Varicose veins in the legs is not only a cosmetic problem that causes concern to people about their attractiveness, but also a dangerous disease that requires adequate treatment and compliance with preventive measures.
The causes of varicose veins are numerous: from a sedentary lifestyle, physical overloads and ending with hormonal disruptions, congenital weakness of the walls of blood vessels, and pregnancy. What happens during varicose veins? With varicose veins of the lower extremities, they lose their normal elasticity, and under pressure of the blood they stretch.
Valves in the veins in the normal state are certain locks, and when blood passes through them, they close and allow for the reverse flow of blood. If valves are malfunctioning, blood can flow freely downwards, leading to stagnation of blood.
In this regard, the veins do not cope with the pressure, expand, the valves are no longer able to block the large lumen ... all this provokes the emergence of the initial stage of varicose veins (see photo).
Why does varicose veins arise, and what is it? The main risk factors for the development of the disease are genetic predisposition and gender. Because of the love of high heels, hormonal adjustment during pregnancy and taking contraceptives, women become victims of varicose veins twice as often as men.
The development of the disease contribute to:
- Heredity. It is not the disease itself that is inherited, but the genetically determined structure of the veins: weak connective tissues of the venous walls, congenital defective vein valves. That is why varicose veins can be observed in young, healthy and active (regardless of gender) people and even in children. According to scientists, genetic predisposition is the main factor leading to varicose veins of the legs.
- Hormonal changes. Due to the nature of the body in women, periods of hormonal disruptions are causes of blood stagnation. For them, the most dangerous periods are puberty, pregnancy, time after birth. Also dangerous is the time when menopause comes. This gender category of patients turns to doctors 2-3 times more often. In the female organs there are not enough hormones called estrogens. Instead, the so-called yellow body hormones prevail. It is believed that he has a relaxing effect on the muscles. This contributes to the expansion of the veins.
- A sedentary, sedentary lifestyle, or work that requires a long standing, contributes to the development of varicose veins.
- Age. Over time, the valves and the walls of the veins become thinner, this leads to disruption of their work.
- Obesity. Excess weight leads to an increase in the load on the leg veins.
Secondary varicose veins occurs with leg injuries, heart defects, abnormal liver function and spleen. In this case, first of all carry out the appropriate treatment of the primary disease.
There are 3 stages of the progression of symptoms in the development of varicose veins.
- Stage of compensation. There are no complaints. On examination, varicose veins are observed on one or two legs.
- Stage subcompensation. When viewed on the legs visible pronounced varicose veins. Patients complain of a feeling of fullness, paresthesia ("goosebumps") in the region of the legs, night cramps. There is a slight swelling of the feet, ankles and legs in the evenings. In the morning, the swelling disappears.
- Stage of decompensation. Dermatitis and eczema are associated with the listed symptoms. Patients are worried about itchy skin. The skin becomes dry, shiny, tightly welded to the subcutaneous tissue. Minor hemorrhages and the subsequent deposition of hemosiderin cause hyperpigmentation.
Varicosis itself is not considered a very serious disease, but if it has already developed, it will never go away on its own, and even more, it will progress, leading to all sorts of complications that pose the greatest danger.
The first signs indicating the onset of varicose vein development:
- fatigue legs;
- swelling of the lower extremities;
- feeling of heaviness in the legs.
At later stages, the appearance of spider veins on the skin, protruding veins and various seals, indicating stagnation in the vessels, can be noted.
Symptoms of varicose veins in the legs
In different stages of varicose veins, the symptoms can be different - from practically asymptomatic small vascular "stars" to severe and painful manifestations.
You can suspect the development of the initial stage according to the following symptoms:
- the appearance of pain in the legs, a feeling of warmth, and sometimes a burning sensation in the veins of the legs;
- heaviness in the legs;
- in the evening, edemas appear on the legs;
- leg cramps begin at night;
- dilated veins;
- skin of a shin gets dark color, consolidations appear, trophic ulcers are possible.
Finding in yourself any primary signs, you need to immediately begin treatment of varicose veins - the symptoms themselves will not disappear.
Varicose photo: initial stage
As the disease looks like, we offer to view detailed photos of varicose veins on the legs in the initial stage.
In order to diagnose varicose veins of the lower extremities and prescribe the appropriate treatment, the specialist will offer the patient to undergo a comprehensive examination, including various methods.
- Duplex scanning (ultrasound of the veins) is the most informative method for diagnosing varicose veins of the legs, giving an opportunity to get an idea of the degree of vein enlargement, the direction of blood flow through the veins and their patency, and also to detect the presence of blood clots (blood clots).
- Contrast venography, which is a survey method that allows you to detect dilated veins and learn about their degree of patency for blood.
To diagnose varicose veins can only highly skilled phlebologist.
Complicated varicose veins are accompanied by the formation of thrombosis and vein inflammation, trophic ulcers and skin disorders. These complications manifest themselves in discoloration of the skin of the legs, redness, darkening, and blue skin.
