Ever given any thought to maintaining your vein health? It’s important, because you may otherwise be at risk of leg vein disease, varicose veins, and spider veins. While vein treatment can often solve problems once they occur, it’s much better to try to prevent problems with your veins. Here are some of the basic strategies to maintain healthy veins, from Dr. David H. Bellamah, at Bellamah Vein Center in Missoula, Montana.
Many of the basic strategies for maintaining your overall health are the same for keeping your veins healthy. Among these are a healthy diet and regular exercise. Another important strategy is to avoid tobacco or nicotine in any form. Here are some of the important tips and reasons why each is important.
If there is one single lifestyle factor for promoting better health in your veins and entire cardiovascular system, it can be summed up in two words: don’t smoke. Smoking damages every cell in your body, but it’s especially hard on your blood vessels and heart.
Your veins need help to get blood back to the heart. Regular exercise provides a pumping action that helps counteract the force of gravity. Exercise also helps you lose or maintain weight and strengthens the all-important heart muscle. Walking 30 minutes a day is all you need.
“Rainbow” eating, or including lots of colorful fruits and veggies in your diet, ensure you get plenty of the bioflavonoids and vitamins so important for vein health. It also means plenty of fiber, which prevents constipation that can stress your heart and veins; don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Some people do better when they limit salt, which can cause fluid retention in susceptible individuals.
Vitamins are important in helping to prevent leg vein disease and varicose veins. Vitamin C and vitamin E are two of the most important. The mineral zinc is another vein health promoter.
Elevating your legs at the end of the day give your veins a chance to “drain.” Low-heeled shoes put less stress on your calves. Good-quality support hose or prescription compression stockings can prevent or relieve swelling and promote better blood flow. Since we spend so much time sitting on the job, it’s important to get up and walk around every hour or so. Don’t sit with your legs crossed; it puts pressure on the calf veins.
Spending long hours in a plane or car can cause blood to pool in the legs. It also increases the risk of a blood clot that can travel to the lungs – a serious medical emergency. On long trips, try to walk around every hour, or contract your calf muscles to help pump blood back to the heart.
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you may develop varicose veins. While many people have no symptoms, these can cause problems and vein treatment may be indicated. Spider veins are often treated for cosmetic reasons. If you have any concerns about the health of your veins, please give us a call.