Varicose veins are enlarged veins that show close to your skin’s surface. They usually show up in the calves and thighs. They result from malfunctioning valves inside the veins as prolonged pressure or obstruction of the veins.
Varicose veins may develop from sitting or standing for long periods, lack of exercise, pregnancy and obesity. Heavy lifting puts more pressure on legs increasing the probability of getting varicose veins. Support stockings or socks may help prevent varicose veins. Heart failure, liver disease, and abdominal tumors can also promote the formation of varicose veins. A deficiency of Vitamin C and bioflavonoids can also weaken the collagen structure in the vein walls, which can cause varicose veins to develop.
Some supplements can help provide relief. A new ingredient called Diosmin is showing great promise and is giving people noticeable results. Although the circulation usually is associated with cardiovascular health, a whole slew of other—and notoriously annoying conditions related to the veins—respond nicely to diosmin supplementation. Under the overarching category of “chronic venous insufficiency,” these conditions run from easy bruising, edema, restlessness and swelling in the legs to varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Diosmin provides a safe, natural solution worth trying for these and related ailments.
This flavonoid first was isolated in 1925 from the knotted fig wort and was introduced into therapeutic practice in 1969. Diosmin’s mechanisms of action include improvement of venous tone, increased lymphatic drainage, protection of capillary bed microcirculation, inhibition of inflammatory reactions, and reduced capillary permeability.
Support for diosmin’s benefits can be found in a number of clinical trials. For instance, in one study carried out across 23 countries and involving 5,052 patients over a period of two years, it was found that 450mg of diosmin combined with 50mg of hesperidin daily for six months led to clinically-significant improvements in the conditions associated with chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins. These included pain in the legs, heaviness, a sensation of swelling and cramps. Even the much more serious conditions characterized by venous ulcerations and delayed healing responded to a higher level of supplementation. In a randomized multicenter trial, compared with standard ulcer management alone, the addition of 900 mg diosmin and 100 mg hesperidin almost doubled the percentage of patients experiencing complete healing of the ulcers. As opposed to only 28 percent in the conventional treatment group, 47 percent of the group receiving diosmin experienced healing of ulcers less than 10 cm in diameter.
Hemorrhoids, similarly, have been shown to respond to treatment with diosmin. Patients ingesting 450mg of diosmin combined with 50mg of herperidin twice per day (in the form of one tablet two times per day) for two months exhibited improvements in pain, discharge, edema and bleeding compared with controls in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 120 subjects. This is but one of several clinical trials with similar findings.
Safety is not an issue with diosmin—long-term trials with animals have shown no side effects even with intakes representing 35 times the suggested intake by humans. Typically, diosmin is taken at the rate of 500mg twice daily. For some purposes, a loading dose of 1,000 mg three times daily for four days is recommended, followed by 1,000 mg twice daily for three days, and a maintenance dose of 500 mg twice daily for two months.
Lorna VanDerhaeghe's Veinsmart product contains Diosmin and Hesperidin along with other complementary ingredients for eliminating varicose veins such as Butcher's Broom and Horse Chestnut
Other helpful supplements, traditionally used for varicose veins and recommended by James Balch, MD, Mark Stengler, ND and Michael Murray, ND :
• Bilberry - boosts circulation and strengthens capillary walls. Take a bilberry extract with 25% anthocyanosides, at a dose of 160 mg twice per day.
• Horse chestnut - strengthens vein walls & valves, increases circulation and reduces swelling.
• Grape seed extract - boosts circulation and improves vein wall integrity. Take 200-300 mg daily.
• Vitamin E - thins the blood, promoting blood flow and alleviating inflammation in veins. Take 400 IU twice daily.
• Ginkgo biloba - usually used for circulatory issues. Take an extract standardized to 24% flavone glycosides, at a dose of 60-120mg twice per day.
• Vitamin C - improves the health of vein walls. Take 500 mg 2-3 times daily.
• Bromelain - reduces inflammation in the veins and could help prevent blood clots. Take 500 mg 3x daily, in-between meals.
• Bioflavonoid complex - some flavonoids like hesperidin & rutin, have been found to be helpful with treating varicose veins. They strengthen the support structures of the veins and the vascular system. Take 1,000 mg 2-3 times daily. You can also consume bluish-red berries, such as cherries, blackberries, hawthorn berries and blueberries, as they contain flavonoids which improve the strength and elasticity of vein walls. Extracts of some of these berries are widely used in Europe to treat different types of circulatory disorders, including varicose veins.
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