Varicose Veins—3 Things to Try before You See a Vascular Surgeon

If you're suffering from varicose veins, you're not alone. Up to 40% of people will develop this condition in their lifetime. Varicose veins afflict men and women equally, leaving many feeling self-conscious and suffering from effects such as aching, pain, swelling, and itching. Varicose veins are dilated veins that usually occur in the legs. They're due to high pressure in the veins and commonly caused by problems with the valves in the feeding veins. These valves are there to help blood flow from the leg back to the heart.

There are natural things you can try that do show improvements for some people. However, if they don't work for you, there's something you should know about surgical removal—in many cases of varicose veins, there are procedures that vascular surgeons can perform that do not require the heavy-duty approach of stripping veins. These newer, minimally invasive, procedures minimise scarring and in many cases, can give excellent results.

If you don't see an improvement in your veins after following the suggestions below, then make an appointment with a vascular surgeon in your area.

Try Horse Chestnut

Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a condition associated with varicose veins. Several clinical trials have shown an improvement in symptoms of CVI with regular use of horse chestnut—the active ingredient that produces the improvement is aescin. Always choose herbal medication from a trusted brand and follow instructions exactly. Check with your doctor before taking horse chestnut if you're allergic to latex, have another medical condition, or take regular medications.

Lose Weight If You Need To

If you're overweight, shedding the extra pounds can help to relieve symptoms such as pain and swelling. You should note that weight loss won't reverse the damaged valves that cause varicose veins. However, it can reduce the chance of them getting worse. It may also improve the appearance of your varicose veins.

Take Regular Exercise

Low impact exercise is a great way to improve circulation in your legs and stimulate blood flow. Walking is an excellent low impact exercise that will strengthen your legs and veins. In some people, it can greatly improve the look and symptoms of varicose veins. Vary your walking by throwing tip-toe and heel walking into the mix—it will improve circulation and strengthen your calves. Swimming, cycling, and light jogging can also be added to your exercise routine. They will improve your health and reduce stress on your veins.