Also characterized by persistent swelling of the ankle, especially strong when walking or standing. In the area of the calves, pain occurs when walking, soreness along the convoluted vein, induration on the skin and the formation of ulcers of various sizes on it.
If you have a tendency to the disease, following the recommendations will help slow its progression:
- Wear comfortable shoes without a heel or low heel.
- With loads, you can do leg bandaging or put on medical knitwear, but only after consulting a doctor.
- Do not stand and do not sit for a long time in one place - move, warm up, change your body position more often.
- Do not take hot baths, especially in the morning - it is better to replace them with a warm shower with a final cold shower.
- Give up smoking, which worsens the condition of the blood vessels.
The main prevention is a moderate physical activity: swimming, walking, cycling, charging.
Pregnancy significantly increases the risk of developing varicose veins of the lower extremities, this is facilitated by the following reasons:
- Hormones circulating in the blood during pregnancy increase the extensibility of the venous wall and contribute to the stagnation of venous blood in the legs.
- Increased intra-abdominal pressure in late pregnancy complicates the outflow of blood through the veins of the legs.
- Varicose veins that have arisen during pregnancy, can completely pass after childbirth, or progress further, depending on individual factors (heredity, the presence of other contributing factors).
Treatment of varicose veins in the legs
With varicose veins on the legs, treatment cannot be a medical necessity if the symptoms are not problematic.
However, some people may want to be treated for varicose veins for cosmetic reasons, because they are not happy with their appearance.
Let us examine the main methods that will help get rid of this problem.
- Sclerotherapy This method of treatment is applied both independently and in combination with conservative procedures. Its essence lies in the fact that a special preparation filling it is inserted into a vein with a thin needle or syringe, then the vein completely disappears. Sessions are held once a week, it takes from 3 to 6 such sessions. The method allows to avoid scars and scars.
- Non-surgical treatment. If varicose veins are in the initial stage, and if it does not cause too much inconvenience, then elastic compression stockings may be recommended. They are worn during daily activities. They help to compress the veins, keeping them from stretching and limiting any discomfort or pain.
- Drug treatment of varicose veins relieves symptoms, reduces swelling and pain, slows the development process, but is not able to stop the disease completely and repair damaged veins. The following drugs are used in drug treatment: Venitant, Venoplant, Heparoid, Askorutical Forte, Venza, Hepatrombin, Eskuzan, Troxerutin, etc.
- Laser treatment of varicose veins on the legs can be used on the skin surface. With the help of a small flash of laser light in the wall of a vein the process of hardening develops and the varicose vein disappears, as if it has been removed.
Exercise plays a big role in treatment and prevention - brisk walking, gymnastics, swimming and exercises in the water (excluding sports exercises with a large load on the legs - tennis, weightlifting, jumping).
The action of these drugs is aimed at improving the tone of smooth muscles in the walls of blood vessels, which allows them to maintain their elasticity and normalize blood circulation in the affected areas.
- Detralex. The drug has a venotonic effect due to the composition based on derivatives of flavonoids. This is one of the most effective structural substances for creating venotonics.
- Phlebodia - tablets produced by the company Innothera Chouzy (France), contain 600 mg of diosmin as an active substance. The effect increases with increasing dosage. Proven ability to reduce the tensile properties of venous vessels and capillaries, increased blood flow from the periphery, reduced vascular permeability.
- Exusan - a drug based on the substance "Escin", which is extracted from chestnut. The drug is available in the form of drops, as well as in the form of tablets for internal use. This drug has a wide spectrum of action, and is recommended for combating various diseases.
Many of the venotonics are complex preparations. The effect, which is achieved with their use, applies not only to the veins, but also to all the vessels in our body.
How to treat varicose veins folk remedies
There are a huge number of methods for treating varicose veins on the legs with folk remedies, both for external and internal use. The following are the most common:
- Horse chestnut flowers (50 grams) are required to pour 500 grams of alcohol, then leave for 14 days to infuse, shaking the bottle every day. Pass the tincture through the mesh and eat a tablespoon, with water, three times a day before meals. How to treat a week - take a break for two weeks. Then you can start the treatment again.
- Infusion of dried nettle is used for varicose veins. Dry crushed leaves of a plant are poured in a thermos 1/2 liter of boiling water, drawn for 30-40 minutes, filtered and taken 1/3 cup 3 times a day 1 hour after a meal.
- Compress of tomatoes. Finely chopped tomato, go to the bandage, gauze, and applied to the sore spot. For convenience, you can tie up with an elastic or other bandage. Such a compress holds a vein for 2 hours, then changes to a new one, and so a total of 3 times. The convenience of this compress is that it can be repeated every day.
- Walnut oil tincture: chop unripe nuts, pour into a glass jar, pour olive oil and infuse for 40 days in a sunny place. Finished tincture grease sore spots. The course of treatment is long, as with the use of Kalanchoe.
In addition to folk remedies, many patients with varicose veins supplement the therapy with special gymnastics - Mikulin's exercises allow you to feel a significant improvement.