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What, Whys and Hows of Varicose Veins, Sonya Ransome, Wellness Educator

01 April 2011no comments Health

For over 19 years, I have been involved with nutrition and in that time have helped numerous people feel better in many areas.  However, questions that many people have are, “What are varicose veins?”  “Why do I get them?”  “How can I deal with the pain or get rid of them?” Hopefully, the following information will answer all those questions.

What are varicose veins?

Veins collect blood from capillaries and return it to the heart.  The pressure in a vein is very low; therefore it requires muscular movement from the body to help the blood return to the heart.  When blood pools in the vein, it causes the vein to become swollen and distorted which causes varicosities, or varicose veins. Many people will see small veins (spider veins) first.  Varicosities can happen anywhere in the body.  The most common areas are legs, feet, abdomen and anus.  It is interesting to note that a hemorrhoid is also a varicose vein.

Why do you get varicose veins?

There are many reasons why the valve in the vein becomes weak and swollen:  obesity, menopause, pregnancy, strenuous lifting, pressure placed on the abdomen, lack of exercise, genetics, and a diet low in fiber.  A diet rich in refined grains, sugars and junk foods can contribute to a variety of illnesses and also weaken vein walls.

How do you reduce or keep from getting varicose veins?   Below are some basic natural solutions that may help:

  • Exercising at least four times a week promotes circulation (e.g. yoga, walking, swimming or bicycling)
  • Massage legs to stimulate circulation

Take nutritional supplements to support and strengthen the vein wall such as:

–  Vitamin C

–  Vitamin E

–  B Vitamins

–  Calcium

– GLA (gamma linolenic acid – which our bodies use to form pros taglandins; potent, hormone-like substances which  help the body to regulate many normal metabolic processes)

–  Bioflavonoid

  • Try not sitting in one place for long periods of time.  Do stretching exercises, shake your legs or take a walk every 30 minutes.
  • Elevate your feet when sitting if possible.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables.  A high fiber diet decreases pressure on blood vessels.
  • Drink plenty of water (minimum of 8 eight ounce glasses per day).
  • Take a bath in Epsom salt for 15-20 minutes; make sure to rinse in cold water.
  • Try not to drink coffee.  This constricts blood flow.
  • Lie on your back with your buttocks up against the wall and legs extended upward.  Lie there for 15 minutes; this allows pooled blood to move back into the body.

Varicosities typically show up with the aging process and much of it is due to dehydration and lack of exercise.  So remember, in order to maintain good circulation for a lifetime or improve current circulation, it is important to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, drink lots of water and stay away from refined sugars, soda, coffee and processed foods.

There are many causes for the appearance of varicose veins.  I do consultations to assist people with determining their nutritional needs.  If you are interested in making an appointment for a detailed nutritional assessment, feel free to email me at or contact my office at 240.391.6914.


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