Varicose veins are blood vessels that have become enlarged and tortuous. This most commonly develops in the legs and is associated with chronic inflammation and poor circulation. There are natural solutions to improve circulation and prevent and reverse the effects of varicose veins.
Blood is constantly pumping through our blood vessels and the most challenged regions are those areas that pump against gravity. In particular, this would be the leg regions which depend upon a complex set of venous leaflets and muscular pump to return blood back to the heart. When the veins become inflamed it damages the leaflet valves and they no longer close properly which allows blood to flow backwards. This creates a swelling or varicosity in the legs.
Circulatory problems are typically indicative of chronic inflammation and can also be found with arteriosclerosis, hypertension and kidney dysfunction. Long-standing varicose veins not only are unsightly but they lead to swelling and edema in the legs and ankles, skin thickening and ulceration. Similar conditions include reticular veins (blue veins) and telangiectasias (spider veins) which are associated with chronic inflammation and vascular insufficiency.
One of the common findings with individuals with circulatory problems is elevated insulin levels. This is due to poor blood sugar metabolism and leads to chronic inflammatory states. It is important to keep grains, sugars and starches out of the diet as they increase blood sugar and elevate insulin. It is also important to keep high omega-6 vegetable oils and processed meats completely out of the diet as they promote the inflammatory mediators that damage the blood vessel walls.
The best defense against circulatory problems is an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle. This begins with a diet rich in phytonutrient-dense vegetables, healthy fat and clean protein sources. Non-starchy vegetables, herbs and teas are great sources of anti-oxidants and have very low carbohydrate content. Healthy fat sources include coconut products, avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds and purified omega-3 fish oil supplements. Healthy protein includes wild-caught fish, grass-fed red meat and organic poultry.
Regular exercise is another critical component to an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. This includes bouts of both high-intensity and low-intensity exercise. Individuals with varicose veins or those at risk should look to avoid high impact activities such as jumping and running on concrete or treadmills. These individuals would do much better running and walking on a softer surface like grass, dirt or sand.
Lots of low-level activity is important and would include riding a stationary bike, walking, dancing, rowing, etc. All of these activities improve blood flow and circulatory tone. Individuals with severe varicose veins should refrain from doing very high intensity lower body exercises due to the high pressure this would place on the blood vessels. They could partake in high intensity upper body strength training and burst training.
A common finding in individuals with varicose veins and other circulatory problems is elevated CRP. This protein is increased in the acute phases of inflammation that occurs from various environmental stressors. Homocysteine is another commonly elevated inflammatory amino acid that is found in individuals with circulatory problems. Elevated homocysteine levels are associated with deficiencies in nutritional methylation agents.
It is important for individuals with varicose veins and other circulatory problems to supplement with specific nutrients. These include a whole food based B complex vitamin with B2, B6, B9 and B12 and zinc which provide the necessary methylation elements to lower homocysteine levels naturally. Systemic enzymes are extremely helpful for breaking down fibrotic plaque and lowering inflammatory proteins like CRP.
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About the author:
Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.
His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain – the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 50,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.
Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to www.drjockers.com
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