Maintain good vascular health to avoid varicose veins

November 1, 2021
Maintain good vascular health to avoid varicose veins

Vascular health is given comparatively less focus than other health specialties due to lack of public education and awareness. The vascular system is responsible for the circulation of blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body, said Dr. Tan Kia Lean, Consultant Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon, Cardio Vascular Sentral, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A healthy vascular system promotes a seamless and unlaboured flow of blood throughout the body, enabling it to function at its best.

However, poor vascular health leading to vascular issues such as varicose veins – if left untreated – can then evolve into more serious stages of disease including deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Vascular disease severely affects one’s quality of life and may even require invasive medical intervention to treat.

Although varicose veins primarily affect women, men too can face varicose veins. A combination of family history and various other lifestyle factors like smoking can increase one’s chances of being affected by varicose veins.

In its early stages, varicose veins can initially be asymptomatic with just visible dilated vein over the thigh or calf; symptoms later progress to muscle aches, discomfort and heaviness in the legs, night cramps, and foot swelling – sadly, these symptoms are often downplayed.

In contrast to medical treatments for varicose veins, which are accessible and require little down-time post-surgery, the use of home-based solutions only offer temporary relief of symptoms without rectifying the root cause of varicose veins.

It is crucial that patients not ignore the early symptoms of varicose veins and seek immediate specialist care at the earliest opportunity. Empowered with the knowledge to identify the early symptoms of varicose veins, combined with prompt and timely medical attention, patients will be able to sustain previously held quality of life without compromising on lifestyle. Treating varicose veins early also reduces its risk of recurring.

There currently exists a myriad of different treatment options for varicose veins that are minimally invasive and affordable, ranging from laser treatment (EVLA), radio frequency ablation procedure (RFA), and endovenous glue ablation. Dr. Tan explained that while the chosen treatment option will differ from patient to patient, all these procedures work towards the common goal of treating varicose veins at the root and restoring the patient’s quality of life.

In closing, Dr. Tan recommended certain proactive steps to ensure good vascular health: having a healthy and balanced diet, avoiding smoking, and exercising regularly to maintain a healthy vascular system.

“I also advise my patients to stand up and do short walks should they have a desk job or take short breaks from extended periods of standing,” Dr. Tan said. “Amidst the pandemic, more people are confined to their desks when working from home, so we need to make the conscious effort to break from the sedentary routine.”

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Category: Features, Wellness and Complementary Therapies

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