Changing your nutrition can help slow down the development of varicose veins, increase the effectiveness of vein procedures, and make you healthier
As in other parts of our bodies, varicose veins can begin to appear as part of the aging process. Part of this may be hereditary, meaning that if your parents and relatives have developed varicose veins as they age, you might be more susceptible to this development as well. Instead of being inevitable, however, there are simple steps we can take to minimize the effects of aging and slow down the development of varicose veins!
Cut down or avoid alcohol
Abstaining from alcohol completely may potentially slow down the development of varicose veins, but even cutting down can make a difference. Patients who regularly consume alcohol are at a higher risk of developing hypertension, or high blood pressure. Hypertension has a variety of negative health effects on many organ systems, including your brain, your cardiovascular health, and your liver. It can also ultimately increase the pressure within your veins, putting more strain on these veins and accelerating varicose veins, especially if there is a strong family or personal history of these. A recent study published in a medical journal confirms this association, as patients with significant alcohol intake were more prone to varicose veins, and with these effects being most pronounced among women and smokers (Ahti et al 2010, Phlebology; “Lifestyle factors and varicose veins.”). Not only can alcohol increase the risk of varicose veins, but it can slow down recovery and increase recurrence in patients who have had procedures meant to address these veins.
Increasing vegetables in your diet and cutting down on calories
Being overweight or obese is another significant factor in the development of varicose veins. If you are in either of these categories, losing even a few pounds may significantly cut down on
the pressure in your veins and decrease your chances of developing these, or at the very least slow down their development. A key factor in these lifestyle changes includes eating more vegetables, as these are healthier and provider more nutrients compared to meals with rice, potatoes, and other calorie-rich foods. They will also fill you up sooner, cutting down on your cravings for some of these unhealthier foods. Importantly, leafy vegetables found in salads, such as lettuce, contain many important vitamins and antioxidants, which minimize damage to the cells in your body including those making up your veins. Stronger veins means less varicose veins!
Perhaps most importantly, improving nutrition can also increase the effectiveness of any procedures you undergo for varicose veins, cutting down on the chances that you will develop additional varicose veins. In addition to these lifestyle modifications, when researching centers for treatment of varicose veins, it is very important to be familiar with the options out there. Wherever you end up having consultation, whether with us or elsewhere, make sure to be familiar with whether the physician you are seeing has experience and comfort with newer techniques, as you definitely would want to avoid someone who relies on outdated techniques because they do not know any other ways. The surgeons at the Elite Vein Center remain among the leaders of Vascular Laser Therapy in Southeast Michigan, and in addition to providing state of the art minimally invasive care, we understand the importance of communicating with patients regarding the importance of preventive strategies (such as changes in nutrition) to hopefully avoid further varicose vein development.