Varicose veins aren’t typically dangerous, but they can be unsightly and even painful. In some cases, they can also cause complications, like blood clots, bleeding, and skin ulcers, because this condition affects the vein’s ability to pump blood through the body and back toward the heart.
If a close family member has varicose veins, you may have an increased genetic risk of developing them as well. However, the skilled vein care specialists at Carolina Vein Specialists can help you learn how to prevent varicose veins and the symptoms that go along with them.
How to prevent varicose veins
Whether varicose veins run in your family, or you have a job that requires you to sit or stand for long stretches, you might be worried about developing these bulging, ropy veins. Here are a few things you can do to prevent their onset:
- Make healthy lifestyle changes
The first step to healthy circulation is keeping your legs strong and in good shape. Walking and regular exercise promotes good blood flow to the heart. Eating a well-balanced, heart-healthy diet can help keep excess weight off and prevent varicose veins. Focus on keeping your diet low-salt to reduce water retention and swelling, which can also put unnecessary pressure on (and weaken) the valves inside your veins. The best foods to support healthy veins and arteries include:
- Fiber-rich foods like steel-cut oatmeal, brown rice, leafy green vegetables, broccoli, avocado, and lentils.
- Low-sodium foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fresh or frozen lean meats (e.g., chicken, fish), unsalted seeds and nuts, and eggs.
- Food rich in vitamin C like bell peppers, strawberries, oranges, broccoli, tomatoes, and kale.
- Food rich in vitamin E like almonds, peanuts, spinach, collard greens, avocado, and asparagus.
- Food rich in rutin (an antioxidant that reduces inflammation) like apple peels, figs, cranberries, asparagus, and buckwheat.
- Wear compression stockings
Compression stockings gently squeeze your legs and encourage blood to move up your legs. They are especially helpful for people who are required to sit or stand in the same place while they work. Wearing medium-graduated compression stockings daily will help you prevent the onset or progression of varicose veins. The good news is that compression stockings have come a long way from the thick, beige compression hosiery your grandparents wore. Today, you can find many stylish, medical-grade alternatives to match your outfit and personality.
- Get a medical evaluation
Find out if you have a venous insufficiency with a medical evaluation at Carolina Vein Specialists. Our experienced and highly skilled physicians specialize in several minimally invasive, nonsurgical, office-based treatment options that offer significant benefits over older vein-striping surgical methods. These include faster symptom relief and recovery, little to no downtime, no hospitalization, no sedation, and little to no scarring.
If you’d like to treat your varicose veins and get your legs ready for summer, call Carolina Vein Specialists today to schedule an appointment. Our skilled vein care specialists will examine your varicose veins and recommend a treatment that’s right for you.