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varicose veins, glycemic index

Created date

July 14th, 2014

Q. What is the best treatment for varicose veins?

A. Varicose veins are quite common and they usually don’t cause any symptoms, but at times they cause significant pain, blood clots, or skin ulcers. They occur because your veins have one-way valves that help blood return from your legs to your heart. As you age, the valves weaken and cause blood to pool in your veins, making them swell. You can keep varicose veins from getting worse by exercising, elevating your legs while sitting, not crossing your legs, avoiding standing for long periods, and wearing loose stockings or socks (or specially designed compression stockings). 

Other treatment options depend on the severity of your symptoms and the presence of other health conditions. There are several medical procedures that can help—from minimally invasive laser surgery to major surgeries (such as vein stripping) for very severe cases. If your legs bother you, see your primary care doctor first for advice about the most effective treatment for your situation. 

A. The glycemic index is a measurement of how different carbohydrates raise your blood sugar. The higher the glycemic index of a particular food, the faster it is absorbed into your bloodstream and the faster it raises your blood sugar. Carbohydrates with a simple structure, such as sugars found in fruits, desserts, and dairy products, have a higher index than carbohydrates with a complex structure, such as starches and high-fiber foods. 

With regard to scientific evidence, some research shows that adhering to foods with a low glycemic index may help people lose weight or help to prevent diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. These studies, however, are not conclusive and much more research needs to be conducted in this area. Foods with a high glycemic index should in fact be limited in your diet. But the best way to control weight and stay healthy is to eat a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy and proteins.

Eugenio Machado, M.D. 

Medical Director, Dr. Machado earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. He received his medical degree from the University of Maryland Medical School and completed his internship and residency at Maryland General Hospital in Baltimore. Machado is board-certified in internal medicine. He joined Riderwood in February 2004.