Leg Care: Vein Issues, Circulation & Restless Legs
Posted at 11:00 - June 28th, 2019 - Megan & Jae - Education Guides
Achy, tired or swollen legs are an all-too-common part of daily lives. Standing or sitting for long periods of time, being physically inactive and even natural aging can make it difficult for the body to maintain good vein health. If blood is not circulating efficiently from the legs to the heart, fluid can collect in the legs and pass from the capillaries into surrounding tissue. The result is legs that may feel heavy, sore, tired and tingly/itchy.
Damage may also appear as varicose veins, especially in women. The enlarged appearance of veins in the legs and feet is an indication of insufficient blood flow. The veins have weakened allowing blood to pool within the vein. “Spider Veins” occur when superficial blood vessels show up on the skin as red or blue. They may appear on legs, the face or other parts of the body.
Damaged veins may be just unsightly in color and raised bulges or they may cause aching, throbbing or itching discomfort.
The Bigger Picture
All veins throughout the body are part of the vascular system. Maintaining vascular (veins) health is important for critical functions including vision, cardiovascular, circulation and the nervous system. It is also critical for the support and management of chronic issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, headaches/migraines and inflammation related illnesses.
Four major actors contribute to weakened vascular walls: (1) nutrient deficiencies, (2) diets based on processed foods, (3) lack of exercise and (4) stress. Blood sugar issues (diabetes and pre-diabetes) and the build up of plague (cholesterol) are two of the most chronic conditions contributing to vascular damage.
Exercise & Lifestyle Suggestions for Vascular Health
Leg health can be improved through a “real-food” eating style, weight management, and exercise (including weight-bearing) and stress reduction.
Veins relay on muscles to transport blood: Do mild stretching of leg muscles before exercising. Oxygenate the blood flow throw the veins by holding each static stretch for 5 to 10 seconds.
Before and after weight-bearing exercise: Do simple cardio (and stretches) for a few minutes to help prevent veins from becoming engorged with too much blood under the load of the weight. Too much weight can cause injury and prevent the valves in the veins from opening enough to enable blood flow. Increases in weight should be done gradually.
When performing standing squats or leg presses, alternate workout positions to take the pressure off any existing varicose veins.
Take a short break after exercising to sit or lie down with legs elevated above heart level. Elevation helps maintain circulation. Compression stockings can also be helpful to prevent blood from pooling in suseptible areas.
Avoid standing or sitting in the same position for long periods of time. Because excess weight is a factor in vein/vascular damage, make regular exercise (both aroebic and weight-bearing) a priority.
Maintain critical nutrients by eating whole, fresh food and avoiding heated, processed foods. Additional support through nutritional supplements may be beneficial, including:
- Bioflavonoids: Protect structural integrity of vascular walls while helping to keep free radical damage at bay. Vitamin C, which contains high levels of bioflavonoid antioxidants, helps keep vein walls and capillaries flexible and strong.
- B Complex: The eight vitamins that make up this group are critical for keeping veins strong, helping to prevent spider veins and supporting healthy circulation. Specific members of the B family perform additional functions throughout the body. Folate, (or B9) is especially critical for vascular support. Current research points to the importance of avoiding the synthetic form, folic acid, and ensuring adequate daily amounts of Folate in the Methylfolin form.
- Since B vitamins are water soluble, they must be supplied on a daily basis. It is difficult to obtain adequate levels through food because B vitamins are readily destroyed by the heat of processing or cooking. Consequently, a comprehensive B Complex supplement is important.
Horse Chestnut is used in alternative medicine for swelling and pain due to varicose veins and poor circulation in the legs. It is considered an effective option for treating decreased blood flow from the feet and legs back to the heart (venous insufficiency). Symptoms may include leg pain and tenderness, varicose veins, itching or swelling in the legs, fluid retention and puffy or swollen ankles and feet.
LifeTime Diosmin Complex (a healthier version of commercial products like Venastat®):
- Clinically proven to help relieve achy, tired or swollen legs while supporting leg vein health and circulation
- Diosmin and Hesperidin (main ingredients) are bioflavonoids that act to increase capillary and vein wall strength
- Double-blind studies indicated significant improvement in leg and foot issues including: heaviness, discomfort, heat sensation, swelling, night cramps and restlessness leg syndrome
- Diosmin is a bioflavonoid derived from sweet orange and offers nutritive support for veins, circulation, and lymphatic flow
- Acts also as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that promote wound healing
Megan is our product curator and store visionary. Personally vetting every product that comes through the door, she evaluates thousands of items each month with a focus on quality ingredients and value. Well-schooled in the supplements department and the editor of our in-store newsletters, she still insists her main job is raising three daughters! (Wichita, Kansas)
2019 marks Jae’s 20th year working as a Holistic Nutritionist and Supplement Specialist in the Health Food industry. This environment has afforded the opportunity to discuss health issues and solutions with thousands of customers and clients. Along the way, she has acquired multiple certifications including biogenealogy, environmental biology, holistic nutrition and various healing modalities. She is currently studying to complete a Ph.D in Holistic Nutrition.
All Eureka Market Education Guides are intended for educational purposes only. The guides are NOT intended to substitute for professional medical consultation and as such, do not diagnose, prescribe or offer personal medical advice. Always consult with your health care professional before taking supplements with prescription medications.