Varicose Vein Treatment – What are Your Options?
The day you run a hand over your leg or ankle and feel a protruding, throbbing vein is never a good one. If you do not feel your varicose veins, you may first discover them by seeing them in the mirror while wearing a short skirt, shorts, bathing suit or underwear. If the veins are located on the backside of your legs, someone else may notice the condition first.
In most cases, these veins may be a sign that you are getting older. Just as your face starts to develop fine lines and wrinkles as the years go by, your veins start to weaken and the valves that allow the blood to flow back to the heart become less effective. There is nothing you can do to stop your body from ageing, but there are some things you can do to naturally prevent the development of varicose veins.
Right now is the time to take action if you are starting to notice that your veins are protruding or appear darker than normal. You may still be able to correct the problem before your condition worsens. There are some cosmetic procedures that a professional can use to help you treat the problem. This guide will introduce you to your treatment options, both naturally and surgically.
Get Up and Go
An active lifestyle that limits excessive standing or sitting is one of the best ways to prevent and treat varicose veins. When you remain motionless for an extended period of time, blood flow slows down through your legs and increases your chances of developing varicose veins.
You can easily keep the blood flowing efficiently through your veins by working short bursts of movement into your day. If you sit at a desk during the day for work, you can make a point of standing up and doing simple exercises at your desk every hour or two. You may also choose to deliver letters or go talk to your colleagues in person rather than sending emails during the day.
It is also important to add formal exercise into your life. From Zumba to yoga, Pilates and boot camp, there are endless ways to add exercise into your schedule. You may also start taking a walk or going for a jog in the evenings or first thing in the mornings. This may not guarantee that you never suffer from varicose veins and it may not eliminate those that you already suffer, but exercise can help tremendously.
Watch What You Eat
What you eat is just as important as how often you move. Healthy foods will nourish your veins while helping you control your body weight. If you carry excess weight on your body, you will naturally put more pressure on your veins as they try to pump blood through your body efficiently. This is why overweight and obese people are far more likely to need varicose vein treatment than people who maintain healthy body weights throughout their lives.
Keep Your Hormones in Check
One of the primary causes of varicose veins is hormonal change. You can help treat the varicose veins that have already developed and prevent the future varicose veins by having your hormone levels checked regularly. If you become pregnant, a condition which is associated with lots of hormonal change, monitor your veins and consider using graduated compression stockings.
One way to treat varicose veins is to apply consistent pressure to the troubled veins throughout the day. As pressure is applied around your leg, the veins are constricted and improve efficiency as they pump blood throughout your body. This can help relieve some of the discomfort caused by your veins and will make living with this condition a bit more comfortable.
Beyond Natural Varicose Vein Treatments
If you suffer from a severe case of varicose veins that interfere with your daily life or you simply want to correct the problem due to the unattractive appearance of the veins, there are some additional varicose vein treatments to consider. Only a professional trained to treat varicose veins can determine which of these treatments applies best to your situation, but it is a good idea to understand all of your options.
1. Laser Procedures
Handheld devices are used to spray light over the affected veins. The light will decrease the appearance of the veins by causing them to collapse so that blood no longer passes through them. These procedures can be performed in very little time and require little to no downtime. Lasers offer the least painful method of treatment for your varicose veins. Laser treatment works best on small varicose veins, so it may not be ideal if you suffer from a more severe condition.
This form of varicose vein treatment involves injecting a solution into the veins in order to close them off so that blood stops flowing through them. This is a simple in-office procedure that will typically deliver results within days or weeks. You may need to go in for repeat injections before you completely eliminate the appearance of the veins. This is a fast, low pain procedure that is completed with no recovery time required.
3. Catheter Treatments
If you suffer from more severe varicose veins that are too large for laser treatment or sclerotherapy, you may need this more invasive option. A catheter is injected into the vein and then heated up. When the catheter comes out of the vein, it causes the vein to collapse. Once collapsed, the vein will close off so that blood is no longer able to flow through.
4. Surgical Removal
If you have larger varicose veins, surgery may be the best, most permanent option. A vascular surgeon must first determine that you are an ideal candidate for this procedure, and then you must be prepared for a more substantial recovery period.
Ambulatory phlebectomy involves a series of punctures which may leave some scarring, and endoscopic surgery employs an internal camera to identify problem veins so that they can be removed. These procedures are typically performed as outpatient services, but they are still more substantial than your standard laser treatment or other options listed above.
Notice that most of these treatment options are designed to prevent blood from passing through the veins that are currently giving you problems. Your blood will continue to flow, but it will travel through other veins instead.
It is important to live an active lifestyle, eat a healthy diet, and avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time even after you treat the veins currently giving you a problem. Preventative measures can never ensure that you will not develop new varicose veins, but they can reduce your chances significantly.
Not Ready for Treatment?
If you decide not to treat your varicose veins immediately, make sure you watch for ulcers around your ankles or excessive swelling in your legs and ankles. Excessive swelling is often a sign of a blood clot which could develop due to restricted blood flow throughout your veins. You must treat blood clots immediately so that they do not put your life in danger. If you are suffering from serious varicose veins, it is a good idea to at least consult a professional to discuss your treatment options. You will know what to do in the future if you decide it is necessary to move beyond the natural treatment and prevention methods featured in this guide.