Varicose veins are “rare” in parts of the world that follow simple dietary guidelines.

Typically, varicose veins are caused by weakening of the vein walls and valves. This often happens when the pressure inside the veins increases due to sitting or standing for a long period of time. Sometimes eliminating certain foods from the diet can contribute to the formation of varicose veins, making it difficult to have a bowel movement.

Science Direct explains: “Varicose veins are tortuous, dilated, and form superficial veins of 4 mm or more.”

They are one of the most common manifestations of chronic venous insufficiency, affecting 25 percent of women to 15 percent of men.

The most significant risk factors for this condition are female gender, older age, daily history, pregnancy, prolonged standing, obesity, and vascular malformations.

Certain dietary factors have also been found to be responsible for the development of varicose veins.

READ MORE: “Sore” legs can signal poor circulation and heart disease

“Varicose veins are rare in parts of the world where high-fiber diets are not refined,” explains Science Direct.

“A diet low in fiber contributes to the development of varicose veins due to the need to strain more during bowel movements.”

This observation is consistent with studies that have found a significant association between varicose veins and chronic constipation.

When straining, the pressure inside the abdomen increases, which prevents the return of blood through the legs.


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“Prolonged high pressure can weaken the wall of a vein, causing varicose veins or hemorrhoids, or it can weaken the wall of the colon. […]”, adds Science Direct.

“A diet high in fiber is the most important treatment and prevention for varicose veins and hemorrhoids.”

An additional complication of constipation is that it can cause bloating in the intestines, which compresses the abdominal veins and reduces blood flow.

In addition to getting enough fiber in your diet, it may be necessary to limit foods that clog your arteries.

READ ALSO: Three popular drinks that cause varicose veins

Fried foods, for example, contribute to the formation of plaque on the inner walls of the arteries, which makes it difficult for blood to pass through them.

Other signs of chronic venous insufficiency

To prevent the development of varicose veins, it is advisable to look for other signs of chronic venous insufficiency.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, this condition causes:

  • Swelling in the legs and ankles
  • Feeling of tightness in the calves or itchy, painful legs
  • Pain when walking
  • The skin is brown, often around the ankles.
  • Painful leg cramps or muscle spasms.

Often symptoms can be mistaken for other health conditions, so a doctor should be consulted to confirm the underlying problem.

To diagnose chronic venous insufficiency, doctors rely on the history combined with a physical exam.

Johns Hopkins Medical Center explained, “You can also have an imaging test called a duplex ultrasound.

“This is an analysis of the blood flow and structure of the veins of the legs. It checks the speed and direction of blood flow in the vessel.”

After a diagnosis is made, a healthcare professional may inject a chemical into the veins so that blood can be diverted to other veins.

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