What Causes Varicose Veins? Are they Serious?
Varicose veins are swollen, enlarged and twisting veins, often appearing dark purple or blue.
More than 23 per cent of all adults are thought to be affected, but pregnant women are more susceptible. However, although they may look concerning, they are usually benign. They usually appear on legs and feet, but may also appear in the genital area. They happen when the valves in the veins do not work properly. Thankfully, varicose veins rarely need treatment for health reasons, although they can cause swelling, aching and pain as a result of them. In severe cases, they can rupture, but this is quite rare. You can also get treatment for cosmetic reasons.
During pregnancy, varicose veins tend to happen when the uterus applies pressure to the large vein that carries blood back to the heart from the feet and legs. They usually appear during the first trimester. They are often hereditary, so if your mother or grandmother got them during pregnancy, you may as well.
Home Treatments For Varicose Veins
At home, you can reduce pain and avoid making them worse by taking frequent breaks when moving around, wearing compression stockings, and changing positions when standing or sitting. You can also do so by elevating your feet often and avoiding crossing your legs when sitting. Daily low-impact exercise may also benefit the situation, given that it is safe for pregnancy. Thankfully, varicose veins tend to get better after you’ve delivered your baby. In fact, they will probably go away by the time your baby is three months old (although this may take longer).
There are a number of home treatments that may help with varicose veins. Foods high in potassium may help, such as bananas, almonds, pistachios, lentils and salmon. Eating more foods that contain flavonoids can also help shrink the veins, as flavonoids improve blood circulation. Try adding more vegetables, citrus fruits, cocoa and garlic to your diet.
Buckwheat, apples and St John’s wort contain rutin, which has vascular benefits that may also aid varicose veins. Apple cider vinegar is also thought to help when massaged on the skin first thing in the morning and before going to bed at night.