Years ago, I had spider veins and varicose veins. My long work hours, combined with the stress of single motherhood, contributed tremendously to my unsightly legs. I hated wearing shorts or skirts. I refused to show my legs. I was so embarrassed. Finally, I decided to take matters into my own hands and went to a specialist who administered sclerotherapy injections. The process took several injections over the course of several months. I no longer have varicose and spider veins. However, they can come back. Knowing this, I sought out Dr. Luis Navarro, the Founder and Director of The Vein Treatment Center, for tips to prevent spider veins and varicose veins.
Below I noted Dr. Navarro’s 10 tips to prevent spider veins and varicose veins, while optimizing circulation.
1. MONITOR HORMONE INTAKE
Birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy can constrict blood vessels and weaken vein valves and vein walls. Address your concerns with your doctor before getting on any sort of medication.
2. GET REGULAR EXERCISE
Any type of exercise that strengthens the “second heart” – the muscles of the calf and foot – is beneficial. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week.
3. WEAR GRADUATED COMPRESSION STOCKINGS
Compression stockings act like an added layer of muscle, aiding the performance of the “second heart” and venous circulation.
4. AVOID PROLONGED PERIODS OF SITTING AND STANDING
Rotate your ankles and feet whenever possible, take brief walks every hour and point and flex your toes to promote leg vein circulation.
5. ELEVATE YOUR FEET
Raise your feet 6 to 12 inches above your heart whenever possible to assist circulation. It’s easiest to do then when sleeping.
6. EAT A HIGH FIBER DIET
Take steps to avoid constipation, as it puts pressure on the venous system.
7. TAKE VITAMIN E and/or VITAMIN C
Vitamin C and E keep blood vessels strong, which prevents them to stretch and swell, which is the cause of varicose and spider veins. Vitamin E also prevents blood clots.
8. STOP SMOKING
Just another reason to put down the cigarette – smoking causes blood vessels to constrict, and can cause high blood pressure. Both cause poor circulation and can result in varicose/spider veins
9. AVOID TIGHT FIGHTING PANTS
Don’t wear clothing that is too tight, it will constrict blood flow through the legs, which causes veins to swell.
10. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY BMI
If you are at an unhealthy weight, the extra weight may strain your legs and cause veins to form.
Let’s talk! Do you already take precautions to avoid varicose and spider veins?