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Health

Updated on: Sunday, January 09, 2022, 12:29 PM IST

Simply Sujok: Understanding varicose veins

From symptoms to treatment options, here’s all you need to know about the large and swollen veins that appear on the legs and feet
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You all know that veins carry blood to our heart. They all have a one-way valve — think of it as a turnstile — that helps the blood flow to your heart. Now imagine what would happen if that “turnstile” stopped moving. The same thing happens in the case of a symptom called varicose veins. This very small one-way valve is weak or damaged, and that means blood pools up in your veins. The result is swelling and discomfort.

Varicose veins are ropelike and can be blue or red, and can even make your skin bulge. They’re most common on the back and front of the calves, the inside of the leg and on the thighs. The good and bad news if you are suffering from varicose veins.

First, the good news, varicose veins don’t always cause problems. For the most part, simple lifestyle changes and health hacks can provide an effective solution. Now, the bad news, varicose veins are no doubt cosmetically unsightly, but more important - can also be very painful. Varicose veins can also cause sores, skin ulcers and blood clots. This means that as long as you have varicose veins, you’re at risk of developing the pain and discomfort associated with them. In severe cases, a varicose vein may rupture, or develop into varicose ulcers on the skin. These may require medical attention.

Major symptoms of varicose veins include: Burning or throbbing sensation in the legs. Uncomfortable legs that feel heavy or achy. Muscle cramps that can be more noticeable at night. Swelling of the feet and ankles and dry or itchy skin that appears thinner over.

Approximately 1 in 4 adults in the world, especially women are affected by varicose veins. Pregnant women are more susceptible to varicose veins. Symptoms can include aching legs, swollen ankles, and spider veins. People who are overweight have an increased risk of varicose veins.

There are various options, including some lifestyle changes and home remedies.

Mudra treatment: It could be treated even by Vayu Mudra, details of performing it are available on the internet. But if a person needs guidance, he or she can visit our website, www.artofselfhealing.in.

Regular exercise encourages better blood circulation in the legs, which helps to push along the blood that has collected in the veins. Exercise also helps to lower a person’s blood pressure, which is another contributing factor to varicose veins.

Low-impact exercises help to get the calf muscles working without excessive strain.

Effective, low-impact exercises include: Swimming, walking, cycling and yoga.

Salty or sodium-rich foods can cause the body to retain water, so cutting down on salty food can minimise water retention. Foods high in potassium can help to reduce water retention.

Foods that are high in potassium include: Almonds and pistachio nuts, lentils and white beans, potatoes, leafy vegetables and some fish, such as salmon and tuna.

Foods with fibre help to keep the bowels moving and prevent constipation. This may be important, as straining can aggravate damaged valves or make them worse.

Foods that are high in fibre include: Nuts, seeds, and legumes, oats, wheat, flaxseed and whole-grain foods.

Adding foods that contain flavonoids may also help a person to shrink their varicose veins. Flavonoids improve blood circulation, which will keep the blood flowing, and make it less likely to pool in the veins. They also help to reduce blood pressure in the arteries and can relax blood vessels, all of which can reduce varicose veins. Foods that contain flavonoids include:

  • Vegetables, including onions, bell peppers, spinach, and broccoli

  • Citrus fruits and grapes, cherries, apples, and blueberries

  • Cocoa

  • Garlic

Keeping the legs elevated, ideally at the same height as the heart or above it will help to improve circulation. This reduces the pressure in the leg veins and gravity will help the blood to flow smoothly back to the heart. A person should aim to keep their legs elevated if they are going to be sitting down for long periods of time, such as during work or rest.

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Gently massaging the affected areas can help to keep the blood moving through the veins. A person can use gentle massage oils for optimal effects. It is crucial to avoid pressing directly onto the veins, however, as this may damage fragile tissues.

Avoid sitting for long periods of time. If a person has to sit for long periods of time for work, they should aim to get up and move around or change position frequently to keep the blood flowing smoothly. Avoid sitting with crossed legs, as this can further restrict blood flow to the legs and feet, which may add to circulation problems.

Acupressure Treatment is a very effective form of complementary medicine that one can take advantage of. The illustration shows the points that need to be addressed for varicose veins.

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Published on: Sunday, January 09, 2022, 12:28 PM IST
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