Varicose veins can be as uncomfortable as they are unsightly. Over time, these symptoms can lead to secondary complications that significantly impact your health. Some studies have found that there may even be a connection between varicose veins and low energy levels. And, as with managing any chronic health condition, varicose veins can add to your day-to-day stress and anxiety.
If your job, genetic predisposition, or other health factors make you prone to developing varicose veins, there are active lifestyle and dietary habits you can adopt that can help you gain and maintain optimal vascular health. Learning and using these vascular “best practices” can minimize the detrimental health effects of varicose veins and possibly help you prevent more varicose veins in the future.
Painful Symptoms of Varicose Veins
If you have varicose veins you may have experienced one or more of the painful symptoms that often accompany them, such as leg pain, muscle fatigue, heaviness in the legs, throbbing sensations, and lower limb fatigue. The physical pressure caused by blood pooling in your veins can cause these painful symptoms. Also, waste products carried by the veins accumulate, your leg muscles can become tired and irritable and, as a result, your muscles fatigue more easily
Can Varicose Veins Cause Low Energy?
There are several ways that your varicose veins could be sapping your energy, leaving you tired during the day.
Many varicose vein sufferers lose sleep due to nocturnal leg cramps, a common and painful symptom. Studies have found that if you work at a job that requires a lot of standing, or if you are female, older, pregnant, or overweight your chances of experiencing nocturnal leg cramps from varicose veins increases. This painful symptom makes it difficult to get the rest you need, leaving you energy-depleted during the day.
In some instances, varicose veins may be discovered incidentally to another condition. For example, patients with varicose veins are prone to experiencing restless legs syndrome, a condition that occurs at night and causes a strong, uncontrollable urge to move the legs due to disturbing itching, crawling, or tingling sensations. Patients with restless leg syndrome have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
In a study of patients with sleep disorders due to restless leg syndrome, half were found to have undiagnosed chronic venous insufficiency. Additionally, because your body does most of its healing and repair overnight while you sleep, these complications can delay healing and may even make you more susceptible to developing other health conditions.
Lifestyle Tips for Healthy Veins
Adapting a few simple changes to your diet and lifestyle habits can lessen the energy-draining effects of varicose veins and possibly prevent your varicose veins from progressing and becoming more problematic.
Exercise — One of the best and most effective management strategies for varicose veins is gentle exercise. Increasing physical activity has been found to reduce the muscle fatigue and pain that patients with chronic venous insufficiency, such as from varicose veins, experience. Your veins rely on the contraction of surrounding muscles to help pump the blood, so using these muscles helps get your blood moving out of your legs and back to your lungs where it can pick up fresh oxygen. Choose activities that focus on the lower legs such as walking and cycling. Remember to start slow, exercise only to your tolerance, and gradually build up your strength and endurance.
Diet — Your diet for healthy veins starts with lots of high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods, including whole fruits and dark green leafy vegetables. Also include foods high in rutin, a flavonoid antioxidant that provides a wealth of benefits for vascular health including protecting the lining of blood vessels. Good sources of rutin include buckwheat, apples, and asparagus.
Flavor your meals liberally with ginger, turmeric, and garlic, all of which offer anti-inflammatory benefits that keep the linings of your blood vessels healthy. If you like spicy foods, add in some cayenne pepper. It contains capsaicin, which is proven to improve circulation in capillaries and small blood vessels
Green tea is an excellent beverage choice and one of the best antioxidants around for circulatory health. For snacks, nuts like almonds and walnuts are tasty and filling and contain lots of vitamin E and healthy fats to lower blood pressure and protect delicate blood vessels.
And don’t forget to reward yourself on occasion with a delicious, decadent piece of dark chocolate, which contains some of the highest known levels of polyphenol antioxidants
VenaSeal™ Outpatient Vein Treatment
If you are struggling with a loss of energy or other symptoms of varicose veins, we at Desert Vein and Vascular Institute invite you to schedule a free consultation to learn about simple procedures that can resolve your varicose vein problems. All of our physicians are board-certified vascular surgeons who specialize in helping people like you. Desert Vein and Vascular Institute is the top provider of VenaSeal™, the leading outpatient varicose vein treatment, in the USA. To schedule a free consultation, please call 1-800-VARICOSE (1-800-827-4267) today.
- The impact of gastrocnemius muscle cell changes in chronic venous insufficiency. Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg, 2005. 30(4): p. 430-6
- Relationship between prolonged standing and symptoms of varicose veins and nocturnal leg cramps among women and men. Ergonomics, 2012. 55(2): p. 133-9
- Investigation of chronic venous insufficiency in patients with sleep disorders due to restless legs syndrome. Phlebology, 2020
- Differences in pain, fatigue, and quality of life in patients with chronic venous insufficiency based on physical activity level. Turk Gogus Kalp Damar Cerrahisi Derg, 2020. 28(1): p. 76-83
- Rutin protects endothelial dysfunction by disturbing Nox4 and ROS-sensitive NLRP3 inflammasome. Biomed Pharmacother, 2017. 86: p. 32-40
- Novel capsaicin-induced parameters of microcirculation in migraine patients revealed by imaging photoplethysmography. J Headache Pain, 2018. 19(1): p. 43
- Green tea (Camellia sinensis) catechins and vascular function. Br J Nutr, 2009. 102(12): p. 1790-802
- Cocoa, Blood Pressure, and Vascular Function. Front Nutr, 2017. 4: p. 36