Dr. John Happel | Aug 28, 2018 | 0
Varicose Veins Home Remedies: Debunking Alternative Medicine Myths
Introduction: The Why, What and When of Treating Varicose Veins
When should you consider varicose veins home remedies?
Before I share the why of this article, let me be clear about the what — the problem of increasing promotion of alternative treatments for varicose veins.
The what is that the biggest myth for the treatment of varicose veins is that home remedies are helpful.
For people promoting alternative or supplementary medicine, business is booming.
A popular website to determine what is trending in different fields is the site, Buzzsumo.
Type in varicose veins to see the results for yourself.
The top two articles listed from different sources were entitled – “How to Cure Varicose veins with the Help of Tomatoes”.
Now. How. It. Works.
They recommend cutting a green tomato into slices or rings and tying them on top of your varicose veins with a bandage until they tingle. They recommend that you repeat this five times per day, preferably in a row.
The reason why I am writing this is that there are daily reports of countless home remedies on the Internet.
Some are click bait.
The honest truth is that they are not only useless for the treatment of spider and varicose veins but some are potentially dangerous.
Phlebitis, swelling of your legs and dermatitis can result from essentially ignoring the proper care.
The question of when to do varicose vein surgery including laser, sclerotherapy surgery and phlebectomy has been extensively studied and researched.
In 2011, a consensus article on the treatment of varicose veins was published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery.
The foremost authorities in vein care in this country recommended that the currently available methods of treating varicose veins be offered first to all patients with symptomatic varicose veins before support stockings and conservative methods were offered.
The reason is that conservative methods of treating varicose veins always fail.
People cannot wear heavy, hot and uncomfortable compression stockings every day for the rest of their lives.
Conservative and alternative methods were not advised from reviewing all of the scientific literature.
The Marketing Roar of Alternative Treatments for Varicose Veins
Homeopathic care, complementary and alternative medicine, and supplements are big business.
Many people make their living hawking these products.
You can hear the infomercials everyday on the radio. Many days, especially on the weekends, a couple of AM (and a few FM) stations, carry questions and answers either from a moderator or from callers in their listening audience.
Chiropractors or doctors with sketchy credentials are the usually the moderators.
People believe that these are real “doctors” who are giving free advice.
They follow their advice. People buy their products.
They are heavily marketed.
Slick advertising, ubiquitous marketing for herbs, potions and organic cures are everywhere.
The problem is that these remedies are not built around evidence-based medicine.
Marketing from alternative medicine and homeopathic providers try to promote that people are giving up on their traditional medical care. They claim that it has failed so people have turned somewhere else.
However, studies surprisingly show that most people are actually satisfied with their traditional medical care. They state that they simply want to expand their options.
Natural and organic are the buzzwords.
The “Organic Lifestyle” is Trending
People are making their own oral version of flu shots and describing their concoctions on Facebook.
People are refusing vaccinations for their children.
Autism rates, the increasing incidence of allergies and the boom in gluten-free foods are signs that people are raising questions.
Sometimes things can get confusing.
The buzz from these modern versions of snake oil is so pervasive that they make even the most ardent skeptic wonder.
Varicose Veins Home Remedies Scientific Evidence for Flavinoids
Read this most complete and up-to-date comprehensive evidence based medical article on varicose vein home remedies.
Let’s compare varicose vein supplements, natural treatments and home remedies. These treatments are often controversial because of the lack of rigorous data to support their recommendation.
The bottom line of this analysis, which was peer reviewed and included highly respected Cochrane reviews is that there may be some benefit in helping to heal venous ulcers or venous edema.
However, flavonoids, pine bark, St. John’s wort, grape seed, marigold, butcher’s broom, witch hazel olive oil or any of the other commonly promoted nostrums to cure varicose veins have absolutely no scientific proof of efficacy in diminishing or ridding you of your varicose veins.
You might as well ask Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies for advice. Her “rheumatiz” medicine, moonshine, will be as effective for your achy veins.
Varicose Vein Procedures Work But Are Not Curative
The cause of varicose veins is genetic.
Faulty one way check valves inside of veins cause your varicose veins to occur.
Even if a vascular surgeon eradicated all of your abnormal veins with relatively painless minimally invasive techniques, you will not be cured of your varicose vein for life.
New abnormal veins will develop eventually.
However, without treatment, they will enlarge – if you do nothing.
More pain, phlebitis, bleeding and ulcers are the result of neglected varicose veins.
People are not satisfied with the answer that there is no prevention for the development of new varicose or spider veins.
This has created the sensation of alternative medicine. It is also called complimentary medicine.
It is increasing in popularity.
- There is no governmental agency regulating this industry
- Most people buying these products are not trained in the scientific method and don’t have a scientific background to evaluate their effectiveness
- The internet is flooded with dubious cures for varicose veins
Got Varicose Veins? Here’s the Latest
The good news is that vein treatment from the best varicose vein doctor in Pittsburgh is easily available.
Stripping of veins is no longer recommended or necessary.
These new varicose vein treatments are minimally invasive.
This ensures that the post-laser recovery period is very comfortable. In fact, many of our patients tell us that their experience was pain-free from start to finish.
Dr. Happel has the longest personal experience treating varicose veins in Pittsburgh.
He was the first doctor in Pittsburgh to perform laser for varicose veins.
As a scientifically trained medical doctor, you can clearly see how I feel about these alternative varicose veins home remedies.
Physicians are trained in the scientific method.
Doctors know how to write and interpret evidence-based articles and information based on double blinded studies and randomized analysis. This information must be peer-reviewed to be free of bias.
Anecdotal experiences and conjecture or feelings are dismissed. Recommendations based on anything other than these rigorous methods are unworthy of being published in respected medical journals.
Looking for advice about your varicose veins that you can trust?
Call us at 724-969-0600 to learn more or contact us here.
Point being, we will not try to sell you any bogus creams or pills for you varicose veins that won’t work.
That’s a promise from a board certified vascular surgeon specializing in veins with over thirty years of experience treating varicose veins.