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Eileen’s Menopause Corner

Eileen’s Menopause Corner

Once the warmer weather liberates our legs, it’s discouraging to feel that they are not looking or feeling their best! After a winter of limited movement for many of us, any discomfort or poor condition in your lower limbs is likely to have increased.

Many women ask me about the aches and pains in their legs, and whether menopause has any impact on the condition of those limbs. The answer is yes, it can do! This is because falling oestrogen levels reduce the elasticity of tissue in the skin, as well as in the walls of blood vessels, including the veins. Blood pressure may also be more temperamental. If it rises, pressure on the wall of the veins is increased. If it falls, circulation can become more sluggish and promote pooling of blood in the lower legs. None of this is great news for your legs as they emerge from winter hibernation!

If you’re prone to varicose veins, don’t sit with your legs crossed or lie in bed with your ankles crossed. Check out your clothing – are you wearing skinny jeans or waistclamping pants? Loosening up your clothing may improve circulatory problems.

Varicose Veins That Change Shape and/ or Colour

If you haven’t shone a particularly bright light on your pins for a while, it might come as a shock to see that they appear to be laced with bulgier veins than previously, or that they are an angrier colour than last time you looked. This may also show up as more discomfort or feelings of pressure in the legs, aching, or a twitchy feeling. There may also be more itching than usual.

If you’ve been fairly sedentary through a combination of winter and lockdown, the effect on your legs won’t be pretty. The heart is the engine that pumps blood around the body, and the less active you are, the less effective it is. Your legs suffer most from any loss of power, as blood has to be pumped uphill from your feet to your heart.

What to Do About It

Move! Put an hourly reminder on your phone or laptop, and jump about! Or at least do some stretches. When you’re resting, continue the good work by raising your legs above the level of your heart – on a pillow or cushion, for example. Eat plenty of colourful fruit and veg, to get the flavonoids that are so good for your blood vessel walls. Take Venaforce Horse Chestnut tablets to alleviate symptoms of varicose veins. This won’t happen overnight – you need to persist.

Venaforce® Horse Chestnut GR* tablets A traditional herbal medicinal product used for the relief of symptoms associated with chronic venous insufficiency and varicose veins, such as tired heavy legs, pain, cramps and swelling, exclusively based on longstanding use as a traditional remedy. Always read the leaflet.
* gastro-resistant

New Appearance of Spider Veins (Also Known as Thread Veins)

Capillaries are the smallest blood vessels. When they are damaged, they can show up as a ‘web’ or network of tiny red lines. As oestrogen levels fall, skin can become thinner and more likely to show up these damaged areas.

What to Do About It

These tiny broken capillaries can’t be fixed, but working on keeping your circulation brisk and your skin healthy will reduce their appearance. Keep intake of inflammatory caffeine and alcohol to a minimum, along with processed foods – especially processed meat products, and salty and/or fried foods. Stay very well hydrated with plain water. Don’t use harsh cleansing products or scrubs on affected skin, but do use barrier type creams on exposed skin such as the face when out in cold winds, and cover up when in the sun.

Varicose Veins That Flare Up for a Short While

Varicose veins and / or spider veins can flare up due to a variety of factors, such as lack of exercise, dehydration, intake of inflammatory foods, or an increase in alcohol or caffeine consumption. A combination of any of these factors over a few days – a lazy weekend eating takeaways and drinking too much, for example – could cause a flare-up.

What to Do About It

Revert to your healthier habits to rectify the situation. Venagel Horse Chestnut gel can be smoothed onto legs for a quick (temporary) solution to tired, aching sensations caused by a flare-up.

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Eileen’s Menopause Corner