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How do I slow down varicose veins?

I am scared of having varicose veins in the future. My mom has varicose veins and has received treatment. What lifestyle changes can I make to slow the development of varicose veins?


Doctors Answers (8)

You can reduce your chances of varicose veins by maintaining a healthy weight, limiting prolonged standing and by wearing custom fit medical grade compression hose.

You will either get varicose veins or you will not - depending on whether you inherited this condition. Although you cannot alter your genetic fate, you may modify its extent by wearing compression hosiery, exercising, and elevating your legs when possible.

Stay fit and active. Regular exercise, keep close to your ideal body weight and avoid prolonged sitting or standing in one place. There is some thoughts/ hopes but no good evidence that compression stockings might help delay the development of varicose veins.

Keep physically active with regular walking or other aerobic activity which help to return venous blood to the heart and reduce venous stretching due to elevated vein pressures. Avoid prolonged standing on hard surfaces if possible, which cause venous blood to accumulate in the legs and cause a tired aching sensation in addition to expanding the leg veins. Career choices are a major factor as we see occupations with prolonged standing much more frequently including teachers, nurses, hair dressers and flight attendance. Wearing compression hose during pregnancies is beneficial and choosing shoes that have good arch support and allow normal calf muscle movement during walking. High heeled shoes will contribute to the development of varicose veins. Nutrition is not a major factor in the development of varicose veins although adequate quality protein and vitamin-C is beneficial to maintain strong connective tissues that can mechanically support the veins.

Great question. While there is a strong hereditary aspect of vein problems you will not definitely develop them. If you have the inherited genetics to have this problem you can slow the process by being aware of conservative management. Firstly if you are a woman, hormones do influence development. Wearing compression hose while working, standing for prolonged periods of time, especially during pregnancy will help slow things down. Elevating your legs, exercising, maintaining a healthy body weight all can help. The same interventions can be used by men. There are compression hose which are well-tolerated by men and cannot be seen under clothing and look like dress socks.

Exercise like walking, weight control, and wear compressive socks if your occupation requires long periods of standing, such as nursing or warehouse work.

Genetically you are predisposed to having veins. If you are genetically predisposed there is not much you can do. You should try to maintain a thin constant weight. The more pregnancies you have the more chances of veins you will have. There are micronized flavonoids like Rutin and daflon 500 which may help but are not readily available in the United States. Probably, time will tell. Compression hose can help the symptoms but aren't believed to prevent new veins.

Walk a lot, maintain normal weight and use appropriate graded compression stockings at appropriate times. You should be evaluated by a phlebologist and create a long term plan of action.

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