What are varicose veins?

Varicose veins are enlarged veins that can occur anywhere in the body but mostly in legs, feet and anal. A hemorrhoid is anal varicose veins.

In simple words, when veins are damaged , overfilled with blood, it gets enlarged, swollen, and twisting veins that often looks blue or dark purple. And this problem is generally known varicose vein.

They are often causing aching, pain, heaviness, swelling, fatigue, eczema and unsightly visible veins.

The swollen, thickened, twisted parts of veins are medically called as varicose or varicosities.

Generally people mistakenly understand both varicose veins and spider veins are the same things. But in the case of varicose veins there is a high risk of circulatory problem.

 Aching legs , swollen ankles are the symptoms of both varicose veins and spider veins. About 36% of adults are suffering from these problems.

Causes of Varicose veins

In normal vein function, veins contain multiple one-way-valves which help the blood to flow upwards against gravity. When these cup-like valves are damaged  and becomes weak or raptures then they don’t open or close properly and make the muscle difficult  to push the blood upwards against gravity.

These muscles contraction helps to pump the  blood and elastin of veins walls help blood to return to the heart. When these veins walls become loose , the integrity of elasticity, muscles are not able to pump blood in upward direction.

The blood continues pulling  in veins that increases venous pressure and damages valve points and gets enlarged, bulky and twisted. The effect of  varicose veins are mostly found in legs.

Some potential risk factors for varicose veins,

Hormonal 

  • premenopausal in women, high hormonal changes especially estrogen in women
  • Lifestyle
  •  Prolonged standing and sitting
  • Smoking cause venous endothelial Injury

 Acquired         

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Age over 50
  • Constipation

Inherited            

  • Family history
  • Tall height
  • Congenital Syndromes

Some Common Symptoms of varicose veins

  • Varicose veins are easily visible with prominent dark purple or blue blood vessels mostly on your legs. This type of signs may not cause any pain in twisted and bulgy veins.

But When it becomes painful, then followings are the symptoms of this disease:-

  • You may have itchiness over around the enlarged veins.
  • Painful legs and swelling in the ankles or feet after prolonged standing.
  • Heaviness feeling in your legs with achiness.
  • You may feel worse pain after prolonged standing and sitting.
  • On quickly standing up expressing muscle cramping, burning and throbbing.
  • Swollen ankles after walking, exercise or at night.
  • Hardening of veins with color changes.
  • You can develop swelling and discoloration of the skin, inflammation of the skin and in acute case veins can bleed and can develop leg ulcer.

Spider veins are very much similar to varicose veins. They are found near to skin surface with spider’s web-like veins often red and blue color.

Mostly occurs on the legs but can also be found in the mouth of various sizes.

Diagnosis varicose veins

Your doctor will examine your legs and confirm whether you feel any pain while standing or sitting.

Your doctor will also do the  ultrasound test to check blood flow. High-frequency sound waves allow to see whether the valves of your veins are functioning properly or not also to find out blood clottings . In this noninvasive test, a technician runs a small hand-held device (transducer) to transmit images of the veins in your legs to monitor, so that your doctor can identify them.

This test also allows the doctor to see others disorders like blockage that is causing the pain and swelling in your legs.

Treatment and prevention

The way of treatment depends upon doctors you chose, the surgeon will opt for    surgery on the other side doctor of Medicine (MD) or Dermatology would like to cure it with the help of medicines and changing the life style as well as the food habit.

Lifestyle changes

These are some basic  things that can help ease discomfort and prevent varicose veins from forming or becoming worse.

  • Avoid Prolonged sitting and standing- If your life style or job requires prolonged standing then don’t forget to shift your weight from one leg to another after sometime. In the case of prolonged sitting keep walking and standing after regular interval of time. Generally standing requires about 20% more energy than sitting.
  • Exercise regularly to improve your leg strength- Regular exercise improves the blood circulation in the vein that helps improve your leg strength.     
  • Lose weight- Maintain your weight otherwise it will create a great problem because weight puts extra pressure on your legs.  
  • Avoid keeping your legs crossed for a long time- Don’t keep your legs crossed  for a long time while sitting. It increases the possibility of getting your legs injured and even a minor injury can increase the risk of varicose veins
  • Use compression socks or stockings-
    • Avoid to wear tight clothing because tight clothing like compression socks or stockings which obstruct the normal and free circulation of blood in your waist, groin or legs. This also causes the varicose veins.

