June 2017

Question: Shorts weather’s finally here, but my legs aren’t ready!  What can I do to get rid of my SPIDER and VARICOSE VEINS?  They make me so self-conscious…

Answer: Both conditions arise from dilated veins that are less resilient which tend to “stretch” when filled with blood, thus supplements that benefit venous health should be considered. These include VEINSMART by Lorna Vanderhaeghe, CIRCUVEIN by Flora Health, WOBENZYM N, and DIOSMIN-HMC by Thorne Research.  They work through different mechanisms so they can be used together.  VEINSMART is a set of herbal astringents, including diosmin, horse chestnut, butcher’s broom, and hesperidin which work together to help tighten the veins in your body to help return blood to the heart.   WOBENZYM N is highly popular in Europe and has been available at our pharmacies for 20 years.  It is a collection of enzymes (pancreatin, papain, bromelain, trypsin, chymotrypsin, rutin) that can reduce inflammation and swelling as well as improve blood properties for enhanced flow throughout the circulatory system.  The flavonoids in DIOSMIN-HMC work together with Vitamin C to strengthen veins, promote lymphatic drainage, and improve circulation.  An interesting tidbit about all these products is that they can also benefit hemorrhoid sufferers.  (Circuvein is also marketed as “Hemoraid” for this reason.) Although these are natural health products, they do have contraindications, so be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before supplementing.

HOMEOPATHICS are often used in patients with circulation problems because they have no side-effects and do not interact with any medications the patient may already be on.  AESCULUS COMPOSITUM and VENOFLUID are often used orally for venous health.  There is also a topical VARICOSE VEIN CREAM or OINTMENT which can both strengthen and tighten the superficial veins.  The cream is preferred for the legs (while the ointment is for haemorrhoids).

Dry skin on the legs can make spider and varicose veins look more noticeable. A good topical moisturizer, such as DRENCHED BODY BUTTER by K’Pure Naturals, applied on a daily basis can help. Taking an oral triglyceride-form omega-3 supplement such as those by METAGENICS or NUTRASEA can help moisturize from the inside out. Benefits for dry skin conditions can be felt within days of starting these supplements.

GRADUATED COMPRESSION STOCKINGS may be necessary, especially if their varicose veins are causing symptoms such as fatigue, pressure, and /or pain. Compression stockings are made of special elastic fibres and are designed to fit quite tightly around the ankle and gradually less so as you move up the leg.  The idea is to have the fibres in the fitted stocking help massage the legs in order to return blood to the heart to prevent pooling in the legs.  There are many styles, sizes, and strengths of compression stockings to cater to various needs, so it is crucial that you speak with a CERTIFIED COMPRESSION STOCKING FITTER at Pharmasave Steveston Village in order to pick the right ones for you and to have you sized properly. Check with your physician or pharmacist if you already have a blood clot because there are special considerations for the timing of starting blood-thinners and compression stockings in such cases.

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