The Fundamentals

Pain in the feet and ankles, swelling, and ulcers on the skin characterize the condition of Varicose Veins. These are enlarged, twisted, superficial veins occuring anywhere on the body, but most commonly in the lower extremities and in the esophagus. This condition is caused by incompetent venous valves that may be acquired or congenital. The development of varicose veins is promoted and aggravated by pregnancy, obesity, and occupations that require prolonged standing. Esophageal varices are caused by portal hypertension that accompanies cirrhosis of the liver. If a vein is injured, severe bleeding could occur. The best treatment is elevating the extremity and applying gentle, firm pressure. Holding a medium-sized coin firmly over the wound is appropriate, but a tourniquet is undesirable. The patient should not walk until the acute condition is under control.

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MedlinePlus: Varicose Veins
Varicose Veins
he condition of varicose veins is caused by a variety of factors. Obesity and standing for long periods of time are the most common causes. Varicose veins are very common. They tend to run in families and are more often seen in women than men. Symptoms vary and include tired, achy legs; pain in the feet and ankles; and swollen, twisted blue veins close to the surface of the skin. Varicose veins may occur in almost any part of the body, but are most often found on the lower extremities, especially in the calves. Varicose veins can be a serious condition. Fluids can leak through porous vein walls, the veins can burst and create ulcers under the skin, or blood clots may form. If a blood clot breaks loose, it can pose potentially life-threatening problems.
A number of herbs can help an existing problem and prevent further varicose veins from forming. Bilberry is helpful in that it stimulates new capillary formation, strengthens capillary walls, and increases the overall health of the circulatory system. Ginkgo is known for its ability to increase blood flow through the brain, but it also improves circulation all over the body. To help strengthen the entire cardiovascular system, studies show that Hawthorne helps lower blood pressure and prevent clotting. Gotu Kola, traditionally used for memory improvement and stress reduction, has also proven to strengthen connective tissue and the protective sheath around the veins. It has been shown to help circulatory problems in the lower extremities, including venous insufficiency, water retention in the ankles, and varicose veins.
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Note: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the use of a qualified health care professional. We strongly recommend the use of a physician for the diagnostic phase of any treatment. With an accurate diagnosis in hand, we believe the consumer, at that point, has a basic, unalienable right to seek out factual information on all therapeutic approaches, both orthodox and alternative, and choose those approach(es) that are right for them. Nonetheless, a "good doctor" should be considered a requisite starting point.

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