If you’ve noticed unsightly spider or varicose veins on your legs or spider veins on your face you are not alone. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 50-55% of women and 40-45% of men experience problems with veins, including varicose veins and spider veins. Although there is a variety of effective treatment options for spider and varicose veins, some patients explore natural remedies like vitamins and supplements. But can vitamins help spider veins?
Can Vitamins Help Spider Veins and Varicose Veins?
This is a common question we hear from our patients. In addition to Better Veins for Life principles for spider veins and varicose veins – wearing compression stockings, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and elevating your legs – vitamins are recommended by some, as a treatment for venous disease.
A Warning About Vitamins and Supplements
There are some things you should consider before taking a vitamin or supplement for any reason beyond what is instructed by physicians familiar with your health and medical history. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does provide regulations for vitamins and supplements, but these regulations are not as strict when compared to prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications (this is changing, however).
It’s important to realize that while some dietary supplements use words like “natural” or “organic” on their labels, this doesn’t mean they’re safe for you to take. Some dietary supplements include ingredients or compounds that aren’t on the label, making it difficult to know what you are taking and prevent a drug interaction and/or overdose.
Some vitamins and supplements for vein health can interact with medications prescribed by your doctor reducing their effectiveness. Supplements can, also, cause negative effects in certain medical conditions, or for women who are pregnant or nursing. You should always talk to your doctor about which vitamins and supplements are appropriate for you.
The Role of Vitamins, Supplements and Herbs in Vein Health
Many primary care physicians and women’s healthcare specialists recommend a daily multivitamin and supplements to help you meet your minimum daily requirements, even when you don’t eat right. However, there also daily maximums. It you exceed your daily maximums it is possible to overdose and develop symptoms of vitamin toxicity.
While vitamins and supplements can’t eliminate existing varicose veins or spider veins, one can promote healthy circulation. Vitamin K, can improve circulation in patients who have circulatory concerns. On the flip side, patients with existing blood clots especially if being treated with Coumadin are discouraged from consuming foods high in Vitamin K. It’s not usually necessary to take an additional supplement, however.
Herbs are not the same as vitamins. Though not a necessary part of your diet they may offer health benefits. However, herbal remedies are not medically proven to assist patients with health conditions. Despite this fact, many natural health providers recommend herbs like horse chestnut for patients with varicose and spider veins.
WebMD provides a list of vitamins and supplements that are believed by natural health practitioners to be beneficial for patients living with spider veins and varicose veins. However, we do not recommend taking these remedies without the guidance from a board-certified physician or surgeon.
Always Seek Guidance from a Vein Specialist
Contact us today at Vein Specialists of the South if you’re interested in learning about the treatment options available for spider and varicose veins. Dr. Kenneth Harper who is board-certified by the American Board of Surgery and is a diplomate of the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine will help you determine if certain vitamins,supplements or herbs can provide relief from your symptoms and design a treatment plan that works for you.