Varicose veins can be very embarrassing and ugly; many people want to find ways to get rid of them.
These veins are twisted, gnarled, enlarged veins under the surface of the skin and for many people; it can be unthinkable to wear shorts or dresses.
Varicose veins are most common in the legs and ankles and for some people the problems can extend beyond the cosmetic issues.
What causes varicose veins?
There are a number of different things which can lead to the development of varicose veins, including:
- Age: As a person ages, the veins lose elasticity and stretch. The valves in veins can become weak and allow blood which should be flowing to the heart to flow backwards. Blood will pool in veins and cause enlargement. Varicose veins are blue in color because they contain deoxygenated blood which has become trapped.
- Pregnancy: Sometimes pregnant women will develop varicose veins. Being pregnant causes an increase in blood volume and it leads to reduced blood flow in the legs and pelvic area. The change in circulation is designed to support the growing baby, but it can cause veins to become enlarged. Varicose veins can surface early in pregnancy, when the weight of the uterus puts extra stress on the legs.
The following six tips are ways you naturally alleviate the symptoms of varicose veins:
1. Wear compression stockings
Wearing compression stockings can help prevent the progression of varicose veins. These stockings help improve circulation, are tighter at the foot and get looser as they go up the leg. For mild symptoms, a person can wear support hose, knee highs or knee socks, but for more serious cases it may be necessary to purchase specially fitted compression stockings from a medical supply company.
For people with varicose veins, a good way to encourage circulation is to get up and exercise. Walking is a good way to help improve circulation and speaking to your physician can be a good idea to find out what other types of exercises will be appropriate for you.
3. Horse chestnut
There are several scientific studies which have proven horse chestnut can help with the symptoms of varicose veins.  It is important to find a trusted brand of horse chestnut, because sometimes a homemade preparation may contain a toxic compound. People with liver or kidney disease, diabetes, or taking blood thinners should not use horse chestnut. People who are considering horse chestnut should speak to their physician before taking it.
Further Reading: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/1055.html
Rutin is a bioflavinoid which strengthens the walls of veins and helps them perform better. There have been a number of studies performed which show rutin relieves vein swelling, pain and throbbing caused by varicose veins. As with adding any type of supplement to your diet, it is important to first speak to your doctor to make sure it is safe to do so.
5. Avoid long periods of sitting or standing
If you have a desk job or are on your feet much of the time at work, it is a good idea to change positions frequently in order to encourage good blood flow in the legs. You should try to move around every half an hour or so, in order to avoid blood pooling in the legs, which will reduce your chances of developing varicose veins.
6. Watching weight and diet
If you are overweight and eat an unhealthy diet, it may increase your chances of developing varicose veins. It is best to maintain a healthy body weight and to consume a healthy diet, because excess weight can put unnecessary pressure on the legs, causing varicose veins.
If you have developed varicose veins, you can try home treatment and lifestyle modifications to improve their appearance and to alleviate any discomfort. However, if varicose veins are causing leg pain, swelling, changes in the color of the skin on the legs or ankles or sores that do not heal easily, it is very important to seek medical attention to avoid any possible complications.