Varicose veins are enlarged, swollen, and twisting veins, typically appearing dark purple or blue.
The veins most affected are those in the feet and legs. However, a milder form of varicose veins may affect the face or other areas of the body.
More than 40 million people in the US suffer from varicose veins. According to statistics, approximately 65 percent of seniors have this condition, however, it can occur in women or men of any age.
Signs and symptoms may include:
- itching around one or more of the veins;
- veins which are dark purple or blue in color;
- swollen ankles;
- veins which appear bulging and twisted;
- inflammation of the skin near the ankle;
- hardening of the vein;
- aching legs;
- a painful cord in the vein with red discoloration of the skin;
- a heavy feeling in the legs, particularly after physical exercise;
- worsened pain after standing for a long time;
- a minor injury to the affected area may result in longer bleeding than usual;
- swelling in the lower legs;
- symptoms of the restless legs syndrome;
- fat under the skin just above the ankle can become hard.
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Possible complications include the following:
- bleeding from or near varicose veins;
- reddened veins which are painful and feel warm;
- major swelling in the leg;
- skin ulcers which do not appear to be healing even after a few weeks.
A number of factors contribute to the development of this condition, including:
- prior surgery or trauma to the leg;
- a genetic predisposition;
- having a job that involves standing for prolonged periods of time;
- hormonal changes and imbalance – these occur during pregnancy, puberty, and menopause. Also, this may happen due to emotional stress, insomnia (long-term sleep problems), and taking some medications.
- chronic constipation;
- being obese or overweight can put extra pressure on the veins;
- any condition which causes an individual to strain for prolonged periods of time may cause a considerable increase in the forces transmitted to the leg veins;
- pregnancy – due to the relaxation effects of the hormones progesterone and estrogen on the vein walls and the added pressure on the veins in the legs by the weight of the growing uterus. However, the condition improves within 3 months after delivery;
- circulatory problems, like blood clots.
Risk factors for varicose veins include the following:
- trauma to the lower extremities;
- obesity – an increased body weight can compress the veins, that increases the pressure;
- hormonal factors – hormonal changes during pre-menstruation, menopause, and pregnancy, are some factors which are responsible;
- heredity – the chance of developing the condition doubles if a parent has the condition;
- height – according to a study led by Stanford University School of Medicine, the taller you are, the more likely you are to develop the condition;
- age – it is estimated more than 41 percent of women over the age of 50 have varicose veins.
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Venous ultrasound and physical examination are typically the only tests required to diagnose the condition.
Spiritual Meaning of Varicose Veins
People who suffer from this condition often have an inner opposition to the work they perform and which they don’t like. They feel overworked and sometimes disappointed.
The result is lethargy, negativity, and a lack of flexibility, energy, and internal support. This is the message that your varicose veins carry.
It is important to accept your situation.
Be yourselves again, then you will be able to relax and find a way to live life with joy and complete inner feelings. Perhaps all you have to do is change your attitude and closeness to the world.
Once you have become free from this point of view, the circulatory system will also be able to function freely. The body is the expression of your thoughts.
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Regularly engaging in physical activity helps to improve circulation, build strength, and stimulate blood flow, while also reducing discomfort and pain.
One of the best physical exercises to prevent this condition is walking.
Aim for 90 minutes per day. In addition, yoga and Tai Chi can help stretch and tone the deepest muscles in your hamstrings and calves.
Avoid Prolonged Periods of Standing or Sitting
Sitting or standing in one position for a long time makes it harder for the blood to travel in the leg veins against gravity.
This can cause blood to pool around the ankles, and your calves and feet can get achy and swollen.
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Elevate Your Legs
To improve circulation in the legs, take several short breaks a few times per day to elevate your legs above the level of your heart.
If you are overweight or obese and develop this condition, the symptoms of the leg condition are commonly falsely attributed to your weight.
However, this only delays the diagnosis until the varicose veins become visible when you reach a normal BMI (body mass index).
Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Drinking enough water throughout the day enhances your blood circulation.
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According to research, there is a strong correlation between low dietary fiber intake and the prevalence of this condition.
Foods rich in fiber include:
- red kidney beans;
- chia seeds;
- navy beans;
- flax seeds;
- sesame seeds;
- bell peppers;
- sweet potatoes.
Images credit – Shutterstock
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