For many people, varicose veins do not cause symptoms, but for some they do. This can cause discomfort, especially at the end of the day – especially after standing or sitting for a long time. An expert explains which home remedies can help with varicose veins.
The vascular surgeon Dr. In a recent article from the Cleveland Clinic (USA), Kathleen Boyle explains what helps with varicose veins and when it is time to start treatment by a doctor.
Do home remedies help?
The only way to get rid of varicose veins is to have them removed. Vascular specialists like Dr. Boyle use techniques such as injection therapy, laser therapy and surgery to either close or remove the vein. However, in many cases these invasive treatments are not necessary.
Although you can’t get rid of varicose veins without surgery, there are many home remedies that can help you relieve your symptoms. Dr. Boyle reports on ways to improve blood circulation and reduce discomfort.
Wearing compression stockings is probably the most effective home remedy for varicose veins. “Compression stockings keep veins from dilating, which relieves symptoms like pain, throbbing, and itching—especially when worn throughout the day,” says Dr. Boyle.
For a long time, compression stockings were extremely unsexy. But most medical compression stocking manufacturers now offer stockings in interesting colors and patterns.
Which product you need depends on how far your varicose veins extend into your legs. You can get knee-high, thigh-high, or even legging-like pieces that cover your stomach.
Compression socks can make a big difference, but Dr. Boyle points out that you won’t feel the benefits of compression unless you get medical-grade stockings.
If you want to improve the health of your veins, diet is a good place to start. In particular, you should consume plenty of fiber, potassium and flavonoids. There are also some herbs that can help relieve symptoms.
As with all nutrition plans, it is important that you try to get the nutrients you need through food and not through supplements.
Flavonoids are plant substances that give many foods their color. Research suggests they have a variety of benefits. But what’s most promising for people with varicose veins is the research that suggests they can help lower blood pressure.
The most promising flavonoid for treating varicose vein symptoms is rutin (also called rutoside). It is a flavanol found in a variety of foods, including capers, chili, buckwheat, green tea and amaranth.
Foods rich in fiber
People with varicose veins are recommended to eat a diet rich in fiber. If you don’t eat enough fiber, you’ll quickly become constipated and have to strain hard when you have a bowel movement. This in turn leads to increased pressure in the venous system.
Fiber can be obtained from a variety of foods, including legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
A diet rich in potassium can help lower blood pressure, which can ease some of the painful symptoms of varicose veins.
Bananas, grapefruits, melons, carrots and spinach are particularly high in potassium
Just be careful not to overdo it. Too much potassium can lead to muscle weakness and heart problems.
Although more research is needed, there are some herbal remedies that have shown promise in treating varicose vein symptoms. These are: horse chestnut seed extract, Centella asiatica and grape seed extract.
While exercise won’t eliminate varicose veins, it will relieve symptoms and improve – temporarily – the appearance of the veins. And don’t worry: you don’t have to run marathons to get these benefits. Dr. Boyle says a nighttime walk is the first thing she recommends to her patients.
Put your legs up
Not everyone has the opportunity to elevate their legs. But if you can, Dr. Boyle to do it. “It’s a little inconvenient, but if you can put your legs up, you’ll notice that your symptoms improve,” says the doctor.
The goal is to get your legs above your heart so that gravity can help your veins direct your blood in the right direction. However, if this is not possible, you can relieve pressure on your veins by elevating your legs slightly – as you can do when using a recliner or raised leg supports in a wheelchair.
Massages won’t cure your varicose veins, but they can temporarily relieve swelling and discomfort. According to Dr. Boyle has an important caveat here: People who have experienced phlebitis should speak to their doctor before getting a massage or massaging their veins themselves.
Which does not work
If you spend a lot of time on the internet, you’ll almost certainly find strange health advice. Fortunately, these recommendations are usually not dangerous in the case of varicose veins.
Dr. Boyle is generally not concerned about patients trying remedies they find online.
“As long as the thing you’re doing doesn’t make your symptoms worse, you can always try an unconventional home remedy. But if it makes your veins or a wound — like a venous leg ulcer — look worse, then stop using it.”
And: “Don’t spend a lot of money on something that claims to get rid of your spider veins or varicose veins, because I don’t think that will be the case.” Contact a vein specialist or vein specialist to get rid of annoying ones Eliminate varicose veins and spider veins.
When it is time for treatment
For some people, varicose veins never cause any problems. Other people get the relief they need through home remedies. But for some people, these resources are simply not enough. How do you know if it’s time for medical treatment?
Dr. Boyle strongly recommends treatment if you have experienced (or are currently experiencing) any of the following: phlebitis, venous leg ulcer, bleeding, or symptoms (such as pain, itching, and tenderness) that interfere with your daily life. (ad)