Although more than 40% of women and 25% of men suffer from varicose veins, very few truly understand their underlying root cause. Often times they show up as a symptom of underlying stress and hormonal imbalances. These bulging, discolored veins are mostly harmless but can cause acute pain and discomfort. Fortunately, there are natural remedies for varicose veins that make solving the problem easy.
The Common Causes of Varicose Veins
Taking a quick look at some of the more common underlying cause of varicose veins gives us insight into the possible associated health imbalances that would be worth investigating:
- Genetic predispositions
- Hormonal imbalances
- Excessive stress
- Physical stressors: endurance athletics, long distance running, standing for too long of periods, or sitting for too long.
Hormones & Varicose Veins
Many things can attribute to the development of varicose veins, however, particular hormones are responsible for the physiological changes that cause them. Specific hormones that can either protect or destroy the integrity of the vein. The three hormones of particular interest when it comes to varicose veins are thyroid, progesterone, and estrogen.
Hormones & Smooth Muscle Cells
As with many organs and tissues in the body, the vein walls are comprised of “smooth muscle” cells. One feature of healthy vascular function is the proper relaxation and contraction of the smooth muscle, which allows normal blood flow.
And guess what is in charge of dictating the relaxation and contraction of the smooth muscle? You guessed it – the hormones!
Hormones and Healthy Blood Flow
You see, every tissue in the body has receptors for the hormones our bodies produce. The hormones estrogen, progesterone and thyroid directly affect the function of the vein. Together, progesterone and thyroid hormone ensure adequate production of carbon dioxide, which relaxes the smooth muscle wall in the vein allowing for healthy blood flow.
How Estrogen Causes Varicose Veins
Estrogen, on the other hand, tends to oppose the action and function of both progesterone and thyroid. This can damage the vein, leading to varicose veins. Estrogen has a few primary mechanisms behind its destructive effects on the vein:
- First, by opposing progesterone and thyroid hormone, excess estrogen can cause a significant decline in carbon dioxide production. This results in restricted vasodilation and impeded blood flow.
- Secondly, estrogen steals oxygen from the mitochondria in the cells of the vein wall, which leads to oxidative stress. This causes the vein wall to lose structure and integrity.
Combined, the lack of healthy vasodilation and weak vein walls make the perfect environment for varicose veins to develop. The lack of CO2 results in vasodilation dysfunction and poor blood circulation, which can cause blood to pool in the vein. As the vein wall loses its structure, the pooling blood becomes more apparent, resulting in the classic bulge seen in varicose veins.
Treating Varicose Veins Naturally at the Root
Now that we have a better understanding of what’s going on with our physiology, we can take proactive steps to correct the issues.
Before we get into some of the natural remedies for varicose veins, keep in mind that many factors may be contributing to the hormonal imbalances. However, no matter the contributing stressor, varicose veins are nevertheless a symptom of vascular dysfunction.
That being said, let’s get into some things you can do naturally to start the corrective process…
Lose Any Excess Weight
Carrying excess weight can lead to a vicious cycle that may be contributing to the varicose veins. First off, there is clear research and observation that people who are overweight tend to develop varicose veins more so than normal weight people. Not only does the excess body weight put greater pressure on the veins, but excess body fat can be a major source of estrogen.
Therefore, if you are someone who struggles with obesity or uncomfortable fat gain, taking simple steps to lose weight may be systematically beneficial for your health and vascular health.
Keep in mind that the thyroid gland is what regulates the metabolism and is often underactive in all cases of stubborn weight/fat gain. In addition to eating a clean diet, getting adequate exercise and sunlight, and reducing stress, our Revitalize Formula contains the most powerful pro-thyroid herb, Ashwagandha.
In fact, studies have found that Ashwagandha supplementation results in a 3.0% and 2.9% reduction in body weight (P < 0.05) and BMI (P < 0.05) respectively. This likely has a lot to do with its ability to promote healthy thyroid function. 1
Improve Blood Flow with Clay
Although anecdotal, applying a clay mask to troublesome areas (especially if the surface area isn’t very large) can be a great way to significantly improve blood flow in varicose veins. Clays have been used topically in mud spas to stimulate circulation and is so effective at doing so, it has been found to provide relief for rheumatism. 2
Getting to the bulk of the problem, doing everything possible to lower estrogen would theoretically be our best route of treatment. Estrogen dominance is very common today, and as we learned, it is one of the major causes of varicose veins.
There are estrogen-mimicking substances in our food, water, and mostly in our personal care products (perfumes, cleansers, lotions, shampoos, conditions, etc.) With commercial personal care and beauty products being such a prevalent source of toxic estrogen, we are proud to provide you with non-estrogenic, non-toxic alternatives.
Choose All-Natural Beauty
So when it comes to lowering excess estrogen, the first step is to reduce exposure. If you haven’t yet downloaded our free e-Book, that is a great place to start. From there, we highly recommend ditching the commercial products and “going green”, using only truly organic, non-toxic, non-synthetic personal care products.
Eat Green & Clean
In addition to upgrading your bathroom cabinet, sticking to organic foods will also be very helpful. Most conventional food today is riddled with estrogenic pesticides/herbicides.
The liver is what processes all toxins and estrogens, so if you are overburdening your liver with toxic substances and estrogen-mimicking chemicals, eventually it will not be able to process them. Living an overall more natural, non-toxic lifestyle can ensure your liver has the ability to destroy any estrogens that it faces. This will have a beneficial effect on not only your vascular system but your body as a whole.