What does the start of a new year signify to you?
A fresh start or a new you perhaps? A year full of renewed hope or a time to reflect? Whatever you decide, there is always going to be one certainty… by the end of it, we’ll be another year older.
Unfortunately, age can be a contributing factor to a wide range of medical problems including varicose veins. But while vein problems can, of course, strike at any time, research suggests that they affect as many as one in two women over the age of 50. So if you have had concerns about vein problems in the past, then 2021 might be the time for you to do something about it. From simple at-home practices through to medical treatments it is possible to prevent varicose veins by taking better care of your circulatory system.
Here’s how you can ring in the New Year with these top vein health tips…
Tip#1 Quit smoking
Did you know that tobacco smoke can decrease the amount of oxygen found in the blood and thicken it? Thicker blood makes it harder for your veins to pass blood freely around the body and can place them under excess strain. In addition, nicotine can also cause vascular hardening which, in turn, causes the vein to narrow as debris builds up on the vein wall. Not smoking is perhaps the single best thing that you can do for your overall and vascular health
Tip #2 – Stay hydrated
In contrast to tobacco which thickens the blood, water helps to keep blood thin. Thinner blood is more free-flowing and therefore places less strain on veins, keeping them functioning correctly. Poor circulation and blood clots from thicker blood can cause a whole host of vein problems – some of which are more serious concerns – including Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Tip #3 – Use compression stockings
While compression stockings might not appear particularly sexy or feminine they have been proven to work when worn regularly. Even occasional wear can help to give your veins a much-needed break. As the name suggests, compression socks work by compressing the veins and muscles in the lower leg. This helps veins move the flow of blood back up to the heart, relieving any stress swelling and/or pain. Even if you don’t want to wear them all the time, consider wearing them while traveling or when relaxing at home to give your veins a positive boost
Tip#4 – Exercise regularly
Regular exercise or movement can reduce your chances of developing varicose veins. Moreover, if you are already living with varicose vein problems, regular exercise can also ease symptoms making you feel more comfortable.
It doesn’t need to be strenuous exercise either. Just the simple act of walking or moving can help.
Tip #5 – Elevate the legs
Leg elevation can manually assist the flow of blood from the veins back to the heart. Try laying back and raising your legs above hip level. If it isn’t convenient to lie down (like during the working day) use a chair to support your legs to help get them higher. When you are in bed, consider using pillows to keep the legs in a propped or raised position.
Tip #6 – Maintain a healthy diet
Weight gain can also make it harder for the valves to pump the blood through the veins. As varicose veins occur when a faulty valve causes a pooling or collection of blood in the vein, then it’s understandable that maintaining a healthy weight can play an important part in our overall vein health.
So there you have it…a New Year’s guide to varicose vein health!
If you already have varicose or spider veins and feel that it’s about time you did something about it, then come and talk to Dr Akinwande and his team at the Midwest Institute for Non-Surgical Therapy (MINT)
Dr Akinwande uses the latest innovative techniques and technology to cure a whole host of vein problems using the latest comfortable non-surgical methods. Why not call to book an appointment at one of our 5 clinics, including the latest addition in Chicago, IL.