To know what varicose veins are, let us understand how arteries and veins function.
In the human body, there are two types of blood vessels, the arteries and the veins and each has a very simple, yet important job to do. The arteries are the blood vessels which start from the heart and distribute freshly oxygenated blood to the body. Furthermore, for most part of the body, the arteries take the help of gravity to distribute the blood, since it is moving downwards.
Since our heart is located in the upper half of our body, the blood from the lower parts have to fight gravity to travel all the way to the heart. The only way this is possible is through the effective functioning of the one way valves in our veins that do not let the blood flow backward during the brief moments between heart beats. These valves can, at times, malfunction causing the blood to flow backwards and pool up, causing varicose veins.
THE CAUSES OF VARICOSE VEINS
The weak or damaged valves in our veins are the main reason for varicose veins. There are multiple causes due to which these valves can get damaged:
- Age: The risk of varicose veins increase with age. Ageing causes wear and tear on the valves in your veins that help regulate blood flow. Eventually, it allows blood to flow back into your veins where it collects instead of flowing up to your heart.
- Sex: Women are more likely to develop the condition. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, pre-menstruation or menopause may be a factor because female hormones tend to relax vein walls. Hormone treatments, such as birth control pills, may increase your risk of varicose veins.
- Pregnancy: During pregnancy, the volume of blood in your body increases. This change supports the growing fetus, but also can produce an unfortunate side effect — enlarged veins in your legs. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may also play a role.
- Family history: If other family members had varicose veins, there’s a greater chance you will too.
- Obesity: Being overweight puts added pressure on your veins.
SYMPTOMS OF VARICOSE VEINS
Given below are the visible symptoms of varicose veins:
- Veins that are dark purple or blue in colour
- Veins that appear twisted and bulging; they are often like cords on your legs
When painful signs and symptoms occur, they may include:
- An achy or heavy feeling in your legs
- Burning, throbbing, muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs
- Worsened pain after sitting or standing for a long time
- Itching around one or more of your veins
- Skin discoloration around a varicose vein
VARICOSE VEINS: CURES AND TREATMENTS
There are a number of ways one can treat this condition. Depending on the stage, one can either resort to medical line of treatment or surgical line of treatment for varicose veins. The treatment treats the vein that has been affected, however, there are chances that the issue may appear on other veins over a period of time.
Given below are the latest surgical procedures that are used for the treatment:
- Sclerotherapy: The vein is injected with a chemical solution and causes the vein walls to collapse on itself.
- RFA (Radiofrequency Ablation): A minimally invasive method involving a laser to heat the vein which then collapses. It is then replaced with a thin fibrous scar.
- EVLT (Endovenous Laser Therapy): Lasers heat the abnormal veins and destroys it. The body, then, naturally absorbs the dead tissues.
As mentioned previously, Varicose veins can recur on fresh veins even after treatment. There are a few ways in which one can prevent the occurrence of varicose veins:
- Exercise: The most beneficial exercise to prevent varicose veins is walking. Yoga is a good option as well. You can practice many poses that bring your feet higher than your heart. These are called inversions, and they include a headstand, shoulder stand, and Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose
- Avoid prolonged periods of sitting or standing: Standing or sitting in one position for a long time makes it harder for your blood to travel in the leg veins against gravity. This causes the pressure in your veins to rise. This can eventually cause blood to pool around your ankles, and your feet and calves can get swollen and achy.
- Wear compression hosiery: Compression socks and stockings can help to keep your vein valves in the right position. This makes it easier for the veins to function properly and reduces blood pooling, swelling, and pain.
- Sleep positions for pregnant women: Pregnancy is one of the biggest causes of varicose veins. Sleeping on your left side may help prevent varicose veins from forming and ease the symptoms of existing varicose veins. This sleeping position helps reduce the pressure that your expanding uterus puts on the big vein in your pelvic area, which is located on the middle-right side of your body.
Medfin offers the latest Laser Surgical technology (EVLT) to treat Varicose Veins. To know more, visit www.medfin.in. Our Personal Medfin assistants answer all your concerns related to surgery and ensure that your needs are met in your entire medical journey.
To consult an expert Medfin surgeon near you, please call us on 7026200200. You can also WhatsApp us on 9986828963 (click here to initiate a whatsapp chat).