Varicose veins are unsightly and embarrassing for the estimated 25 percent of men and women who will develop them sometime in life. Luckily, the veins, themselves, rarely cause immediate health problems; but they can indicate much more severe health issues for patients down the road. A varicose vein — not to be confused with a spider vein, which does not bulge under the skin — often appears as a result of vitamin deficiencies. When the blood stream lacks crucial vitamins, basic functions like clotting and cardiovascular flow deteriorate, leading to poor circulation and elevated stroke risk.
Two specific vitamin deficiencies are widely considered leading indicators for varicose veins: Vitamin K and Vitamin D.
Vitamin K helps the body manage clotting
Vitamin K is an important micronutrient that even the healthiest of individuals often fail to supplement in their diets. Not only does K help to build strong bones, but it also aids in many blood functions like clotting and tissue circulation. By transporting calcium throughout the body, Vitamin K both helps the body regulate its own internal strength (bone density) and ensures that excess calcium deposits do not build up on arterial walls.
“Lack of vitamin K2 makes bones long and thin so increasing height through generations is due to poor nutrition and not improving nutrition,” the British Medical Journal says. “Low levels of vitamin K2 result in calcification of elastin, the cause of double chins, piles, and varicose veins.”
Vitamin K also helps in reducing the threat of bleeding in the liver, poor nutrient absorption, jaundice, or the combination of the long-term use of antibiotics or aspirin. It can also significantly reduce excessive menstrual flow and improve related menstrual pain during periods.
Besides supplementing with oral vitamins, you can eat more leafy greens like kale, chard, or bok choy to supplement Vitamin K.
Vitamin D deficiencies often lead to varicose veins, especially in the elderly
Vitamin D is an incredibly crucial micronutrient that scientists and doctors continue to understand and revere with continuing research. One of the primary benefits of Vitamin D is its cardiovascular support.
“When Vitamin D levels are low, your veins will struggle to do their job correctly, and vein issues may arise,” Vein Clinics explains. “Vitamin D helps to keep your arteries and blood vessels loose enough and relaxed enough to support proper blood flow.”
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can also occur when circulatory issues keep the blood from flowing properly to the limbs. Most commonly, the limbs don’t get enough blood; and as a result, there is pain felt during any movement, even walking. Varicose veins can also arise when the blood stagnates — an issue that become deep-vein thrombosis (a blood clot within the vein) if left untreated.
The best ways to add Vitamin D to your health regiment are to sit in the sun for fifteen minutes per day, or to eat fatty foods like eggs, fish, or red meat.