There is a stigma going around that there is “nothing” you can do for varicose veins. If your mom had them, then they’re engraved in your DNA and you’re essentially “stuck”. But I’m not buying it. I mean— your body can CREATE and grow babies, but they can’t repair vein valves?
What are varicose veins?
According to Wikipedia: “Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged and tortuous. The term commonly refers to the veins on the leg, although varicose veins can occur elsewhere. Veins have leaflet valves to prevent blood from flowing backwards (retrograde flow or reflux). Leg muscles pump the veins to return blood to the heart (the calf muscle pump mechanism), against the effects of gravity. When veins become varicose, the leaflets of the valves no longer meet properly, and the valves do not work (valvular incompetence). This allows blood to flow backwards and they enlarge even more. Varicose veins are most common in the superficial veins of the legs, which are subject to high pressure when standing. Besides being a cosmetic problem, varicose veins can be painful, especially when standing.” 
Major risk factors:
- Inflammation (thickens the blood)
7 Things You can do to Support Your Veins:
1) Address liver congestion (this is the MOST important).
In nutritional therapy, varicose veins are a sign of liver congestion, since impaired detoxification and liver stress put extra stress on the venous system. According to naturopathic doctor Dicken Weatherby, “If the liver, which acts as a blood filter becomes congested, the blood that flows into the liver from the digestive tract becomes backed up.” 
2) Balance your hormones and get excess estrogen out of your body
Increased estrogen (often due to liver malnutrition, thus the failure to detoxify it) increases blood viscosity, and this can contribute vascular stagnation. This is one reason why vein pain can increase at certain points in the female cycle (ovulation and/or premenstrually), since these are the times that hormonal imbalance is magnified.
3) Food allergies and sensitivities can increase vein pain (and blood viscosity).
Anything that is adding extra stress to the body is going to impact veins. If you are sensitive to certain foods (gluten, dairy, and soy are the most common) they are going to work against your body, and your veins. Read more on food sensitivity testing here.
Testing your mineral levels is also a great way to work with your body from the ground — ensuring that your body has all the raw materials it needs to support its natural desire for health and and homeostasis. That way you can support any nutritional deficiencies or nutrient excess with accuracy.
4) Get Nutritionally Wealthy!
According to Dr. Ray Peat, PhD, “ …varicose veins are merely low-pressure analogs of arterial aneurysms, and they obviously develop under specific conditions, such as pregnancy and malnutrition. Spider veins are another anatomical variation that commonly appears under the influence of estrogen.”  Because malnutrition is a primary cause of varicose veins, make sure you give your body the nutrition it NEEDS to support your vascular system.
5) Reduce Inflammation
Are you carrying around invisible inflammation because your cell membranes are not healthy (all 30 trillion of them)? Chronic cellular inflammation has a domino effect on your whole body, and thus reducing inflammation it will too! Research suggests that omega 3 fatty acids that fight inflammation supporting vein health and elasticity, especially in a 6:1 ratio of EPA:DHA. 
A 2019 study also highlights the risk of fatty acid imbalance causing inflammation linked to vascular disease, “Epidemiological studies have shown that a lower EPA:AA ratio is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease, acute coronary syndrome, myocardial infarction, stroke, chronic heart failure, peripheral artery disease, and vascular disease.”  *Note, the ratio is written as EPA:AA in this particular study, although fatty acid testing commonly flips it, calling it an AA:EPA ratio.
Find out if fatty acid imbalance is contributing to inflammation (via the AA:EPA ratio) and varicose veins with Fatty Acid Testing.
6) Work it (and not in high heels)
Varicose veins are especially common in the legs and calf, which can worsen with inactivity. Did you know that your movement in your heel and calf helps to pump the de-oxygenated blood up your legs back to your heart? This is drastically decreased when you wear high heeled shoes. If you work at a desk all day here are some of my favorite options to get you moving everyday: the treadmill desk and the treadmill laptop shelf.
7) Compression stockings
One of the first thing a vascular specialist might do is give you a Rx for a custom sized compression stocking to wear during the day to help provide support, and to force blood to circulate through the deeper veins instead of the surface veins that are commonly problematic. Wearing these can help slow the progression of varicose veins, according to Western medicine. However, they are not particularly cheap, usually costing around $100-$130 per pair.
8) Address Hypercoagulation
If your blood is thick and sticky from hypercoagulation, those vein valves have to do a lot more work.
Blood health and homeostasis are rarely talked about until there’s a big problem (read: you get a blood clot), so you probably haven’t heard much about hypercoagulation.
If you were to take all the blood vessels out of an adult body (talking about arteries, veins, capillaries) and lay them out in a straight line, it would end up spanning a length of approximately 100,000 miles.
This is the highway for your immune system as well as for your body to deliver oxygen, nutrients, and hormones to cells as well as remove waste products.
What if your circulation highway is more like a 5’clock traffic jam due to thick, sticky blood slowing down the flow of ‘traffic’ in your bloodstream?
The impact on your veins isn’t going to be great.
Find out what you can do to support blood health here.
So while I’ve yet to see varicose veins vanish, I have seen vein pain disappear with nutrition. Why not make sure that you are supporting your veins with nutrition, and set the stage for what your body needs for your veins to work properly?
So tell me, what do you think?
1. Peat, Raymond. Bleeding, clotting, cancer. 2006. Retrieved September 24, 2013, from http://raypeat.com/articles/aging/bleeding-clotting-cancer.shtml
2. Weatherby, Dicken. Signs and Symptoms Analysis from a Functional Perspective. Nutritional Therapy Association, 2004. Print.
5. Wikipedia. Varicose Veins. 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varicose_veins