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Friend or enemy of the veins?
Our veins do a great job: Every day they transport around 7,000 liters of used blood back to the heart. In the legs they also overcome gravity, so it would only be appropriate to actively support them. Nevertheless, many people do not know the enemies and friends of their vessels. Prof. (Univ. Chisinau) Dr. Dr. Stefan Hillejan, phlebologist and proctologist from the practice clinic for venous and rectal diseases in Hanover and chairman of the professional association of qualified medical experts in Germany, therefore explains what weakens the veins and what promotes their health.
Wrong clothing damages the vessels. This includes high shoes as well as boots and pants that are too tight. They constrict legs and feet and disrupt blood circulation. This leads to swollen legs and also causes heat to build up in the veins. “Vessels expand due to high temperatures and the venous valves, which ensure that blood flows in one direction only, fail to function. This means that the blood can no longer drain away and sinks in the legs, ”explains Prof. Hillejan.
Another adversary of the veins is alcohol. He also widens the blood vessels so that blood collects in the leg. Those who are prone to varicose veins should pay attention here and only consume alcohol in moderation. Women in particular are affected by the last enemy of the veins: habitual sitting with legs crossed over clamps off the blood flow, which leads to congestion in the area below. As a result, the pressure in the vessels increases, which ultimately increases the risk of varicose veins.
The best friend of the vessels is movement. Walking and cycling activate the leg muscles that support blood transport. Swimming or aqua gymnastics also have a positive effect because water pressure promotes venous activity. Those who sit a lot for professional reasons help their vessels by, for example, alternately bending their toes and stretching them out again. Putting your legs up after exercising allows the veins to rest as the blood now flows back to the center of the body using gravity.
Leg massages from bottom to top additionally support the flow direction of the blood. "If you want to do something good for your veins, you can also use Kneipp therapy," advises Prof. Hillejan. "To do this, take a short shower of warm and cold alternating legs. This counteracts the stretching of the vessels and at the same time strengthens the tension of the vein walls. ”A balanced diet also helps to maintain leg health. Fish, legumes and nuts provide the body with omega-3 fatty acids, through which veins remain elastic. In addition, a fluid intake of about two liters per day improves blood flow.
Those who follow this advice do something good for their legs and become the best friend of their veins.