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  1. #1
    Registered User gamesmaster1's Avatar
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    Unhappy Should I stop Lifting due to Varicose Vein

    Hi,

    From the age of 20 I first noticed a varicose vein at the back of my right knee.

    I am now 33, and over the years the vein has gradually gotten alot bigger looking and sticks out quite thick and chunky now and it starting to appear further on down my leg.

    I started lifting heavy weight about 4 months ago, as well as cutting body fat,as well as cardio so am more aware of the vein now, whether I can see it clearer now because of less body fat or it seems to be getting bigger and is really ugly!

    I went to my doctor about this vein about a year ago and was told it was cosmetic and nothing could be done under our health system (UK NHS).

    However, I went to another doctor this week who has referred me to a vein specialist and I am waiting for the appointment.

    I asked the doctor if lifting heavy weights could be making the vein worse and he said it was possible as lifting heavy would been increased pressure on the abdomen.

    So, now I'm not sure what to do, while I await the vein specialist.

    My lower legs have always had a problem with swelling, they are alot smaller in the morning than they are at night, and I have to keep ellevating my legs during the day to make the swelling come down. They are also quite dull and ache at night and if I stand for a long time without much movement. I have checked out the symptoms and 'cronic venous insufficiency' seems to be quite accurate.

    Also my upper body is so low body fat now and still my lower legs are just full of fat, I'm wondering if this blood circulation problem would be hinderiing fat loss on my lower legs!

    Does anyone have an suggestions as I feel so deflated (unlike my puffy legs) right now!!!!
    Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?

  2. #2
    Registered User fitpawz's Avatar
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    I have the exact same problem. I've gone to a vascular specialist & am now on the wait list for an ultrasound to check my deep vein blood flow & leg artery valves. Having leg edema sucks physically, but it can really mess with your head when it comes to body image. At least it does for me, I try not to HATE my legs, but it's hard, every day it's hard...

    When I had my first DXA body scan a few years ago my body fat was 15% in both arms, pelvis/torso was 11%, BUT my legs were 27% & 28%. Very out of proportion to the rest of my body. Logically it would makes sense that a lack of blood circulation would play some role in this, but to what extent I don't know. I'm also not sure how the DXA would differentiate bodyfat from edema, if it can at all? So while the scan said 27%, was it really fat or fat + edema? Ultimately it doesn't matter from a "my jeans don't fit" point of view.

    Have you bought compression stockings? In the beginning I found those helped bring the swelling back down. Then my legs got worse & they really didn't help as much (I probably needed to move to a higher compression rating). It got to the point where I couldn't even sit in a chair for more than 15 minutes & my left leg would start to swell. I'd have to find something to rest my leg on if I was sitting. You are already elevating your legs which is what I found helped the most. It didn't prevent swelling, but definitely helped bring it down.

    I wish I could offer some magic cure, but normally the only way to "fix" a varicose vein problem is surgery (whether it's the old stripping method or laser, etc). Some herbs are supposed to help, but I never saw a difference when I tried them. I do take aspirin (81mg once a day) to help with the blood flow, prevent clotting, etc. If I run out & don't get more my left calf will start cramping after about 2 days.

    Definitely don't stop exercising! It will *help* to get the blood pumping out of your legs. With varicose veins in the legs you're more likely to have blood pooling & the resulting edema. The muscle contractions in your legs will help push the blood up. I don't see how your doctor would tie in your abdomen with varicose veins in your legs??? I've never heard of that before. I really can't see how any sort of upper body lifting will impact your legs from a vein perspective.

    Good luck with your appointment & try not to let it get you down, but I know the feeling & it sucks.

  3. #3
    Registered User gamesmaster1's Avatar
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    Fitpawz,

    thankyou so much for replying to my post with so much information!

    I initially started this fitness regime for a number of reasons, one of which was to get rid of the fat legs! I have a sun holiday next month and a family wedding in December, and I was hoping that I would be able to (for the first time in 20 years) wear a short dress.

    As the weeks have gone on and I've stayed at a 500 calorie deficit per day,trained hard and I have had the most amazing results, but my legs were always lagging behind! So then I thought it was just genetics and my stubborn fat is in my lower legs, and that will be the last place to loose the fat!

    Then I became more 'body aware' and started to notice (so too did my husband so it's just not me being crazy) that my lower legs are light and skinney in the morning. By lunch time they feel heavy and need elevated, and by bed time they ache and feel really fluidy or something and are big!!

