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3 Ways To Relieve The Pain Brought By Varicose Veins

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3 Ways To Relieve The Pain Brought By Varicose Veins

Dark purple or blue, achy and bulging veins that cause pain and swelling in your lower legs are all symptoms experienced by more than 40 million Americans and most often point to varicose veins. When vein walls are damaged, the transmission of blood gets impaired, causing the veins to swell, change color, or even bleed. Untimely or inadequate treatment can lead to more serious health problems.

Common causes of varicose veins

Age: With age, veins get weaker and lose elasticity which increases the likelihood of blood pooling.

Women & Pregnancy: Female hormones tend to loosen the vein walls, women are more prone to suffer from varicose veins.

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Obesity: Veins can become pressured by too much weight.

Inactivity: Can cause muscles to weaken which then weakens the veins.

Standing for long periods of time: People whose work requires being in the same, inactive position for long periods of time can develop improper blood flow, leading to the condition.

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Apart from being unpleasant to the eye, varicose veins shouldn’t be left untreated since they can potentially cause serious health issues such as chronic venous insufficiency, ulcers, blood clots and bleeding.

Since complications include serious health issues, it is always best to opt for approved and tested ways when looking for a remedy for varicose veins.

1. Massage

Massage is known as one of the most effective ways to relieve the pain brought by varicose veins. A study[1] shows that reflex massage is especially effective in pain relief since it triggers the release of endorphin, a substance known for its opiate effect.[2] Additionally, the studies show that massage improves blood circulation that helps to prevent venous stasis and trophic disorders. Whether it is combined with pharmacological therapy or done as a separate treatment, reflex massage, when performed regularly by a trained massage therapist, can bring significant pain relief and improvement to the overall condition for patients suffering from varicose veins.

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2. Dietary support

A healthy diet needs to be a complementary part of any varicose veins treatment. A study[3] that examined the effect lifestyle factors have on the development of varicose veins shows that the rates for developing this condition were more common among smokers, people who regularly drink alcohol, and individuals whose meat intake was only 0-2 times a week.[4] In order to prevent and/or improve the condition, patients are advised to follow a certain dietary plan that includes:

  • Fiber rich diet: Foods rich in fiber help prevent constipation which can lead to varicose veins. Great sources of fiber include apples, peas, beans, oats, and whole grain cereal.
  • Vitamin C rich diet: Vitamin C improves the strength and elasticity of the veins, which, in turn, decreases the risk of varicose veins development.
  • Hydration: For fiber rich foods to have its full effect, it is essential that body gets enough water regularly.
  • Reduce alcohol intake

3. Increased physical activity

Aside from contributing to overall health, physical activity can help prevent and reduce the development of varicose veins, as a study shows.[5] Regular exercise helps release the pressure on the veins by stretching and strengthening them, which reduces the risk of developing the condition.

Two Common But Unproven Remedies

Contrary to the popular belief, there is no medical research that supports the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar or compression stockings on improving the condition.

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As far as compression stockings are concerned, according to Haroun Gajraj, a vascular surgeon from the VeinCare Centre near Dorchester, Dorse, “There is no hard evidence to support it, but more of an intuitive feeling that wearing them reduces the risk of varicose veins progressing.”

Similarly, no medical study suggests that apple cider vinegar has the potential to prevent varicose veins. A 2016 study[6] on The Effect of External Apple Vinegar Application on Varicosity Symptoms, Pain, and Social Appearance Anxiety, only shows that external application of apple cider vinegar “increased the positive effects of conservative treatment.”[7]

Please note: Even though the three suggested methods can relieve the pain caused by varicose veins, people suffering from the condition are encouraged to seek medical professional help for more permanent treatment.

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Reference

[1] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042814017923
[2] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042814017923
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20656959
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20656959
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3395496
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26881006
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26881006

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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