What should I do when varicose veins start?
In younger years, many people do not think that one day they will suffer from varicose veins. But varicose veins do appear on young adults, predominantly women. Where once only spider veins were visible on the legs, suddenly bluish varicose veins emerge, which protrude from below the surface of the skin. At least at this point, you should become active, in order to alleviate the suffering from varicose veins and in order to strengthen your veins!
What should I do when varicose veins start?
The bad news first: once varicose veins appear, they will not disappear of their own accord. The only exception are varicose veins which suddenly appear during pregnancy, which in some cases can recede after the birth of the child. The cause of all other varicose veins is usually hereditary vein weakness, which can be easily treated in the early stages. It is only in the advanced stage that varicose veins develop, when the veins are already damaged and expand due to the permanent build-up of blood.
Now the good news: the advance of varicose veins can be slowed, and varicose vein surgery delayed, with the aid of some preventive measures. For that you have to be active yourself, but you can also call on additional medicinal treatment options.
- Movement: your legs have to be moved – as often as possible. It is only through movement that the transportation of blood upwards towards the heart is activated. Blood has to be conveyed upwards from the veins against gravity. A feat of strength which is only possible thanks to the muscle pump, a pretty smart bodily function. Because the muscles in your legs produce pressure in your veins when tensed, which in turn leads to your blood being pressed upwards from below. If varicose veins are already noticeable, that means: go for a stroll, ride a bike, run, do gymnastics, swim and do whatever else you enjoy doing – and do it several times a week.
- Lose excess weight: an unhealthy diet and insufficient exercise inevitably lead to excess weight – and, with it, to weaker veins. So get used to leading a healthy lifestyle. Your body needs vitamins, minerals and trace elements from fresh produce such as fruit, vegetables, whole food products, nuts, herbs and fish or poultry. Combined with exercise you can reduce excess weight and strengthen your veins.
- Avoid long periods of standing or sitting: all of your blood flows into your legs when you are seated or standing. If you then do not move your legs for a longer period, the blood builds up more and more, your varicose veins get wider, and your legs swell and hurt. That is why it is important to void long periods standing or seated and consciously move your feet and legs now and again. Small gymnastic exercises, such as rocking on tiptoes, curling up and unwinding your feet or walking on the spot, animate the muscle pump and blood transportation without too much effort.
- Fluids: each day, your body needs two to three litres of fluids, so that your blood can flow easily and so that even the smallest blood vessels in the extremities are supplied. The thicker your blood is due to a lack of fluids, the more laborious it is for your veins to pump your blood upwards from your legs. So always remember throughout the day to drink numerous glasses of water or unsweetened tea so that your blood can circulate unhindered all day long.
- Hot and cold contrast showers: varicose veins are a clear sign that your vein walls are expanding and are less elastic. Contrast showers are a good training exercise for that. The contrast between cold and hot water pulls the blood vessels together and then they open again. If done regularly, contrast showers strengthen the vessel walls and stimulate circulation.
- Put you feet up: you are not only allowed to put your feet up in the evening after work, you can also do it now and again throughout the day. The first signs of varicose veins mean that your veins are experiencing difficulty fulfilling their demanding task. So help make their work a little easier and put your feet up on a chair, so that your blood can flow out of your legs.
- Compression: the stretched walls of your veins will welcome the external support. This can be provided by compression stockings, which are worn really tight against your legs and thereby exert pressure on the veins. That prevents your veins from enlarging further, and, at the same time, the external pressure helps your blood to be transported out of your legs.
- Medicines: the fluidity of your blood can also be supported with medicines such as Veno SL® 300 (Mandatory information – in German) The active ingredient Troxerutin is responsible for that, a substance from the Japanese Pagoda Tree. Veno SL® 300 also prevents the formation of oedemas, which often accompany varicose veins.
Unfortunately, there is only little that can be done against the predisposition to weak connective tissue, but the health of your veins can be very well supported by the measures highlighted above, so that the varicose veins do not lead to inflammation and thromboses.
When should I go to the doctor with varicose veins?
Also, sometimes it is not the strongly pronounced varicose veins which cause problems, but the inconspicuous ones which can accompany damage to the deep veins. You should definitely visit a doctor when additional symptoms occur such as leg pain, regular swelling, itching or changes in the skin.Depending on the diagnosis, the doctor will decide if your varicose veins need to be removed or if it is sufficient at first to regularly monitor the vein function and, where appropriate, to support with treatment with compression stockings. Thanks to modern medical procedures, the removal of varicose veins is nowadays possible as an outpatient and usually goes ahead without any complications.