Varicose Veins Linked to DVT

October 27, 2009


Varicose veins are generally harmless, though not considered attractive, but a new study in Graz, Austria reveals that danger may be lurking under your skin.

There are any number of reasons to get varicose veins including family history, jobs where you are standing for long periods such as hairdressers and teachers, being very overweight and of course in pregnancy.   The most common form generally seen is superficial vein thrombosis (SVT), where the veins become inflamed and swollen.  It can be a painful condition, but most doctors don’t regard it as a major problem.
However this new research looked at a potential link between varicose veins and DVT (deep vein thrombosis) which a dangerous condition that prompts blood clotting in the legs.  Clots that break away can cause thromboembolism (restricted blood flow), and even death if the clot reaches the lungs and triggers a pulmonary embolism.

Of the 50 patients examined who had confirmed SVT it was found that one in four of them had DVT, although none had shown any symptoms.   This suggests those with varicose veins need to be alert and ask for a sonagraph screening to establish if they are at risk.

Varicose veins and Vitamin K link
One factor in keeping your veins healthy is to have a good intake of vitamin K as its importance for circulatory health is already well known.
There was an important study done in France in 2007, only on male subjects, with and without varicose veins. They found a link between getting varicose veins and low levels or no activity of a protein called matrix GLA protein.  This protein is only properly activated when vitamin K levels are adequate, so the researchers at Nantes University concluded that a dood intake of the vitamin may play a role in varicose vein prevention.

If you have any history of narrowing of the arteries in your family, then some nutritionists 5 to 15 mg of vitamin K per day, but that is considerably higher than the recommended daily allowance.
If you want to increase it in your diet then it’s mostly found in dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower, also in cheddar cheese and oats.

WARNING!!! Vitamin K needs to be carefully monitored if you are on blood thinning or anticoagulant drugs after a stroke or surgery and a limited intake is suggested.


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