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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.

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