Eating certain foods during pregnancy may help to ease the discomfort of existing varicose veins, or prevent them from getting worse.
A healthy diet, which helps your blood vessels to function properly, should help to ease the pain of varicose veins. But it may not prevent them from forming if you have a high risk of developing them. A high-fibre diet can prevent hemorrhoids from becoming worse as this will guard against constipation.
Whole fruit and fruit juice, particularly red berries such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries may help to prevent varicose veins. These fruits contain a pigment which may strengthen the walls of the veins. Eating prunes may help to keep your bowels regular. You can also try a probiotic supplement with or instead of a magnesium supplement to keep your bowels regular. Natural Health Products & Supplementation
Some weight gain is natural and healthy during pregnancy. But regular exercise will reduce a build-up of fat, while maintaining good circulation and toning your blood vessels. Try gentle walking, swimming or pregnancy exercise classes. However, excessive aerobic exercise, such as cycling and jogging, increases pressure in your leg veins, and may make the problem worse.
Deep breathing will aid your circulation, which is important in the prevention of varicose veins. But it will also help you to relax and focus. Spend about 10 minutes each day in a position in which your feet are raised above your hips. Inhale deeply and slowly to fully inflate your lungs.
If you have a family history of hemorrhoids, or had them in a previous pregnancy, regular pelvic floor exercises may prevent them from getting worse this time.
As your belly grows, don't be tempted to wear your usual clothes. Tight clothes around your groin area, whether it's too-skinny jeans or tights, may make your varicose veins worse. Avoid wearing shoes which are too tight or which are high enough to overstretch your calf muscles. Avoid sitting or squatting for long periods, and try not to sit with your legs crossed.
Sleep with your legs raised: Because varicose veins occur when blood cannot properly flow back up to the heart, raising your legs while you sleep will improve blood flow. Elevated legs will also encourage your lymph fluid to flow, reducing swelling.
Blood pressure (BP) is affected by many environmental factors including,
- Ambient temperature
- Airs polluants.
Stress is part of the body’s survival mechanism. When you are stressed, you will notice an elevated heart rate and your respiratory rates will increase as well. Basically, you will be on high alert, ready to defend yourself or flee. This is a good response. The problems only begin when the stress response is sustained. Chronic and unending stress occurs when stress is denied an outlet.
If you have seen a stressed animal before, you might have noticed how it exhibits signs of excess energy. It will often run, jump, or make a lot of noise. This is a natural response, and it results from a spike in the blood levels of adrenaline. Unfortunately, in this world, a lot of people will not respond similarly to the flood of adrenaline in their bodies. This will harm the body and affect a lot of its basic processes.
Stress can affect the circulatory and nervous systems, leading to a variety of health conditions. However, what most people don’t know is that it can also affect the digestive system. It can lead to either an overactive digestive system, which manifests as stomach cramps and diarrhea, or an underactive digestive system which leads to issues like constipation. Extended periods of constipation, which is why there is a connection between hemorrhoids and stress. This answers the question of where you can get hemorrhoids from stress. If you are stressed and you start getting some of the signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids
- Coaching Techniques & Behavioural Change
What exactly are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are veins that are swollen and twisted, making them bulge. If you run your fingers over them, you can feel the bumps. They’re typically purplish-blue or red in color.
Varicose veins can occur anywhere. It may surprise you to know that hemorrhoids are a type of varicose vein.
While they can develop anywhere, varicose veins are most often found in the legs. That’s because the veins in the legs must work against gravity when circulating blood.
So, what exactly causes these veins to become swollen?
Basically, varicose veins are caused by increased blood pressure in the veins. You might develop varicose veins if you have weak or damaged valves within your blood vessels.
The valves inside your veins work by ensuring that blood flows in one direction and doesn’t flow backward. When these valves weaken, it can cause blood to pool in the vein rather than move forward. This can cause the vein to stretch and twist.
Anyone can develop varicose veins. They’re more common in women, possibly due to hormonal changes. They’re also more common in older adults due to the effect of aging on veins.
Other factors that can increase your risk include:
- a family history of varicose veins
- prolonged standing or sitting
What about spider veins?
You’ve probably also heard of spider veins, which are in the same family as varicose veins.
Spider veins are smaller clusters of twisted veins, usually red or blue in color. You can see them under the skin, but they don’t bulge out.
Spider veins are painless and tend to show up on the face or legs. While you may not like their appearance, spider veins aren’t physically harmful.
Do varicose veins pose a health risk?
Most people don’t develop serious problems due to varicose veins. Complications are rare, but can include:
- blood clots (thrombophlebitis)
- minor bleeding close to the skin
- ulcers on the skin near the varicose veins
Research also suggests that people with varicose veins are at increased risk of:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This is when a blood clot develops in a deep vein, usually in the thigh or lower leg.
- Pulmonary embolism. This is when a blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, which can be life threatening.
