Varicose veins are very common in women and can develop for a number of reasons. Certain risk factors, such as age, pregnancy, obesity, hormone replacement therapy or even sitting for too long can lead to its development. Some people may even have a family history of varicose veins, which makes it more difficult to avoid the condition. It’s fair to wonder if there are ways to prevent them from forming.
The great saphenous vein, the longest blood vessel in the body, runs from the groin to the ankle. It is the main vein in the leg and can lead to the development of varicose veins. While varicose veins are inevitable in some people, there are certain measures you can take to prevent them from developing. These include a few lifestyle habits and changes.
Avoid Crossing Your Legs
If you have a family history of varicose veins, one of the best things you can do to prevent them from forming is to avoid crossing your legs. This may be difficult because it will likely feel natural to simply cross your legs, but if you are very conscious of the habit, you can work toward avoiding it.
Avoid Sitting or Standing for Prolonged Periods of Time
Sitting or standing for a prolonged amount of time can make it more difficult for blood to travel and can cause increased pressure in the veins. As a result, the blood can pool in your legs and lead to varicose veins. If you move around more, it can help the blood circulation and decrease the pressure in the veins. However, if you are like many people and work at a desk all day, you can do mini-exercises that can help, such as stretching your ankles, bending your knees and peddling your feet.
It’s also a good idea to elevate your legs a minimum of three times per day for 15 minutes each time.
Wear Compression Hosiery
Wearing compression socks and stockings can help prevent varicose veins from developing as they keep the vein valves in proper position. They also help to relieve pain and swelling. Talk with your doctor about which type of compression hosiery is best for you.
Consult a Vein Doctor
It’s important to seek out a vein doctor’s care before you develop varicose veins. Your vein doctor can provide treatment and guidance on how to avoid further complications. Here are some early warning signs of chronic venous insufficiency to be aware of:
- Restless legs;
- Heaviness in the legs;
- Frequent leg cramps;
- Swelling in the legs;
- Leg pain;
- Spider veins;
- Skin discoloration.
Regular exercise can help to combat varicose veins. You don’t even have to do anything too strenuous as simply walking is the best way to prevent the condition from developing. Yoga, swimming, and cycling are also good activities because they stretch out your legs.
Consume a Healthy Diet
Your diet can play a large part in preventing the development of varicose veins. Certain foods can be substituted for others to improve the flow of blood in the legs. Eating whole wheat or whole grain pasta or bread instead of those made with white flour and brown rice instead of white can prevent excess sugar intake and improve blood flow. Foods that contain ruin, such as apples, grapes, blackberries, and apricots, are also recommended because they relieve swelling and pain.
Sleep on Your Left Side
If you’re pregnant, sleeping on your left side can help to prevent the development of varicose veins. If you already have them, it can ease the symptoms. Sleeping on your left side can ease the pressure that the baby puts on the large vein in your pelvic area on the right middle side of the body.
These are just a few ways to prevent the development of varicose veins. Follow these tips to have beautiful, healthy legs with normal blood flow.