GUEST POST BY SWATI NARSHANA
You may ask why Varicose Veins need to be cured. For those of you who don’t know, if someone suffers from its severe form, it can be extremely painful. Varicose Veins are twisted enlarged veins that are commonly seen in your legs. This is generally caused due to long-standing jobs or excessive walking, as it increases the pressure on the veins in your lower body.
But, before I elaborate on the causes, symptoms and cure, let me tell you about my patient who went from painful sleepless nights to peaceful slumbers.
Nirmala Jain, aged 67, suffered from severe Varicose Veins and ruptures due to the breakdown of her blood vessels and arteries. Because of her age, she had developed bulging arteries for many years. This had aggravated during the lockdown due to long-standing hours in the kitchen, irregular eating habits and no time for self.
A few months ago, she had visited a Varicose Veins Specialist as the pain had gotten worse. She was unable to walk, stand or sleep without being in immense agony. She had lower back pain, bursting veins and swelling in her legs. It was almost impossible for her to even use the toilet in peace.
The Varicose Veins Specialist suggested that she go for physiotherapy sessions. Nirmala’s physiotherapist, Dr. Smruti Jiandani (details below), had to visit her at home as Nirmala was unable to even walk down to the clinic. Once she was diagnosed, Dr. Smruti told her that the first step to feeling better was to lose weight.
Dr. Smruti referred Nirmala to me but I was a little hesitant as I did not do home visits. A few days later, after listening to her pain and immobility factors, I decided to take up her case as a challenge. Along with her husband, Nirmala cooperated for a whole hour of analysis. According to the Fat Machine Analysis, she weighed 92.8kgs, which was 18 kgs over her ideal weight range. The reading as on 20th June 2021 showed weak muscles and a higher fat percentage.
With the support of her husband and my weight loss program, Nirmala’s walking ability improved by 20% in just one month. The program included a change in her diet plan, meal timings and general routine. I have also given her tips on how to cook food, calculate the quantity of food intake and the importance of eating fresh foods. Slowly, from the North Indian Marwadi ghee filled foods, she began trying creative ways to make low-fat tasty foods.
After following the therapeutic diet, her pain has reduced and her veins have stopped bursting. She can now walk at least a kilometer, every day.
“Thank you Swati ji for giving me this weight loss diet plan. As I started following your advice and instructions, my painful Varicose Veins have become much better. Thankfully, as previously instructed by the doctor, I do not need to undergo surgery now. Even though I have only lost a few kgs, I feel much lighter. I am glad that I’m not starving myself but eating my stomach full, and healthy. I’m waiting for the day when all my Varicose Veins will disappear.”
It is a long journey but this is just the start. I believe that if you have determination, nothing is impossible.
Though many people have mild Varicose Veins, around 7% of Indians, mostly women, suffer from its severe form. This is predominantly seen in those above the age of 40.
The causes are as follows:
Standing for long periods
No regular exercise
The usual symptom is continuous pain with swelling on the body parts, usually legs. Scientifically, it is called EDEMA. Due to edema, one experiences heaviness and dull aches throughout the day. This occurs during cold weather or humid climates. Sometimes, the pain could spread to the calves and ankles, too.
Like many ailments, here also food plays a very important role in reducing the pain and edema. It’s a strict NO for the foods listed below:
1. Foods which are refined, like maida, rice, certain oils, etc.
2. Baking powder, baking soda, and other bakery items.
3. Sugar and increased amounts of salt like salty snacks such as salty peanuts, salty cashews, etc.
4. Canned or frozen foods.
If one does not exercise regularly, they develop several ailments like Varicose Veins, which in turn causes obesity. Vice versa, due to obesity, you could begin suffering from Varicose Veins.
A diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins can help prevent dangerous free radicals which can damage the blood vessels. For example, Vitamin K rich foods (spinach, broccoli, beetroot, etc.) work as an anticoagulant and Vitamin C rich foods (amla – Indian gooseberry, oranges, lemons, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, etc.) have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swellings. Red onions, fresh ginger and fresh garlic are natural healers that also have anti-inflammatory properties.
It helps to eat dark fruits and vegetables rich in various vitamins and antioxidants. A low-calorie diet that is low in fats and rich in essential oils help reduce the excessive fats in the body. Instead of using normal salt, one can switch over to Sendha Namak or pink salt. Foods rich in bioflavonoids (berries, red cabbage, onions, kale, parsley, etc.) aid in blood circulation and help reduce arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
A simple walk is a very good activity to follow on a daily basis in order to strengthen your calf muscles. For severe Varicose Veins, assistance from an experienced physiotherapist is recommended.
I hope this write up has helped you assess whether your Varicose Veins are severe or getting there. With these simple tips, I believe that you can surely try and reduce your suffering before you need to consult a doctor to completely heal painful Varicose Veins.
All the best!
Clinical Nutritionist & Sports Dietician
About the Author
Swati Narshana is a BHsc Graduate in Clinical Dietetics and a Post Graduate in Sports Science and Nutrition (PGSSN) at S.N.D.T. University, Pune. She is also certified in ACE – American Counsel of Exercise. She has been counselling clients with various ailments for 20 years.
Swati began her nutritionist career in 1997 at Talwalkars Better Value Fitness Pvt. Ltd., Pune.
After her marriage, her clinical career extended towards health care centers in Bangalore. Since then she has associated with renowned hospitals, like People Tree Maarga (Psychiatric unit), Omega Hospital, Navachetana Hospital, Prima Diagnostic, Anupama Multi-Speciality Hospital, Manjushree Maternity Hospital, Synapse Health Care. She is also associated with the well-known Yoga Guru – Dr. Mickey Mehta.
She personalizes each diet according to the person’s body type, medical condition and health requirements. Her happy clients include those with prior multiple disorders, deficiencies, heart diseases and conditions related to diabetes and obesity. She has also helped women with PCOD & PCOS who have conceived naturally after following the therapeutic diet.
She is also a corporate guest lecturer and counsellor. You can join her FB group where she posts nutrition updates – HEALTHY WITH SWATI. You can also check out the testimonials from her clients.