Varicose Vein Prevention
- Maintain a normal, healthy body weight.
- Being overweight is a big risk factor, but dietary steps include more than
just counting calories. A high fiber diet to avoid constipation and related
straining may also help.
- Exercise: this will not only help you maintain a normal weight, but it
will increase blood flow and improve circulation in the legs. This will slow
down any new varicose veins.
- Support hose may be necessary. In more severe cases, women may need medical
grade compression stockings, which apply more pressure at the feet and ankles
and less pressure at the thighs. This prevents swelling and fluid accumulation
especially in women who are on their feet for several hours at a time.
- Avoid prolonged sitting. Whether you're at your desk, cooped up in the
car or on a plane, take frequent breaks to stretch your legs and walk around.
- Ideally, you should elevate your legs above your heart at least once a
day for a few minutes.
- Try not to cross your legs, since that slows down circulation and puts
more pressure on your leg veins.
- Tight shoes are probably also contributors to varicose veins.
Created: 5/8/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.