Varicose vein disease: causes and symptoms

Any vein is an important component of the body's circulatory system. The number of veins inside the human body is very large. More specifically, it is a blood vessel that collects blood from capillaries and delivers it to the heart.

The vein wall consists of several layers: endothelium, soft connective tissue, muscle tissue, and dense connective tissue. This is its main difference with arteries. In arteries, as blood flows through them, a higher pressure is created, so they should have a more stable structure. In this sense, instead of soft connective tissue, its wall contains a fibrous layer. In addition, the vein has a wider lumen and a much lower blood flow velocity.

All the veins in the human body together form an extensive venous network. In this article, we will talk in more detail about the venous structures located in the region of the lower extremities. They are presented in three groups: superficial vessels, deep vessels and perforating vessels. Perforating vessels are named after the fact that they perforate the fascial and muscular structures of the lower extremities, connecting the superficial and deep venous networks. The deepest vascular layer contains the greatest amount of blood. In addition, it should be noted that almost every vein has a specific valve in its structure. This valve is designed to allow blood to flow in only one direction, namely from the lower limbs to the heart.

Varicose veins are a pathological process in which the thinning of the venous wall occurs, as well as the expansion and elongation of these vessels. Furthermore, with this disease, nodular enlargements similar to specific aneurysms are formed. According to statistics, this pathology occurs in almost one in three women and, most of the time, it is formed for the first time at a young age.

There are many reasons for varicose veins. First, they include a lifestyle or working conditions in which an excessive load is placed on the lower limbs. Frequently remaining in the same position, for example, standing or sitting, is of great importance. In case a person is overweight, he is at risk of developing such a pathological process. An important factor is hereditary predisposition. If close relatives had similar problems, the probability of their formation in subsequent generations increases severalfold. Other predisposing factors include various hormonal disturbances, excessive stressful experiences, unbalanced diet, wearing uncomfortable clothing or shoes, as well as various diseases of the cardiovascular or circulatory systems.

Varicose veins are formed as a result of the fact that, under the influence of any of the above factors, a malfunction of the vascular valve apparatus occurs. This leads to the fact that the valves can no longer interfere with the reverse flow of blood, resulting in increased pressure in the vessels of the lower extremities. The increase in pressure causes the diameter of the veins to expand and they contort themselves. In addition, there is a thinning of the muscular layer of the vascular wall, as well as a violation of the nervous regulation of vascular tone.

Varicose Vein Symptoms

the doctor examines the varicose veins

Varicose veins in their development go through several stages, replacing each other successively. The first stage is called plywood. During this period, any subjective sensations in a sick person are absent. Dilated venous vessels in one or both legs are visually identified.

The second stage is undercompensated. This phase is characterized by the occurrence of complaints of rapid fatigue in the lower limbs, as well as bursting in the lower limbs, especially at nightfall. In addition, symptoms such as a crawling sensation, periodic mild leg cramps, and mild swelling at the end of the day may be present.

The third stage of varicose veins is called decompensated. In this case, the swelling that occurs at night becomes more pronounced. Pain syndrome is present, which can be of the most varied natures. Some patients complain of pain when walking, while others notice it even at rest. It is characterized by increased pruritus as well as frequent inflammatory diseases of the skin of the lower limbs, eg eczema or dermatitis. The skin itself becomes excessively dry, shiny and often hyperpigmented. Dilated vessels protrude above the surface of the skin and are visually well defined.

Varicose veins, in the absence of adequate treatment, can lead to thrombophlebitis of the lower limbs, as well as to their circulatory failure.

Examination of varicose veins

First, the diagnosis of varicose veins is based on clinical data. In order to assess the degree of violations, the following instrumental methods are used:

  • Ultrasound diagnosis;
  • Duplex angioscanning;
  • Lower extremity re-opography.

Treatment and prevention of varicose veins

examination of legs with varicose veins

For the treatment of such pathological process, both conservative and surgical methods can be used. This directly depends on the severity of the disease. Conservative methods include the use of compression stockings or elastic bandages, the use of phlebotonics and physical therapy.

The surgical treatment method is individually selected for each patient.

To prevent this condition, you should limit excessive loads on your lower extremities, maintain a normal level of physical activity, and also monitor the state of your cardiovascular system.