It depends on who you ask. Nearly all of us prefer more natural options when available, and in many areas holistic medicine has proven itself very effective. But how about treating structural problems like vein disease? The jury is divided. What is evident, however, is that lifestyle choices can greatly impact overall vein health.
Our Dr’s advice is surprisingly straightforward: “If you maintain a healthy body weight you’re much less likely to get vein disease. It can be challenging to do this, but a good diet and regular exercise can work wonders for your overall health. This includes vein health.”
When asked about natural supplements, he recommended several but was quick to mention that there’s very little evidence that they’re effective. “I’ve seen people get great results with these, but very few studies have been done. We need more basic research because these could help a lot of people,”. According to Dr Teimouri DPM of Beaver Valley Foot Clinic’s wound care center, who specializes wound care, ” We recommend nutraceuticals to our wound care patients to aid in healing, so the same should hols true for vein health. Vitamin C, Zinc, and Selenium, in particular, strengthen the capillary walls, supplying better circulation to heal wounds”
Coenzyme Q10 tops the list. It’s believed to be good for overall circulation and blood oxygenation. Omega-3 oils such as fish and flax seed oil are believed to increase the elasticity of blood vessel walls. When prompted, he also mentions vitamin K and ginkgo biloba extract. “These supplements could work for you. But I have to reiterate that these haven’t been proven effective. Some people swear by them, though.” She then quickly adds “there are many other benefits to these supplements though. They’re good for everyone.” ” But be careful,” says Dr Teimouri,” ginko biloba has blood thinning effects, so tell your Dr you are taking it prior to procedures, and don’t take it with Aspirin and other blood thinners.”
Supplements aside, if varicose veins do run in your family there’s quite a bit you can do to prevent them. The following tips and tricks have been proven effective.
- If you stand for hours a day at your job it pays to rest periodically. If possible, elevate your feet slightly.
- If you’re sitting for long periods of time get up and move about for a few minutes. This goes for long plane flights and working at your desk.
- Don’t sit with your legs crossed. It makes it harder for blood to back up either leg.
- While sitting try to elevate your feet. This is an extremely good idea for pregnant women.
What about compression stockings? As much as you may not like them they are indeed effective at preventing vein problems. They’re also great at stopping existing problems from getting worse. “Nobody wants to wear them, but if you’ve got visible varicose or spider veins you should wear daily. Every waking moment, if possible,” says Dr. Teimouri.