     – Wear the elastic support stockings and that will help improve the condition.

    • Avoid to wear high heels
    • High heels – avoid to wear high heels for long period of time. It can be prevented to wear lower-heeled shoes. It helps improve the tone your calf muscles so that blood can move through your veins properly.
  • Avoid wearing high heels for long periods of time. Lower-heeled shoes can help tone your calf muscles to help blood move through your veins.
  • Eat a low-salt diet rich in high-fiber foods- Eating fiber reduces the chances of constipation, which can contribute to varicose veins. High-fiber foods include fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains with bran. Eating less salt can help with the swelling that comes with varicose veins.
  • Elevate your legs whenever you’re resting or sleeping

If you already have varicose veins, you should take these steps to prevent new varicose veins.

Compression therapy

Wearing compression stockings all day is often the first approach to try before moving on to other treatments. They steadily squeeze your legs, helping veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. The amount of compression varies by type:

  • Support pantyhose, which offer the least amount of pressure of 15–20 mm Hg. These also often are not “gradient” or “graduated.” That means they provide pressure all over instead of where it is needed most.
  • Over-the-counter gradient compression hose, which gives a little more pressure about 20–30 mm Hg. They are sold in medical supply and drugstores.
  • Prescription-strength gradient compression hose, which offers the greatest amount of pressure 30–40 mm Hg. They are sold in medical supply and drugstores. You need to be fitted for them by someone who has been trained to do this.

Home treatments

Yoga

Of course, yoga proves miracle effects on health. Yoga channelizes the brain function, smooth the blood pressure, and decrease the stress level.

Yoga has no powered to treat your varicose veins but has the power to manage varicose veins.

Yoga helps to manage varicose veins and an addition to prevent it, but not as a treatment.

The yoga poses are most beneficial to your vein health and those that involve elevating legs. This helps to drain the blood back to your heart.

Stretching done in yoga is great for relieving the swelling and soreness in your legs.

Herbal remedies

Horse chestnut

Horse chestnut extract contain Aescin (Escin) active ingredient stimulates the capillary filtration rate, reduce the swelling and repair the valves of veins. Horse chestnut protects the collagen and elastin which are basic building proteins for veins walls. Aescin increases the elasticity of veins.

The myth about horse chestnut extract that it contains esculin which is poison, yes it is, but it has a bad effect when you’re consuming high dose orally. You always prefer the Horse chestnut extract 90% instead of horse chestnut 20%, 90% does not contain esculin.

Gotu Kola

Gotu kola increases the production of collagen and elastin. Increase the micro-circulation of skin, very helpful when you feeling itching on skin parts with varicose veins.

Butcher’s broom

Butcher’s broom extract is effective for hardening of the arteries, Vasoprotective normalizes the poor blood circulation. Butcher’s broom is also used as a laxative, as a diuretic to increase urine output, to reduce swelling, and to speed the healing of fractures. (Anal varicose vein, hemorrhoids)

Giloy

This is ancient Ayurveda herb which is rich with tons of antioxidants. It balances the doshas like Vata, Pitta & Kapha, unbalancing of these functional concepts may cause many health problems.

More Additional treatments for severe varicose veins

  • Sclerotherapy, using a liquid or foam chemical injection to block off a larger vein.
  • Surface laser treatments, using light energy to block off a vein.
  • Endovenous techniques (radiofrequency and laser), using heat and radiofrequency waves to block off a vein.
  • You should always ask doctors for different types of treatments with minimum risk and side effect. This method depends upon your symptoms, size, and location of your varicose veins.

Surgery extremely chronic stage

  • Surgical ligation and stripping by completely removing from the leg through small cuts in the skin.
  • PIN stripper is sewn to the end of the vein, and when it is removed, the vein is pulled out.
  • Ambulatory phlebectomy by cuts on skin and hooks are used to pull the vein out of the leg.
Point of view for people with varicose veins

Varicose veins normally get worse over time. Current alternative treatments for varicose veins and spider veins have very high success rates compared to traditional surgical treatments.

Most importantly required you should change the necessary lifestyle to manage your pain and discomfort.

In some case, varicose veins lead to leg ulcer and spores it will increase the inflammation and rapture the veins.

You should take doctor supervision immediately and they may take aggressive option surgery or other interventions.