What does varicose veins mean, what are its causes and symptoms?

Varicose veins, or varicose veins, are diseases that manifest in swelling of the peripheral veins due to the formation of nodules in them. These nodules do not allow the blood to flow freely upward after the valves close, the blood begins to stagnate and press on the walls of the veins, which completely lose their shape and elasticity. Because the vessels begin to stretch excessively, their edges are pressed harder against the skin and the characteristic mesh becomes visible.

In the early stage of the disease, single blue vessels can be seen through the skin and, in the case of a prolonged course of the disease, sinuous blue veins with strongly noticeable nodules become clearly visible through the epidermal layer.

healthy and varicose veins

causes

Once it is clear what varicose veins are, you should discover the reasons that can cause this condition. Although the main factor for the onset of the disease is considered the insufficient development of the connective tissue, there are a series of conditions that lead to the appearance of varicose veins.

The causes of varicose veins can be as follows:

  1. Lack of mobility. In the presence of this factor, the blood supply to the legs deteriorates, starts to stagnate and form varicose nodules.
  2. The nature of the job you need to be in for a long time. When the person is standing, too much pressure is applied to the lower extremities, the blood starts to flow worse and becomes stagnant.
  3. Genetic predisposition. Hereditary varicose veins occur in 70% of people who suffer from them.
  4. Hormonal imbalance. This problem occurs more often in women, especially during puberty, pregnancy and menopause. At that time, serious changes occur in the body, decreases the production of estrogens, increases the action of the corpus luteum hormone, which relaxes the muscles and contributes to the appearance of varicose veins.
  5. Endocrine system disorders.
  6. Nervous disorders and stress.
  7. Intake of alcohol and toxins. The nerve endings that run along the walls of blood vessels lose their tone and elasticity, and the lumen in the veins diminishes.
  8. Obesity. Due to being overweight, the veins in the pelvis and legs are compressed, causing blood stasis.
  9. Inconvenient underwear. The prolonged use of socks and socks contributes to the compression of the veins, which interferes with the normal circulation of blood.

Symptoms

In the early stage of the disease, symptoms begin to be felt, if they occur, a doctor should be consulted immediately. The sooner the disease is detected and treatment begins, the fewer complications it will cause.

leg pain with varicose veins

With varicose veins, the following symptoms are felt:

  • heaviness in the legs, which is especially acute later in the day;
  • swelling of the legs and feet, passing in the morning after a night's rest;
  • a burning sensation that is felt along the passage of the veins;
  • leg cramps, which appear mostly at night;
  • the appearance of bulging, swollen veins (or a vein);
  • veins become tender to palpation;
  • thickened veins become less visible if you lie down on the bed and lift your legs.

The above symptoms may be signs of other lower extremity illnesses, so only a doctor can determine the illness and its degree.

disease course

The disease occurs with a constant feeling of heaviness in the legs, swelling of the eyelids, swelling of the legs, a burning sensation and discomfort, which disappear in the morning after a night's rest. Over time, the nodules become larger, the veins become more prominent and take on a bluish tint.

If the disease is not treated, a series of complications begin:

  1. Chronic venous insufficiency, which occurs in 4 stages - zero, first, second and third. If at stage zero the symptoms are very mild, then at stage four there are ulcers, severe pain, and the discomfort does not go away even after a night's rest.
  2. Thrombophlebitis, in which the venous wall becomes inflamed and blood clots form inside the vein. They start to grow and become inflamed, the pain in the lower thigh and upper leg increases, and the person's general condition worsens.
  3. Trophic ulcer, which begins with an advanced course of the disease. A complication manifests itself in the form of a non-healing wound that appears with an acute violation of venous flow along the superficial and deep veins.

Contraindications

In the presence of varicose veins, there are a number of prohibitions that patients should take into account:

  • wear high-heeled shoes as they impede normal blood circulation;
  • wear socks and play golf with a tight elastic, shoes and jeans that are too tight. Tight clothes and shoes constrict the veins, the blood stagnates and the limbs swell;
  • throwing your legs over your legs, because the leg vessels below are heavily pressed;
  • lifting weights. When carrying a load of more than 5 to 7 kg, an additional load falls on the lower limbs, which injurious veins cannot handle;
  • playing sports that "clog" the leg muscles, that is. those where they are under a heavy load. This includes skiing and snowboarding, weight lifting, jogging, step aerobics, etc.

Prophylaxis

There are several methods that can prevent varicose veins, prevent the disease from developing, and alleviate symptoms that have already appeared.

compression stockings for varicose veins

The prevention of varicose veins consists of taking the following actions:

  • optimization of rest and work regimes, that is, alternating standing, sitting and leg movements;
  • wear comfortable and comfortable clothes and shoes that do not strain the lower limbs;
  • walk in proper shoes;
  • swimming;
  • a bike ride;
  • regular moderate physical activity;
  • combats constipation, as it increases the level of blood pressure in the small pelvis;
  • during rest, the location of the legs on a hill, for example, on a pillow;
  • hirudotherapy;
  • normalization of weight;
  • drink plenty of fluids (up to 2 liters of clean water a day);
  • Healthy eating;
  • quitting alcohol, smoking and other toxic substances;
  • taking a contrast bath;
  • refusal of oral contraceptives and hormonal drugs;
  • minimization of visits to baths, saunas and thermal baths;
  • refusal to play sports that increase venous pressure.

Prevention is especially important for people with a genetic predisposition to varicose veins. If any of the closest relatives have this illness, it is necessary to think about the health of their own legs before the appearance of the first signs of the illness.

Treatment

If symptoms of varicose veins appear, a phlebologist should be consulted, who, based on tests and exams, will make the diagnosis, determine the degree of development of the disease and prescribe treatment.

The treatment of varicose veins consists of the indication of internal and external agents that affect the focus of the disease. The treatment prescribed by the doctor depends on the degree of its development. In the early stages, medicinal tinctures, compression underwear and gymnastics are prescribed. In the more acute stages, drug treatment is effective, as is rubbing the legs with gels and ointments, which dissolve nodules and interfere with the spread of the venous network. Treatment of varicose veins at later stages requires surgical intervention and adherence to all physician recommendations.

folk remedies

Among the most popular folk remedies for the treatment of varicose veins, the following stand out:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of mashed absinthe with a glass of warm sour milk. Apply the resulting consistency in the form of a compress on the varicose mesh, cover with aluminum foil and a warm cloth. Apply at night for 5 days.
  2. Mix 1 tsp minced garlic with 1 tbsp butter, apply as a compress, wrap with plastic wrap, cover with a warm cloth and leave overnight. The course of treatment is 7 days.
  3. Prepare 2 tablespoons of nettle in a glass of boiling water and strain. Drink the tincture 3 times a day for 1/4 cup.
  4. Boil 1 crushed nutmeg and 1 tablespoon honey in a cup of boiling water. Consume 1 cup 2 times a day before meals.
  5. Apply apple cider vinegar to cotton wool and rub into the affected areas.

Helpful Tips

To prevent the appearance of varicose veins, it is necessary to avoid the blood stagnation, which usually occurs with sitting and standing for a long time. If at work it is necessary to stand and sit for a long time, you should stretch your legs, move your fingers and feet. These movements help to speed up the blood and make the veins work more efficiently.

After a bath, it is useful to pour cold water on your feet, it is a kind of load for the vases, which become more elastic and resistant.

Sport activities such as swimming, walking, cycling and skiing also have a positive effect on the condition of the lower limbs.

Thus, if there are signs of varicose veins, a phlebologist should be consulted, who will prescribe the treatment and prevent complications from occurring.