During winter and the current lockdown, health is important to everyone.
Although most people think about their weight, many people forget about their veins.
Anyone with varicose veins or “hidden varicose veins” is at a higher risk of blood clots. Medically, blood clots in veins are called “thrombosis”. Such clots can be “phlebitis” or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Don’t take a break from caring for your veins during winter or during Lockdown. Follow these tips to maintain your vein health during these colder months
When the sun is out and temperatures start warming up, we’re more motivated to get out and exercise. Unfortunately, this reverses as the weather gets colder, and we tend to want to stay inside and avoid the cold. Inactivity is bad for your circulation and can worsen varicose vein symptoms like pain and swelling. By exercising, especially when there is a focus on calf muscles you are stimulating your circulation which in turn encourages veins to pump blood.
Follow a balanced diet
Winter brings indulgent treats, however these treats may lead to weight gain. Excess pounds puts extra pressure on your veins and curbs blood flow. While its ok to enjoy some sweet treats, remember to try balance your intake with nutritious foods.
Keeping hydrated is just as important in winter as it is in summer months. When you are dehydrated, your blood thickens and moves slowly through the veins, this could create conditions that cause varicose veins (and possibly blood clots). Drinking the recommended amount of water keeps your blood flowing smoothly. As with high calorie foods, try avoid excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages that interfere with your circulation.
Rock your feet
While you’re sitting or standing, rock your feet back and forth from heel to toe. This can be done at any time and is also helpful if health conditions prevent you from trying other forms of exercise.
Moving your ankle joint is one of the best ways to keep your “leg pump” working, to keep the veins flowing back to your heart. It also reduces the risks of phlebitis and other complications from varicose veins and “hidden varicose veins”.
Anytime is a good time to get treatment for your varicose veins, BUT winter may be the best time. Why? While we only offer walk-in walk-out minimally invasive (and non-invasive) treatment options, you will still need to recover from residual bruising. In the winter, you can cover them up with clothing and allow yourself time to fully heal before you put on summer shorts and skirts. You may also require wearing compression stockings to promote healing and circulation. Compression stockings are tight, elastic garments that are generally more comfortable to wear in winter and it even gives you an extra layer of warmth!
In the featured book, the whole subject of changing exercise levels due to lockdown, isolation and working from home is explored thoroughly.
There are chapters on:
Vein Health and Problems in Lockdown and Isolation by Prof Mark S Whiteley
Because there are so many things that can go wrong with legs in veins, it is important to know which symptoms and signs need an urgent medical opinion, and which ones can be safely left until after the lockdown is finished.
This book explains what causes the different symptoms and signs, and what you should do if you notice them.