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Alternative Medicine, Nutrition, and Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are enlarged and sometimes twisted veins that generally appear in the legs, though they may appear elsewhere. Varicose veins are generally found in the superficial veins of the legs, and are the result of the pressure caused by standing and walking. Varicose veins more often affect women than men and for this reason it is theorized that pregnancy and menopause may be contributing factors. Other factors such as age, obesity, and inherited predisposition affect an individualís chance of developing varicose veins.

Symptoms of varicose veins might include aching heavy legs, swollen ankles, dry skin around the veins, brownish-blue shiny skin in the affected area, or stasis dermatitis (brown areas near veins that are the result of waste). Another condition often associated with varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency in the legs is a condition known as restless leg syndrome or RLS.

Treatment options might include non-surgical methods such as sclerotherapy, elevation, exercise, and compression stockings. Since varicose veins are most often superficial veins, there is very little danger in removing the veins altogether; the surgical removal of veins is more commonly called vein stripping.

Some physicians are opting for new procedures to eliminate varicose veins and some of these procedures include: radio frequency ablation, endovenous laser treatments, and foam sclerotherapy.

A variety of sources indicate that the following micronutrients, supplements, and/or herbs may potentially be helpful for this condition. However, it may be wise to consult with your physician prior to taking nutritional supplements and this is certainly recommended for individuals with a diagnosed condition, particularly those who take prescribed medication.

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