In the last post, I covered five strategies for preventing varicose veins, from ankle exercises to ergonomics. Today, I’d like to share a few more strategies to keep veins healthy and active. (Again, don’t forget to check out the top four prevention strategies.)
#1 Ask Your Physician About Estrogen
Some evidence suggests that estrogen and progesterone can damage veins and increase the risk of blood clotting and embolisms. If you don’t have other risk factors for varicose veins, then the use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy could be negligible. However, you should at least discuss this hormonal/varicose vein relationship with your physician.
#2 Be Choosy About Footwear
Footwear can either exacerbate or lessen the discomfort associated with varicose veins. High heels and tight shoes are sure to make varicose veins bulge more than ever. Instead, opt for tennis shoes, which can be worn loose, or specialty shoes. Anything with a low heel that works the calf muscles can help.
#3 Put the Tight Belts Away
Speaking of fashion, if you really want to prevent varicose veins, it’s time to make some other wardrobe changes. I wrote about varicose vein clothing back in September, but it’s worth emphasizing again. Avoid tight belts, elastic waistbands, and other garments that can impede blood returning to the heart.
#4 Don’t Cross Your Legs
Will crossing your legs while sitting cause varicose veins? No. This is a myth that’s been widely propagated through pop culture. However, crossing your legs certainly doesn’t do any favors for weak veins. Use some of the sitting and stretching exercises for preventing varicose veins that were discussed in last week’s blog post.
#5 Quit Smoking
If you smoke, now’s the time to quit. Smoking damages the lining of blood vessels and can lead to a number of vascular conditions, including peripheral arterial disease (PAD), varicose veins and other issues.
Learn more about new treatments for varicose veins in the Tempe, Mesa and Phoenix areas.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.