    I am getting a pair of compression stockings later to day. I tried water retention tablets but they didn't work. Only other thing I have heard of is horse chestnut, so I might give that a go! My legs are elevated as I speak and they feel much better already, although not practical when I go back to work when my youngest is at school!

    Do you have any kids? After childbirth my ankles were so swollen (more so than 'normal' post childbirth legs), and on planes they swell up really bad too, so I have to wear flight socks! So attractive!!!!

    I'm have never had a DXA scan, but I'm sure it would be another blow to the system. I got a bit fustrated there that I'd done so much hard work on my cut and exercise, and still had the fat legs, and the 'old me' would have just given up. But you are right, exercise does help, and being less heavy will help, there is no going back this time!!!

    We should stay in contact with each other and update are progress, will be interesting to find out the results of your ultra sound. From my teenage years I always seemed to have a problem with heavier legs, then the veins came out, and now the heavy leg/swollen thing. Hopefully if we get some bad veins taken out it will help!!! I'm up for anything that will help at this stage!!!

    Take care )
    Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?

  4. #4
    Registered User hurleygurley's Avatar
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    I know it sounds crazy guys, but go see your local massage therapist. We can perform Deep tissue on varicose veins that helps lessen the severity of them! and fitzpaws it will definitely help with your edema! Go directly to them and talk to them about it. Every massage therapist is different but they all learned the process through school. It can help lessen symptoms until the upcoming appointments or possibly even rid them =]

  5. #5
    Registered User gamesmaster1's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by hurleygurley View Post
    I know it sounds crazy guys, but go see your local massage therapist. We can perform Deep tissue on varicose veins that helps lessen the severity of them! and fitzpaws it will definitely help with your edema! Go directly to them and talk to them about it. Every massage therapist is different but they all learned the process through school. It can help lessen symptoms until the upcoming appointments or possibly even rid them =]
    Thanks Hurleygurley Will look into that option! Like I say any suggestions are most welcome! I'm only out of bed and sitting down for breakfast and my legs are already sore!!
    Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?

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    Oh I hate this for anyone! I had vericose veins iin both calfs and blood pooling in both legs, swelling, pain etc. WEnt to the vein specialist and voila! No more vein isseues. I had a closure proceedure done on the two than ran the length of both legs and had several removed in both calves. The scars are very minimal, like several .25 inch incisions. IMO way better than the rope like blue veins ;-) REcovery was easy just a little uncomfortable. I now wear compression hose when I lift, esp on leg days. If you are prone to these they will come back. It's just genetic predipostition. I'm sure I'll be back at the vein dr in another 10 years to get the same thing done again but it's an out-patient procedure and i didn't even need any pain killers, just tylenol and rest. Took off 6 weeks from lifting then back to normal. I wish you both luck and let me now if you have any questions--Tiff

  7. #7
    Registered User gamesmaster1's Avatar
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    Tiff,
    thankyou for your reply. I feel more positive now after reading about your procedure. I think this condition may be more common than I initially thought and hopefully my vein specialist will be able to do something to help!

    Originally Posted by TBC122901 View Post
    I now wear compression hose when I lift, esp on leg days.
    I got a pair of compression knee high tights an was wondering about wearing them when lifting. I will try this in the gym tomorrow which is my leg day. Thank for the advice.

    Do you take aspirin? I bought some because it thins the blood and thought it might help in some way
    Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?

  8. #8
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    I don't take asprin. I also don't take any of the body building sups that promote "pump" which is just vaso dialating- making veins fill with more blood. I wear pants when I lift and just have my sexy ;-) knee high copression hose on underneath. I'll wear them in the fall winter under my jeans. The vein dr said to wear them as much as possible. I don't wear them during summer except for the the gym. Try to elevate your legs after lfting and a couple time through out the day. My progress pics are all after my procedures, I don't think the scars are noticeable, they are way better than the veins were. It's more common than I realized. Also don't take long hot sit down baths, makes the veins dialate and hold more blood.

  9. #9
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    What I can understand is that your problem is quite serious and painful. So I would suggest you not to do anything on your own, without learning its benefits or harms.

    Donít exercise too much until you have pain and swelling.

