Are your varicose veins telling you something?
It's one of those in-your-face reminders of age -- something that none of us like to see, but most of us have probably thought of as harmless.
But new research reveals the ugly truth about varicose veins.
They're more than just unsightly.
They could be dangerous -- and they might even be deadly!
If you have varicose veins, this new study finds that you're facing more than FIVE TIMES the risk of a clot!
The study of more than 425,000 people links varicose veins to a condition called deep venous thrombosis.
That's perhaps best known for forming in people who spend a lot of time sitting, including the infamous "traveler's clot" that can strike if you take a long flight without getting up to stretch or walk up and down the aisles.
Now, the new study shows how they can form even if your feet never leave the earth -- and the chief warning sign could be those spidery varicose veins found in a quarter of adults, a number that's even higher among seniors.
These clots are so dangerous because, just as the name will tell you, they form deep inside the veins.
They can sit there for years, maybe even forever, without causing harm.
But they can also break off and travel into the lungs, triggering a potentially fatal pulmonary embolism.
Given the risks, you clearly don't want to ignore those varicose veins.
But what can you do about them?
Some folks have treatments ranging from lasers to painful surgeries with long recovery periods.
It might be tempting, too, if you fear this clot risk.
But don't schedule that procedure just yet.
While the operations might remove the veins themselves, they won't do a thing about the conditions that CAUSED those veins to appear in the first place.
And those issues could be the REAL reason that those clots form.
In many cases, those unsightly varicose veins are a warning sign of circulatory problems, which are also -- not coincidentally -- a risk factor for clots and other vascular problems.
The best way to beat all of those risks is to work on improving your circulation with a combination of light activity -- including a daily walk -- and natural therapies.
The flavonoid rutin, found in a wide range of produce including apples, onions, and asparagus, can help boost the flow of blood, stop platelets from clumping, and prevent venous conditions ranging from varicose veins to hemorrhoids.
Speak to a holistic medical doctor for the approach that's best for you or, for a more personalized approach, make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.
Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.
And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!