By Federico M. Richter, MD
Varicose veins affect millions of people, in fact, one out of two people over the age of 50 have varicose veins, but that’s not to say that younger people can’t develop them. This is especially true for those that are on their feet for long periods. So, how do you prevent varicose veins? Well, let’s start with what typically causes them.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Some of the risk factors include a family history of varicose veins, being overweight, hormonal imbalance and fluctuations, birth control medications, standing or sitting for long periods of time, blood clots, abdominal pressure, or frequent crossing of the legs. In addition, multiple health conditions can cause tingling sensations in the feet and legs, such as diabetes or MS, but often it is associated with varicose veins.
3 Tips to Prevent Varicose Veins
1. Diet—Eating a healthy diet is important for overall health and it turns out that certain foods can protect your veins as well. Foods rich in a powerful antioxidant called rutin is particluallry helpful to reduce inflammation and to maintain proper circulation. These include berries, apples and buckwheat to name a few.
2. Exercise—Cardiovascular exercise increases circulation and helps to distribute oxygen-rich blood. It can help to prevent the formation of varicose veins.
3. Elevation—Elevating your legs above your heart can alleviate pooling of the blood. If you sit for long periods of time, get moving to help with your circulation and try to avoid crossing your legs.
Varicose Vein Symptoms
Typical symptoms associated with varicose veins are dull pain, tingling, buzzing sensations, throbbing, weakness, a feeling of heaviness in the legs, restlessness, and dark blue or purple bulging veins in the legs, calves or behind the knee. Varicose veins can cause pooling of the blood and blood clots, but not all varicose veins are initially dangerous or systemically damaging.
Many individuals find relief from compression garments, elevating the legs, cold compresses and rest, but once you have varicose veins, these remedies will not “heal” their underlying issue. Years ago, the only options for alleviating varicose veins was surgery, which includes stripping (removes long portions of the vein), or ligation, which ties the vein off from the blood supply. These treatments are still used in some instances, but now there are other options.
• Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy
• Endovenous Laser (collapses the vein internally)
• Radiofrequency occlusion (Collapses the vein and shuts the wall through heat)
Not all varicose veins pose a health threat, but because proper blood circulation aids the body’s flow of nutrients and oxygen to the heart, brain and other organs, it’s essential to get a medical consultation to discuss the severity of your venous condition and your treatment options.
If you or someone you love is experiencing any venous issues, please contact your physician immediately.
About Federico M. Richter, MD
Dr. Richter was born and raised in Argentina and grew up in a family of vein doctors. His Grandfather, one of the first vein specialists in Argentina, helped pioneer sclerotherapy for treatment of varicose and spider veins in the 1940s. His Father has been treating veins for over 45 years.
Dr. Richter recently re-located from the busy suburbs of Indianapolis where he completed his residency and practiced for 5 years. Since completion of his residency here in the United States, he has also focused on the newest developments in minimally invasive vein treatments. Dr. Richter received his medical degree in Argentina in 2003 from Universidad Nacional de Cordoba. He then completed a year of general surgery and a 3-year Fellowship in vein and lymphatic disorders in 2007. As a venous and lymphatic medicine specialist, he is dedicated to treating varicose and spider veins and their underlying causes.
With over a decade of experience in the specialized medical field of diagnosing and treating vein disease, Dr. Richter was one of the first doctors to use lasers to treat a variety of vein diseases in Argentina. Certified by the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine and an active member of the American College Of Phlebology, Dr. Richter has also accumulated an impressive list of qualifications and educational accomplishments during the course of his career.
Dr. Richter’s 1st priority is the well-being and quality of life his patients in the Bradenton, Sarasota, Sun City, Ruskin, and surrounding areas.
To schedule a consultation, call Florida Vein Center
6050 53rd Ave. East (SR70), Suite A, Bradenton, FL 34203