Varicose veins are a common complaint; they are most typically experienced by women but they can also be experienced by men as well. They are noticeable, unsightly, lumpy and often painful bulges in the skin, most often on the legs. There are a number of treatment options available; some are home remedies, others require a surgical approach, and others use a natural approach. The type of treatment required depends on what the patient’s goals are for their varicosities.

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What-Causes-Varicose-Veins-on-legsIn the lower extremities, veins work very hard to return deoxygenated blood to the heart. The veins contract to push the blood against gravity. Valves in the veins assist with the process. When the veins become weak and the valves don’t work appropriately, blood can flow backwards and pool, causing a varicosity. Aging and pregnancy can increase the chances of developing varicose veins. As we age, our veins become less elastic. As they become less elastic, the valves also weaken; thus, just the act of aging can cause varicose veins. During pregnancy, blood volume increases and circulation to the lower extremities decreases; this can also cause varicose veins on legs.

Symptoms

Symptoms are variable. The initial symptom noticed may be purple veins on the legs or bulging varicose veins on the legs. In addition, pain or discomfort may be felt. Pain may feel worse after sitting or standing for long periods of time. Itching may even occur on the bulging veins.

A Natural Approach to get rid of Varicose Vein on legs

Often the patient may desire a more natural approach to treatment of varicose veins. Some natural treatments will not get rid of the varicosities, but they can certainly assist with symptom management. Exercise can increase the circulation of the affected area, perhaps returning blood flow in the varicosity. Losing weight if necessary can take the extra pressure off of the lower extremities, thus reducing the pressure on the varicose vein itself. Dietary modifications may help; for example, a diet high in sodium may cause fluid retention in the lower extremities. Decreasing sodium intake prevents the fluid retention, which can take pressure off of the veins. Elevating the legs whenever possible can improve circulation. Both sitting and standing for long periods of time can decrease blood flow; changing positions can prevent this from happening. While these self-care measures may not get rid of varicosities, they can help decrease symptoms and may help decrease the size of the vein.

There has been no proof that any natural treatment will rid the lower extremity of the varicosity. However, there are treatments available that may help. Horse chestnut seed extract is supposed to improve swelling and discomfort associated with varicose veins. This can be taken orally. According to Julie Hunter of Canadian Living, creams are available to treat varicose veins. These creams contain calendula oil and vitamin E, both of which have anti-inflammatory properties. These creams are applied topically, directly to the varicosity.
Although there are no proven natural treatments for varicose veins, there are many options that can be utilized. At best, they will assist with symptom management and reduction of the varicosity.

References
Diseases and conditions: varicose veins. (2015). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/varicose-veins/basics/symptoms/con-20043474
Hunter, J. (2015). 5 treatments to get rid of varicose veins. Candian Living Retrieved from: http://www.canadianliving.com/style/beauty/5_treatments_to_get_rid_of_varicose_veins.php