    It is always a good idea to take suggestion from few more Vein specialists, since they all have different treatments therapies and solutions.
    Thank You!!
    Varicose vein treatment

  10. #10
    Registered User fruizjr's Avatar
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    varicose veins

    You all are great! I'm going to the vein doctor in two days for for weekly laser treatments. It bugs me that I can't lift after each treatment. I wonder of there some exercises that would not impact the laser results. Seated dumbell lifts? Light bench press? Ill ask him. Has anyone done any limited exercises after laser treatments? I'm a bodybuilder and I hate setbacks. Its bad enough when you take off two weeks for the flu etc. Any thoughts? Ray

  11. #11
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    Not sure what to do about venous insufficiency and weight lifting

    I'm relieved to see that I'm not the only one who is experiencing this. My vein specialist says that any exercise/lift that causes me to brace my core or strain--even pushups--will exacerbate venous reflux. I don't know exactly why, but my guess is that the pressure that we create in our abdominal area when doing any big lifts that require bracing the core for even a couple or a few seconds per rep prevents the blood from completely returning up? I have been wearing Reebok CrossFit compression tights when I lift, but I don't know how much they are helping. I mean they do feel really good during my workout, and I don't feel any heaviness in my legs or feet, really, but I'm not sure how much it helps. I will also start wearing medical-grade graduated compression knee-highs underneath them.

    I have always had a really trim and slim upper body and my legs and feet have been prone to swelling since I was a teen, especially after long periods of sitting or standing. The lower extremity is also the place where I tend to deposit the most fat, or so it seems. The way my jeans fit is always a sure-fire way of knowing whether I gained a few pounds. I have a really small waist, comparatively speaking, and wide hips and strong legs and glutes. I love doing barbell squats and deadlifts, but I fear that these exercises worsen my predisposition to re-developing the veins I get treated. Right now I am getting sclerotherapy bi-monthly, but it seems that by my next appointment, most of the same veins are back. It's frustrating. I don't know what the answer is. I didn't think about any surgical or laser procedure. I will definitely consider it in the future.

    Has anyone read or experienced anything about diligently strengthening the calf muscles? Apparently strengthening the calf muscle pump really helps to prevent blood from pooling in the veins of the lower extremity.

  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by SmoothieGirl View Post
    I'm relieved to see that I'm not the only one who is experiencing this. My vein specialist says that any exercise/lift that causes me to brace my core or strain--even pushups--will exacerbate venous reflux. I don't know exactly why, but my guess is that the pressure that we create in our abdominal area when doing any big lifts that require bracing the core for even a couple or a few seconds per rep prevents the blood from completely returning up? I have been wearing Reebok CrossFit compression tights when I lift, but I don't know how much they are helping. I mean they do feel really good during my workout, and I don't feel any heaviness in my legs or feet, really, but I'm not sure how much it helps. I will also start wearing medical-grade graduated compression knee-highs underneath them.

    I have always had a really trim and slim upper body and my legs and feet have been prone to swelling since I was a teen, especially after long periods of sitting or standing. The lower extremity is also the place where I tend to deposit the most fat, or so it seems. The way my jeans fit is always a sure-fire way of knowing whether I gained a few pounds. I have a really small waist, comparatively speaking, and wide hips and strong legs and glutes. I love doing barbell squats and deadlifts, but I fear that these exercises worsen my predisposition to re-developing the veins I get treated. Right now I am getting sclerotherapy bi-monthly, but it seems that by my next appointment, most of the same veins are back. It's frustrating. I don't know what the answer is. I didn't think about any surgical or laser procedure. I will definitely consider it in the future.

    Has anyone read or experienced anything about diligently strengthening the calf muscles? Apparently strengthening the calf muscle pump really helps to prevent blood from pooling in the veins of the lower extremity.
    Pretty easy to strengthen the calf muscle, although some people are gifted with more responsive growth there than others. I think generally they recommend higher rep work with calves - calf raises with weighted barbell on shoulders, or performed on leg press machine are pretty simple to do. I throw in a set of 15 or so after sets of squats.
    squat - 225
    bench - 145
    deadlift - 275
    press - 105

    "if the bar ain't bendin', you're just pretendin'"

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    Smile Did your compression stockings help?

    Originally Posted by gamesmaster1 View Post
    Tiff,
    thankyou for your reply. I feel more positive now after reading about your procedure. I think this condition may be more common than I initially thought and hopefully my vein specialist will be able to do something to help!



    I got a pair of compression knee high tights an was wondering about wearing them when lifting. I will try this in the gym tomorrow which is my leg day. Thank for the advice.

