Cold feet and hands, varicose veins? Try chestnut to help improve your blood flow
Varicose veins affect three in 10 people at some stage of their lifetime, with women at higher risk of suffering. Women are also more likely than men to suffer from cold extremities - feet and hands. It's a problem that tends to run in families, becomes more severe during and after pregnancy, with varicose veins a common complaint for people who are on their feet for long periods, as well as those in sedentary jobs.
Cute shoes that help ease the ache of varicose veins Varicose veins are a sign of circulation problems, as is a tendency to suffer from cold feet and hands. In a healthy leg vein, blood flows smoothly upward towards the heart and backflow is prevented by a series of valves. When veins lose their elasticity they can start to bulge, damaging the valves and allowing blood to pool in the lower leg. This leads to greater pressure on your veins, resulting in unsightly swelling.
Try adding ginger to your smoothie to help boost circulation
Clinical trials show that horse chestnut seed extracts can improve the symptoms of varicose veins, particularly in the amount of leg pain and swelling a sufferer experiences, but also in other symptoms such as itching. Horse Chestnut seed contains several important therapeutic constituents including aescin, which has a toning effect on the venous wall, working against the leakage of fluids into the surrounding tissues. Aescin also inhibits the enzymes that break down the vein wall, protecting the vein from further damage.
Venaforce Horse Chestnut is derived from a natural source - the conker. Venaforce Horse Chestnut is a traditional herbal medicinal product for the relief of symptoms associated with varicose veins, such as tired, heavy legs, pain, cramps and swelling. A.Vogel’s nutritional therapist, Ali Cullen, has some top tips for varicose vein sufferers: 'It’s essential to avoid standing up or sitting in the same position for long periods - make sure that you move and lift your feet regularly. Flexing the calf muscle powers blood back up the leg to the heart. 'Avoid red hot baths because this causes blood vessels to dilate, potentially making the condition worse. Instead give your legs a cold shower to exercise the blood vessels. 'If you’re sitting for long periods of time, flex your feet (pulling your toes back up away from the floor) to exercise the calf muscle. This helps to get the blood back up the leg and take the pressure off the veins. Veins need daily movement, whether it’s walking, swimming, cycling, or even something gentler such as yoga. When possible, lie with your feet elevated above the level of the heart (eg on a pillow) for 20 minutes daily.' The A.Vogel range also includes Venagel Horse Chestnut Gel: useful for long journeys, if you’ve been on your feet for long periods, or after a day or night in high heels. It can also be used during pregnancy.
If your circulatory problems persist, with coldness in your feet and hands leading to painful chilblains, contact your doctor. Angina medication can be prescribed for use during winter months to actively improve your circulation. Remember also to wear thermal gloves and socks for even the shortest trips outdoors, and if you are a winter sports buff, it may be worth investing in specialist mountaineering mitts. Try Snow and Rock for advice and product information.
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