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Can Diet and Exercise Get Rid Of Varicose Veins?

Can Diet and Exercise Get Rid Of Varicose Veins?

For some people, varicose veins may be inevitable. After all, increasing age and family history are two risk factors that you simply cannot change. However, genetics and aging are not the only factors that affect varicose vein development and your ability to get rid of varicose veins. Lifestyle choices, such as diet and exercise, may impact the development and maintenance of varicose veins.

Dietary Factors Affecting Varicose Vein Development

Veins crisscross the entire body, returning deoxygenated blood to the heart to be replenished. To perform this role effectively, vein walls must be firm, but flexible. When the walls of veins begin to weaken, blood pools in the extremities and, particularly, in the legs. Over time, these leg veins take on a twisted, bulging appearance and are known as varicose veins.

Dietary factors may contribute to vein problems. First, eating a high-fat, high-salt diet is associated with heightened weight gain and obesity. Increased body weight places stress on the circulatory system, increasing the risk of varicose veins. On the other hand, certain nutrients may strengthen vein health. For example, increasing fiber intake reduces straining during bowel movements, a common source of varicose veins. Eating brown rice, whole-wheat flour, and plenty of fruits and vegetables boosts dietary fiber intake. Vein doctors note that antioxidants called flavonoids, found in blueberries, strawberries, turnip greens, and sweet potatoes, also improve vein health.

Can Exercise Help?

Exercise certainly contributes to better vein health. Getting 20 minutes of moderate intensity cardiovascular activity each day improves circulatory system functioning. Increasing the efficiency of blood flow to the legs can reduce risk of varicose veins, according to Houston area vein clinic professionals.

To get the most benefit for your veins, choose activities that get your body moving and your heart pumping. Brisk walking, biking, dancing, and other aerobic activities improve blood flow throughout the body and keep veins healthy. Of course, existing varicose veins may not improve with increased exercise, but aerobic activity may prevent additional varicose veins from forming.

Treatment Options, When Lifestyle Changes Just Don’t Work

Changing diet and exercise may improve overall vein health and decrease the likelihood of developing new varicose veins. However, although existing varicose veins may diminish somewhat in prominence, they are unlikely to disappear entirely.

Fortunately, several minimally invasive and non-surgical varicose vein treatment options in Houston, can eliminate unsightly varicose veins. Vascular surgeons perform sclerotherapy, a vein treatment in which a special chemical is injected into the vein, causing it to collapse and disappear. Another option is vein ablation, which harnesses the power of laser energy to eliminate varicose veins.

Your Houston vein doctor can provide additional information about diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors that contribute to vein disease. Ask questions about available treatment options to get recommendations that are right for you.

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Does standing cause varicose veins?

Dr. Michael Bardwil
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