The Image & the Reality
For most people, the holiday season is equal parts exciting and hectic. As much as this time of year might evoke images of relaxing with friends and family in front of a raging fireplace, the reality is that you’re too busy shopping or making travel preparations. For those with varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis (DVT), this time of year may mean extra pain and discomfort. The time spent seated in the car or cramped into the middle seat of a cross country flight can seriously affect the way blood circulates.
Whatever the causes—this is your year to visit your sister across the country, or maybe you forgot something at the mall on Black Friday—the results may be all too familiar: your feet and ankles becoming swollen, fatigue and itching of your lower body set in, and then there’s the throbbing pain throughout the legs. So two hours into that flight, or after the third traffic jam on the highway, these symptoms can prove unbearable. It’s hard to dispense good cheer when you’re suffering.
What’s happening? In the same way that you might get stuck in holiday traffic, the extra time you spend sitting can cause blood congestion in leg veins. When absent from enough physical activity—and with the aid of gravity—blood essentially gets “stuck” down there, unable to make it back to the heart and lungs. In this case, as it is with DVT and blood clots, this pooling of blood occurs in deeper veins, increasing risk of essential arteries or veins getting blocked up. The swelling varicose vein sufferers experience in the legs, as their blood gets stranded in engorged veins just underneath skin, is something they must live with every day.
Inactivity can aggravate these already painful symptoms. It’s generally accepted that inactivity—sitting too much or spending hours a day standing stationary on your feet—is a massive contributor to these disorders. There’s evidence that western nations, which have the highest rates of sedentary lifestyles, also see the highest rates of varicose vein and DVT issues. Since the hustle and bustle of the holidays only exacerbates these conditions, figuring out how best to manage them becomes absolutely instrumental to enjoying the season.
Keep Those Wheels Spinning
So what can you do to make the holiday season more bearable? Is there a healthy and constructive way to manage the pain and discomfort? It turns out it only requires a few adjustments to ensure healthy circulation during the holiday season. Check out these tips for better circulation:
● Move Around When Traveling: If you’re going to be on the road or in the skies for prolonged periods of time, make sure to periodically stand up, walk around, and stretch your legs to promote blood flow. Even just 5 to 10 minutes of this light activity every two hours will help.
● Compression Stockings: For those with varicose veins, compression stockings may be a good idea for pushing blood back up to the heart. Compression also minimizes the discomfort and pain associated with long stretches of inactivity.
● Set Aside Certain Drinks: This might be a tough for those that enjoy the seasonal drink of choice—and even tougher still for coffee drinkers—but, in the interest of healthy veins, it’s a good idea to avoid these beverages, at least when traveling. What should you be drinking instead? Water, of course. Hydration aids with blood flow.
● Don’t Get So Crossed: Interestingly, the common habit of crossing one’s legs has been shown to adversely affect blood circulation. Simply uncrossing your legs could work wonders and help ensure your blood gets to where it needs to go.
● Stocking Stuffers: Dietary supplements and vitamins rich in antioxidants can be very helpful in ensuring proper circulation. Vitamins C and E both have antioxidant properties and are just the right size for that stocking.
So while you may not be able to control holiday traffic, or magically make airplane seats more comfortable, there’s a lot you can do about varicose veins or DVT.
Unwrapping the Gift
Pain and discomfort can make the stress of the holidays—milling with upset shoppers, finding those impossible-to-find gift requests, dealing with overworked cashiers—are tough to deal with in the first place. Varicose veins and DVT make it even that more excruciating.
Maybe this holiday season is time to seek out treatment for your varicose veins and DVT. Luckily, there are a number of treatments and therapies available, and the efficacy of these procedures is only getting better. Give yourself a little something this holiday season, and talk to your doctor about treating these painful and dangerous conditions.
If you have vein issues or suspect you do, consider seeking out the expert advice and highly effective approach of Clarity Vein & Vascular. The team here pairs the latest in technological advances with a full dedication to patient care. Talk to a coordinator today by calling (877) 761-6326.
1. Kirkpatrick, Kristin, Roxanne B Sukol, Richard Gans, Mark Hyman, Judi Bar, and E-RYT 500. ‘Varicose Veins: Not Just an Older Woman’s Problem – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic’. November 13, 2014. Accessed November 23, 2016. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/2014/11/varicose-veins-not-just-an-older-womans-problem/.
2. Staff, Mayo Clinic. ‘Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Definition’. Mayoclinic July 3, 2014,. Accessed November 23, 2016. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/deep-vein-thrombosis/basics/definition/con-20031922.
3. Campbell, Kevin R. ‘A Holiday Travel Risk You May Not Know about: Deep Vein Thrombosis – Health Answers’. November 15, 2013. Accessed November 23, 2016. http://www.everydayhealth look at here now.com/columns/health-answers/a-holiday-travel-risk-you-may-not-know-about-deep-vein-thrombosis/.