Varicose veins are a condition in which the veins become enlarged. There is a possibility of any vein becoming varicose if it is gnarled, but the most commonly affected veins are those in the legs and feet. The main reason for this is the pressure that is exerted on the lower body due to walking.
The discomfort caused by varicose veins differ in their intensity. Some people can have an issue with the condition because of cosmetic reasons, but for some, this condition causes immense pain and discomfort. In fact, sometimes varicose veins can cause severe problems like circulatory issues.
- Age – as one gets older, the veins of the body lose their elasticity, which makes them weak. In such a scenario, the blood that should be moving towards the heart moves backward. This causes the blood to collect in the veins, and this is why the veins enlarge and become varicose. The blue colour of the vein is a result of deoxygenated blood.
- Pregnancy – pregnant women often experience this condition as pregnancy increases the volume of blood in the body but leads to a decrease in the flow of blood from the legs to the pelvis. The hormonal changes during pregnancy also worsen the condition.
- Dark purple or blue veins
- Veins that are twisted and bulging, and appear like cords
- A perennial ache and feeling of heaviness in that particular body part
- Burning, muscle cramps and throbbing
- Pain when standing or walking if it is in the legs or feet
- Itching around the veins
- Red discoloration of the skin
- Hardening and inflammation of the veins
If you experience these symptoms, it is time to visit a doctor. Even though self-care, including lifting your legs, exercise and wearing compression stockings for varicose veins can reduce the pain and keep the condition from getting worse, it is always a good idea to consult a doctor for the appropriate and the most effective treatment.
There are some preconditions that can elevate the problem of varicose veins. The risk factors include:
- Age – as increasing age is a cause, it automatically becomes a risk factor. Ageing can lead to wear and tear of the valves in the veins, thus disrupting the blood flow.
- Gender – women are more susceptible to this condition than men. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, pre-menstruation and menopause can relax the vein walls, thus accelerating this condition.
- Family history – family history also has a role to play in the onset of this condition. If the other family members suffered from varicose veins, there is a chance it might ruin in the family.
- Obesity – excess weight puts immense pressure on the veins, causing them to lose their elasticity and thus, disrupting the blood flow.
Being aware of alternative treatment plans is essential; one must be well-versed with their options. From self-care to medical procedures, there are different treatment plans for this condition.
It involves physical exercise and compression stockings. It also includes elastic bandage and weight loss. However, it is always a good idea to consult a medical professional before trying out any self-care option.
- Laser therapy – this is a procedure in which a focused beam of light is used to treat any abnormalities in the skin. It is minimally invasive and not painful at all
- Sclerotherapy – this procedure involves the injection of a salt water solution into the abnormal blood vessels or tissues. This leads to them collapsing or fading away, thus correcting the condition to a large extent.
- Radiofrequency ablation – this refers to the removal of tissues with the help of an electric current produced by a radio wave.
- Ambulatory phlebectomy – this process includes the removal of superficial veins through small slits on the legs. This is usually done as an outpatient procedure.
As the wise have very correctly said, prevention is better than cure. And prevent we must! Here are some ways in which you can reduce the chances of developing varicose veins by improving your blood circulation and muscle tone:
- Avoid high heels and tight undergarments
- Elevate your legs regularly
- Change the sitting position at a regular interval
- Maintenance weight
- Shift to a high-fiber and low-salt diet
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