Further studies are needed to determine whether the link between these conditions is due to a common set of risk factors.
What symptoms should you look out for?
Most of the time, varicose veins aren’t a cause for concern. Besides the outward appearance of these veins, you may have other symptoms, such as:
- throbbing or aching in the area of the vein
- itching, burning around the vein
- dry, irritated skin
- leg heaviness and fatigue
- muscle cramping
- pain when you sit or stand for a long time
See your doctor if you’re concerned about your veins or if you can’t find relief from the discomfort they cause.
Seek medical attention if you notice any of the following in regard to your varicose veins:
- darker patches of skin, sores, or ulcers
- bleeding veins
- veins that are painful and feel hot
- persistent pain and swelling
If a blood clot breaks free and travels to the lungs, it can be potentially life threatening. Shortness of breath, which can be sudden or gradual, is the most common symptom of a pulmonary embolism. Other symptoms may include:
- chest pain
- dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
- feeling of anxiety
- irregular heart rate
- rapid pulse
- coughing up blood
If you have shortness of breath, with or without any of the symptoms listed above, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
How are varicose veins treated?
Varicose veins don’t always require treatment. However, they can sometimes worsen, which can increase the risk of complications.
Wearing compression stockings can improve the function of your veins and leg muscles and help relieve symptoms. You can buy over-the-counter compression stockings at most pharmacies and where medical supplies are sold, or your doctor can write a prescription for a specific type.
Here are some other things to keep in mind:
- Varicose veins that develop during pregnancy may improve on their own.
- You can seek treatment, even if your only concern is their appearance.
- Self-care measures, like regular exercise or wearing compression stockings, aren’t always enough to relieve pain, discomfort, or other issues you may experience with varicose veins.
For varicose veins that aren’t severe, your doctor may recommend the following treatments:
- Sclerotherapy. This is a procedure in which the doctor injects a solution into the veins, causing scarring and shrinking. Varicose veins should fade within a few weeks. The procedure can be done in your doctor’s office.
- Laser treatment. This procedure doesn’t involve needles or incisions. Instead, bursts of light are sent into small varicose veins, after which they slowly fade away.
For more advanced or stubborn varicose veins, your doctor may recommend:
- Catheter-assisted radiofrequency or laser energy. These procedures may be more helpful for larger varicose veins.
- High ligation and vein stripping. In this procedure, a vein is tied off before it connects to a deep vein. The vein is then removed via small incisions.
- Ambulatory phlebectomy. This procedure involves removing smaller varicose veins through small skin punctures.
- Endoscopic vein surgery. This procedure is generally a last resort. It’s likely to be used when leg ulcers are involved and other treatments have already been tried.
You may not be able to completely prevent varicose veins, but there are steps you can take to make them less likely to develop.
If you already have small varicose veins, these steps may also prevent the veins from getting worse.
- Do some type of exercise every day. This can help improve your circulation and prevent blood from pooling in your veins.
- Manage your weight. Carrying extra weight puts added pressure on your veins.
- Cut back on salt. Too much salt may raise your blood pressure and cause fluid retention.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing and high heels. These can restrict your blood flow and make it easier for blood to pool in weaker veins.
- Elevate your legs above heart level. Done several times a day, this can help reduce fluid retention and blood pooling in your legs.
- Avoid standing or sitting for long periods. Set an alarm as a reminder to move around for a few minutes each hour. Try to elevate your legs if you can.
- Avoid smoking. Nicotine can cause blood vessels to tighten, which restricts blood flow. Smoking also weakens blood vessel walls, raises blood pressure, and increases the likelihood of blood clots.
Who gets varicose veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged veins with a rope-like appearance. They’re usually purple or blue in color, occur right beneath your skin, and typically affect your legs and feet.
Up to 23 percent of all adults are affected by this venous disease in the U.S. About 33 million of these people are older, with ages ranging between 40 and 80.
Varicose veins are caused by malfunctioning valves in your veins that are unable to bring blood back to your heart effectively as they work against gravity.
Symptoms of varicose veins
For some, varicose veins are only a cosmetic concern. There is no evidence Trusted Source of a direct link between the appearance of varicose veins and the discomfort they cause. In fact, the large, twisting veins may cause no discomfort whatsoever, while damaged veins that are less visible can become extremely painful.
In general, various symptoms contribute to the overall feeling of pain and discomfort:
- feeling of heavy, achy legs
- muscle cramps
- feeling of throbbing and burning in your legs
- swelling in your calves and around your ankles
- discomfort around a particular area of veins
All these symptoms usually become more bothersome during warm days. Blood vessels have a tendency to dilate with higher temperatures, which makes it even harder for the valves to function properly. The symptoms also worsen as the day progresses and more blood pools around your ankles. Prolonged periods of sitting or standing are also considered aggravating factors and can result in pain.