Varicose Veins: 9 Trigger Things To Avoid

By | May 25, 2018

When valves fail to function well, superficial veins swell. As a result, veins have decreased competency to transport blood within the body. Even though varicose veins commonly affects the back of the legs, the disease can spread to other parts of the body. There are more diseases associated with blood transportation. Diseases like arteriosclerosis, hypertension, and thrombosis.

For instance, thrombosis may portray symptoms similar to varicose veins. However, here are pervasive symptoms associated with varicose veins.

  • Aching legs.
  • Dark blue and purple veins.
  • Heavy feeling in the legs after standing for a long time.
  • Bleeding and skin ulcers.

Who Is At Risk Of Getting Varicose Veins?

A study on risk factors causing varicose veins revealed that prolonged standing could cause the disease. To explain further, people whose occupation involves standing for longer periods were at a high risk of having varicose veins.

In addition, pregnant and obese people are more susceptible to varicose veins. Genes and hormones also play a vital role. For this reason, it is important to go for a medical check-up if your family history has a varicose vein patient.

Anyone who leads an unhealthy lifestyle and takes high amounts of salt is also at risk. Smoking and heavy drinking also put you at risk of getting the disease. However, there are plenty of options to prevent and cure varicose veins. Here are the 9 top things you should avoid.

The Top 9 Things That Trigger Varicose Veins

  1. Prolonged Standing: It is true that some occupational professions work as a risk factor for varicose veins. Since the disease is mostly caused by body stress, prolonged standing can cause the disease. At Least 20% of the youthful population is expected to have a vein inflammation once in their lifetime.

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To minimize this factor, sit in an upright posture, and do not stand on your feet for a long time. Practice simple daily exercises like stretching and running.

  1. Overweight: Being overweight can cause varicose veins. But lightweight people are not exempted from having the disease. In reality, more weight is likely to add pressure to the superficial veins.

Since veins transport deoxygenated blood back to the heart, the swollen area causes a blockage. Over time, there will be an accumulation of blood in the vein, followed by a heavy aching.

Losing weight improves blood-flow while decreasing pressure.

  1. Canned Foods: Canned foods have been found to cause retention of water. When our bodies have an excess volume of water, pressure increases. So, veins expand to accommodate more fluids. Finally, the veins swell, causing varicose veins.

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If you exercise regularly, you get rid of excess water through sweat. Not all canned foods cause water retention. However, avoiding them puts you on a safer side.

  1. Chocolate: Chocolate is one of the foods that lead to constipation. When constipation affects lower legs, veins swell. Red meat and dairy products like yogurt have a similar effect. A specific kind of chocolate, dark chocolate, contains bioflavonoids which reduce swelling in varicose veins.

However, excessive use of ordinary chocolate causes blocking of vein cartilage. This leads to swelling.

  1. Alcohol and varicose veins: Alcoholic products worsen varicose veins. When the blood alcohol level increases rapidly in one sitting, blood pressure increases. The effect of taking alcohol can cause both short-term and long-term effect on varicose veins.

For example, liver cirrhosis can happen after excessive consumption of alcohol. Once the liver  affected, there will be little generation of new blood. As a result, existing blood becomes thicker. This condition leads to swelling of blood vessels.

  1. Salt: Sodium causes water retention in the human body. Increased intake of salt means increased sodium content in the body. Sodium retains more water, increasing water volume. In reality, most of the water is dissolved in blood. As a result, veins swell causing varicose veins.
  2. Carbs: Whether starch or sugar, carbohydrates have a strong relation to varicose veins. Carbohydrates can cause varicose veins when there is a homeostatic imbalance. For example, blood can have too much starch with less water to dissolve it. Alternatively, complex carbohydrates like fibre help reduce blood pressure.
  1. Exercise: Heavy weight-lifting exercises overstrain veins. Lack of exercise also leads to accumulation of water, which increases blood pressure. The pressure in veins leads to swelling.
  1. Smoking: Chemicals contained in tobacco affect the heart and functioning of blood vessels. When the chemicals affect superficial veins in the legs, varicose veins start developing.

Medical Treatment Of Varicose Veins

  • With a success rate of up to 80%, a  sclerotherapy procedure cures varicose veins. For instance, a salt solution injected in the affected vein causing blood to clot. The clot further forms a scar that heals over time.

However, the solution may not necessarily be a salt solution. Medics choose a good chemical depending on the size of vessel damage.

  • Radiofrequency ablation uses ultrasonic sound to emit radiant heat that collapses varicose veins. The ultrasound map reveals the vein to be treated. Then, electric pulses contract the walls of the affected vein until they collapse. The process  known as ablation.

After a successful completion of ablation, blood flows through the treated vein. Any remaining scar heals naturally.

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  • Doctors can also use laser treatment for varicose veins. Laser treatments are either classified as simple laser treatment or endovenous laser treatment. Usually, a focused beam of light damages the varicose vein. As a result, a scar forms. The vein disappears, leading to formation of a new healthier vein. However, a new vein would take almost a year to form.
  • If other methods fail, you can consider having a surgery. Although your legs will improve, you will encounter side effects like burning and itching.

Genes play a major role in the occurrence of varicose veins. Studies show that if a parent gets affected, the son has a 25% chance whereas the daughter has a 60% chance of being affected.

Early diagnosis helps prevent chronic cases of skin ulcers and bleeding. Practice a healthy lifestyle by avoiding the 9 trigger things that cause varicose veins.

The most important thing to keep in mind’s to avoid overdoing of the therapies. Excessive exercise, excessive standing, excessive sitting and resting is dangerous. So over all have a healthy active lifestyle with healthy balanced food intake.

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RD Neha Kava

National Registered Dietitian at
Neha Kava is a National Registered Dietitian, Certified Sports Nutritionist in India. She specializes ins Clinical Nutrition, weight management. She likes to spread awareness and educate her readers about health, nutrition, fitness, mental health, sexual health and diet tips for holistic health. You can connect with her on Or

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