Varicose veins are elongated, dilated, tortuous superficial veins whose valves are congenitally absent or scant or have become incompetent. Varicose veins typically occur in the legs. Varicose veins are a common problem affecting between 10% - 20% of the population, with increasing incidence with age, most common above 50 years. Varicose veins are 4 times higher in women than men.
|Causes||Dietary Factors, Smoking, Posture, Infections, Prescription Medications|
|See Also||Cardiovascular Conditions, Obesity, Constipation, Hypertension|
|Books||Books on Cardiovascular Conditions|
|Articles||Articles on Cardiovascular Conditions|
- 1 Naturopathic Assessment
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Naturopathic Treatment
- 4 References
A thorough skin examination will be performed to determine the extent of varicosities. The naturopathic assessment would include identifying any underlying conditions such as arterial insufficiency, neurological problems and musculoskeletal disorders that were associated with the varicose veins..
In order to stimulate the innate ability of the body to heal the causes of disease must be identified and addressed. With Varicose Veins, the causes are variable and include lifestyle and environmental factors. A detailed assessment is required to determine which factors are contributing to varicose veins.
- Low levels of physical activity increase the occurence and risk of varicose veins.
- Extreme physical activity, especially involving weight lifting, can contribute to the formation or worsening of varicose veins.
- Accidents and Injuries
- Lower limb injury predisposes one to varicose veins.
- Clothing that is too constrictive or tight.
- Prescription Medications
- Oral contraceptive use may lead to thrombosis in those with varicose veins.
- Hormone replacement therapy is associated with increased risk of varicose veins.
- Medical Treatments
- Varicose veins may develop post surgeryl.
- There can be a genetic component to vein wall weakness.
Related Symptoms and Conditions
Other conditions that are commonly associated with varicose veins include:
- Hypertension Specifically high systolic pressure.
- Uterine fibroids
- Ovarian cysts
- Reticular and Spider veins.
- Varicose veins occur because there is a degree of reversal of blood flow in the veins of the legs because of valve incompetency. This reversal causes dilation of the veins and loss of tissue tone.
- The abnormal swelling of veins in the legs is a symptom of a generally poor circulatory system with a loss of elasticity in the walls of the veins and particulary in their valves. When they are functioning normally, these valves prevent blood from flowing back away from the heart, but if their efficiency decreases some blood may stagnate in the vein, which then becomes swollen and twisted, causing aching and abnormal fatigue of the legs.
- Hormonal changes may play a role as well as blood volume changes.
Common signs and symptoms include:
The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body and to address the causal factors of disease with individual treatment strategies. Varicose veins are considered a chronic disease. The aim of treatment is to strengthen venous and capillary walls, decrease vascular damage and reduce oxidative stress. Referral for surgical consideration is reasonable for the patient with symptoms that persist after conservative efforts have failed.
It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.
- Use of graduated compression stockings.
- Periodic elevation of the legs throughout the day can alleviate the discomfort associated with varicose veins and can assist circulation.
Lifestyle recommendations include:
- Dietary recommendations include:
The prescribing of naturopathic therapies requires the guidance of a naturopathic doctor as it depends on a number of factors including the causal factors, a person's age, prescription medications, other conditions and symptoms and overall health. It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor prior to taking any natural therapies.
Naturopathic Therapies for Varicose Veins include:
- Clinical Nutritional Supplementation includes
- Botanical remedies, , such as Bilberry (Vaccinum myrtillus), Butcher's broom (Ruscus aculeatus), Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), Gotu kola (Centella asiatica'), Grape seed (Vitis vinifera), Pine bark (Pinus maritima), St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum), Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
- Homeopathic remedies,  such as Aesculus, Bellis,Calcarea fluorica,Carbo veg, Hamamelis,Hydrofluoricum acidum,Lachesis, Millefolium, Pulsatilla, Vipra berus, Zincum metallicum.
- Differentials to consider include; mild blood stagnation, qi and blood stagnation, blood stagnation and qi deficiency..
- If edema is part of the case include differentials such as; wind cold, spleen deficiency with congested fluids, pregnancy, menopause, heart and kidney yang deficiency, kidney yang deficiency, spleen deficiency, heart yang deficiency.
Reviewed by Iva Lloyd, BScH, RPE, ND 
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