Varicose veins are unsightly bulges or raised areas of skin caused by abnormal blood flow through the veins. 1 They often appear on the legs and ankles and can cause discomfort and pain. 2 Although they don't pose serious health risks, varicose veins can be embarrassing, make you feel depressed, and affect self-confidence. 3
Varicose veins occur when the valves inside the vein become damaged or weakened. 4 This causes blood to pool in the lower leg, causing the veins to swell and bulge. The condition is most common among women and men over 40, but anyone can develop it. 5
Varicose veins may also be called spider veins, venous stasis ulcers, or chronic venous insufficiency. 6 These terms refer to a similar condition.
Major Causes Of Varicose Veins
The main risk factors for developing varicose veins include genetics, age, pregnancy, obesity, hormonal changes,7 and certain medical conditions such as diabetes 8
The chances of getting varicose veins increase when your parents have had them. If both parents have varicose veins, you have a 90 percent chance of having them too. 9 This is because genes are passed down from parents to their children.
As you get older, your risk of getting varicose veins rises. You may already have them by the time you turn 40. They can appear anywhere on your legs, but they’re most common in your ankles and calves. Depending on your age, genetics, and lifestyle habits, you could develop varicose veins at any time. 10
Pregnant women tend to have more varicose veins and get worse with successive pregnancy. 11 Women who have had multiple pregnancies are also more likely to have them. This is due to the extra pressure put on the veins during pregnancy. 12
Varicose veins occur when there’s too much weight around your waistline. Fat cells create extra pressure on the veins and valves that help move blood through your legs. This makes it more difficult for your blood to flow up to your heart. 14
How To Get Rid Of Varicose Veins Naturally.
Fortunately, there are natural remedies that can help treat them; they are as follows:
1. Exercise Regularly:
Regular exercise helps keep your heart healthy and strong, which reduces the amount of strain on your veins. 15
It also improves circulation and increases the volume of blood flowing through your body. 15 Walking is an excellent exercise for varicose veins because it’s easy on your body and provides a great cardiovascular workout. It also strengthens your calves, which are often weak in people with varicose veins. 16
2. Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide relaxes the muscles in your veins, making it easier for blood to flow through them. 17 This means less swelling in your legs, preventing varicose veins from forming. Since nitric oxide levels decrease with age, 18 taking supplements may boost their production; 19 therefore, supplementing with L-arginine might be beneficial.
3. Avoid sitting or standing for long periods:
Sitting or standing for extended periods puts excess pressure on your leg veins. This causes them to become swollen and inflamed. 20
If you need to stand for longer than 20 minutes, you may try alternating between standing and walking every two hours. This will prevent your legs from becoming stiff.
Varicose veins may be treated using natural remedies. These include exercising, taking supplements rich in nitric oxide, and avoiding prolonged sitting or standing. Doing so may reduce the risk of developing varicose veins.