see redness after its application, please discontinue it. Garlic is a sulphurous compound which is a nail to improve the blood flow and strengthen the veins. You can take small amounts but please do not go overboard because its other side-effects are not well documented.
- Exercise every day: Regular exercise helps improve the circulation in the legs. This allows the pumping action of the calf muscles to empty the stagnated blood in the veins. Regular activities like walking, swimming, yoga and cycling can improve blood circulation in the legs. The more active you are, the better. Give up your sedentary lifestyle and avoid restrictive clothing which can restrict the blood flow.
- Massage your legs: Gently massage the leg's affected area using oil or moisturizer to keep the blood moving through the veins. People with varicose veins are told not to sit cross-legged for fear of stagnation and thrombosis. Do it gently to promote blood flow in the veins but avoid rubbing the veins hard. Try and move around at regular intervals if your work includes sitting for a more extended period.
Pooja Thacker, Chief Dietician, Bhatia Hospital Mumbai shares a few of the food that prevents varicose veins
- High fibre intake: Foods like oats, finger millet (nachni), bajra, mixed flour, lentils, germinated sprouts are sources of rich fibre that prevent fat accumulation and indirect radicals. High fibre consumption is connected with a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, bowel cancer and type 2 diabetes. According to government guidelines eating plenty of fibre should be a part of a healthy balanced diet and can be increased to 30g each day.
- Low-fat dairy products: High-fat food like extra butter, cheese, ghee, mayo, oil and trans-fat present in packed food are sources of free radicals hence low consumption of fat-rich food should be promoted. Low-fat dairy includes low-fat varieties of cottage cheese, yoghurt and fat-free or skim milk. Overall, low-fat dairy products are considered excellent sources of several minerals, protein, niacin, B vitamins riboflavin, B12 and B6.
- High antioxidant-rich food: Fruits like grapes, orange, apple, amla, pear etc. help reduce inflammation by scavenging free radicals. Spinach, broccoli, potatoes and carrots are high in antioxidants. And so are cabbage, artichokes, avocados, asparagus, radish, beetroot, sweet potatoes, lettuce, pumpkin, squash, kale and collard greens. Using lots of spices in cooking is good.
- Avoid high sodium food: Avoid salty and high sodium food to minimize water retention in the body. Avoid salted nuts, frozen dinners, meats such as pizza, canned foods, such as spam chilli and ravioli. Consume food rich in potassium like potatoes, lentils, white beans, almonds, pistachio nuts and fish like salmon and tuna to reduce water retention.
- Opt for a healthy diet: Salty and sodium-rich food can lead to water retention. Hence, you will have to avoid eating processed foods like pizza, chips, instant noodles, and cheese. Eat a high roughage diet like green leafy vegetables, potatoes, nuts, lentils, salmon, tuna, whole grains, and fruits.
- Avoid green leafy vegetables: Generally, patients with varicose veins are on blood thinners; hence it’s essential to avoid Spinach, methi, amaranth and other leafy vegetables. Abrupt decreases or increases in vitamin K-rich foods intake should be avoided.
- Pycnogenol: Extract from the bark of pine tree is used as a herb as it directly affects the vein's elasticity and resistance. It also reduces swelling and improves blood circulation. Other forms of Pycnogenol are found in apples and grapes.
- Flavonoids: It is found in foods like Garlic, cocoa, broccoli, citrus fruits and apple improves blood circulation, which will reduce the chances of varicose veins.
- Varicose veins treatment involves twisting and thickening veins where fat accumulation, activated WBC, and free radicals causing a lot of inflammation. It usually happens in people with high BMI and overweight individuals.
- It is advisable that females post-pregnancy must do a few exercises and maintain their weight well.
- This is also applicable to men who are obese and have a standing job or involve a lot of walking.
The above remedies are temporary measures that must be tried, but if they are not very helpful or want the permanent cure, surgery is the only answer. We used endovenous RFA or Lazer techniques where the vein is burnt through a needle hole without any scars. The procedure may be performed as a day case, and the patient does regular activity the next day with no rest. Most people who undergo this procedure recommend it to others.
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