    Do you take aspirin? I bought some because it thins the blood and thought it might help in some way

    Hi, thanks for sharing your story. I'm 24 and my varicose veins have recently become more noticeable; I've recently joined a gym but I'm hesitant to try squats and lunges even though I know they give awesome results. I wanted to know whether your compression stockings help you on your leg day?

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    Re

    Originally Posted by gamesmaster1 View Post
    Hi,

    From the age of 20 I first noticed a varicose vein at the back of my right knee.

    I am now 33, and over the years the vein has gradually gotten alot bigger looking and sticks out quite thick and chunky now and it starting to appear further on down my leg.

    I started lifting heavy weight about 4 months ago, as well as cutting body fat,as well as cardio so am more aware of the vein now, whether I can see it clearer now because of less body fat or it seems to be getting bigger and is really ugly!

    I went to my doctor about this vein about a year ago and was told it was cosmetic and nothing could be done under our health system (UK NHS).

    However, I went to another doctor this week who has referred me to a vein specialist and I am waiting for the appointment.

    I asked the doctor if lifting heavy weights could be making the vein worse and he said it was possible as lifting heavy would been increased pressure on the abdomen.

    So, now I'm not sure what to do, while I await the vein specialist.

    My lower legs have always had a problem with swelling, they are alot smaller in the morning than they are at night, and I have to keep ellevating my legs during the day to make the swelling come down. They are also quite dull and ache at night and if I stand for a long time without much movement. I have checked out the symptoms and 'cronic venous insufficiency' seems to be quite accurate.

    Also my upper body is so low body fat now and still my lower legs are just full of fat, I'm wondering if this blood circulation problem would be hinderiing fat loss on my lower legs!

    Does anyone have an suggestions as I feel so deflated (unlike my puffy legs) right now!!!!
    Hi,
    My sister had varicose vein, and she found it very difficult to stand for long. She had it for years. And finally got it treated at a vein clinic in Toronto called Vaughan Vein Clinic. I guess its very different here in Canada. The procedure done was called Endovenous laser treatment (EVLT). It was a very quick procedure and was effective. The vein gradually disappeared. She was very happy with the results. I guess the result varies from person to person.

  15. #15
    Registered User delilac's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by gamesmaster1 View Post
    Hi,

    From the age of 20 I first noticed a varicose vein at the back of my right knee.

    I am now 33, and over the years the vein has gradually gotten alot bigger looking and sticks out quite thick and chunky now and it starting to appear further on down my leg.

    I started lifting heavy weight about 4 months ago, as well as cutting body fat,as well as cardio so am more aware of the vein now, whether I can see it clearer now because of less body fat or it seems to be getting bigger and is really ugly!

    I went to my doctor about this vein about a year ago and was told it was cosmetic and nothing could be done under our health system (UK NHS).

    However, I went to another doctor this week who has referred me to a vein specialist and I am waiting for the appointment.

    I asked the doctor if lifting heavy weights could be making the vein worse and he said it was possible as lifting heavy would been increased pressure on the abdomen.

    So, now I'm not sure what to do, while I await the vein specialist.

    My lower legs have always had a problem with swelling, they are alot smaller in the morning than they are at night, and I have to keep ellevating my legs during the day to make the swelling come down. They are also quite dull and ache at night and if I stand for a long time without much movement. I have checked out the symptoms and 'cronic venous insufficiency' seems to be quite accurate.

    Also my upper body is so low body fat now and still my lower legs are just full of fat, I'm wondering if this blood circulation problem would be hinderiing fat loss on my lower legs!

    Does anyone have an suggestions as I feel so deflated (unlike my puffy legs) right now!!!!
    Yes bodybuilding is dangerous when you have veins. Same with pregnant women. I think you should get 20 strenghth socks knee high.

  16. #16
    Registered User Lucyyours's Avatar
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    I'm 35 years old so having spider veins and varicose veins is slightly embarrassing to say the least. I didn't know if just a venorid serum would get rid of the veins. This venorid serum is very easy to apply and it has a pleasant smell also which is a good thing. Not only does this help your veins but it also helps moisturize your skin, which is very super. I use this once in the morning and then once at night before I go to bed, This is just my preference.This stuff is truly great!

  17. #17
    Registered User Gardeniaa's Avatar
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    I used venorid for my varicose vein along with the excercise. Its cured in 6 weeks 75% and still i m using this. having losts of hope in this.

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