The other day my three year old came running and asked me how I managed to get pen marks on my calves. After dismissing an overactive imagination of a manic three year old I glanced into the mirror only to realize that I had varicose veins; I had never imagined that they could affect someone like me. Ok! I was a little overweight, but was that enough to cause spider webs to run across the back of my calves and thighs?
What are varicose veins? Varicose veins are a condition that happens when the normal superficial veins become abnormally thick and enlarged going up to almost 3 millimeters or more in diameter. This enlargement causes the veins to rise giving them a dark blue to purple color. This condition is more common in women than men with almost 20 – 25% percent of women getting affected. If you don’t have your family to blame for this condition then some probable causes are excessive weight gain, prolonged time spent standing, pregnancy and menopause. Sometimes these webs develop when the valves of the veins are weak or absent. This causes poor circulation making blood to pool in the veins itself. Pregnancy and menopause are the other two times when varicose veins present their threat. Since the levels of the hormone progesterone increase, the blood vessels tend to relax causing varicose veins. Coupled with that is the additional weight of the pregnancy that does nothing to alleviate this situation. The good news is that post delivery these veins reduce in appearance and sometimes even disappear.
Your treatment options – Mild varicose veins do not require any treatment. Simple strategies like keeping your legs elevated, keeping your weight down, avoiding standing for long periods and wearing compression stockings help immensely. But if your varicose veins become severe and painful leading to ulcers you might need more advanced treatments. Some treatments for varicose veins are Injection therapy or Sclerotherapy, Endovenous Laser therapy, Radiofrequency ablation and Surgery. It is best to head to your dermatologist to understand the need to opt for advanced procedures.
Your Lifestyle– Before you go in for these high end treatment procedures, simple lifestyle tweaks make a lot of difference to your veins. It’s important here that you keep your blood circulation up. What better way than regular exercise; may be a walk, run, swim or dance? When your body’s fit, your veins are fit too! If you spend long hours sitting either in front of a computer or at your work place, it’s time to get up and move at regular intervals. Next time round, get up for your coffee. Don’t put undue pressure on your legs by standing too long. It’s simple- your body doesn’t like anything monotonous- keep moving, exercising, and bring in activity for less varicose in your environment.
What has or is working for your varicose veins? Write in by putting in a comment below.