Diseases of the venous system bring many problems. Chronic venous insufficiency is a disease that affects a very large number of people. Associated with her individual symptoms are manifested in several tens of percent of adults, and this number is constantly increasing. The increase in morbidity is closely related to the living conditions that modern civilization has. The most common
symptom of chronic venous insufficiency is the disease of varicose veins of the lower extremities. In developed countries, it occurs in 20-50% of the population. It is much more common in women than in men. Varicose veins, the appearance of which is evidence of the development of chronic venous insufficiency, is often seen as a cosmetic defect, and not a serious health problem.
But it is worthwhile to know that if it is not treated, the disease often leads to very serious complications, and in some cases may even be a threat to life. First, we will understand how varicose veins develop.
- 1 How does varicose veins develop
- 2 Who is at risk of developing varicose veins
- 2.1 Some practical tips:
- 3 How to prevent varicose veins
- 4 When is it time to see a doctor? Do you need your veins to be treated?
- 5 Methods for treating varicose veins
How varicose veins develop
Varicose veins are a constant widening of the superficial veins that can be seen under the skin in the form of bluish, sometimes bluish lines, twisted lines. There are many theories about how varicose veins develop. The most frequently mentioned cause is the insufficiency of the veins valves and weak venous walls. Valves do not allow the flow of blood in the veins to move in the opposite( wrong) direction. The principle of their action is the following: they open when the blood flows up, and close, not allowing it to return down. However, when the blood vessels lose elasticity and expand, the venous valves can not close normally( see the figure).The blood begins to recede, in the veins of the lower limbs, there is excessive pressure, which leads to the fact that over time, the veins begin to expand. So there are varicose veins. And the most terrible thing is that varicose extensions are an irreversible process.
Who is at risk of developing varicose veins
Various factors contribute to the occurrence of varicose veins. Doctors believe that varicose veins are largely due to genetic predisposition. In addition, no less important and lifestyle, the type of work performed, sex( women are sick more often), and even a way of eating. Among the factors that cause an increase in the risk of varicose veins, mention should be made:
- long standing or standing - in these positions the flow of blood is difficult
- lack of movement - too low physical activity has a negative effect on the venous system because the "muscle pump" that helps the blood move from the bottom up;
- overweight, obesity - high body weight, causes a violation of blood circulation;
- wrong diet - unhealthy diet, leading to the appearance of excess weight, eating a little fiber, which is the cause of constipation. These factors contribute to the occurrence of varicose veins, and not only on the legs;
- pregnancy - during pregnancy, the release of estrogen and progesterone increases;there is a weakening of the elasticity of the venous walls, which are easier to stretch, which in turn contributes to the occurrence of varicose veins;
- , some medications( eg, estrogens) - can aggravate the disease associated with veins, so you should see a doctor if they can be used if there are signs of varicose veins;
- tobacco smoking - nicotine affects the narrowing and calcification of blood vessels;
- wearing uncomfortable clothes - too tight clothes( especially tight jeans, socks and knee-high socks) make blood circulation in the lower extremities difficult
- excessive exposure to heat ( eg stay in hot microclimate, long tan, solarium, massage, hot tubs, sauna);
- age - the incidence of varicose veins increases with age
Several practical tips:
It is easier to prevent the disease than to treat it. Therefore, prevention is very important, considering that the harm caused by varicose veins is irreversible. It is true that we can not influence the many unfavorable factors that affect the occurrence of varicose veins. This includes, for example, and very important problems - heredity. However, there is a large group of factors for which each of us has a direct impact. Adherence to the principles of a healthy lifestyle, eradicating bad habits have a significant impact on reducing the risk of appearance or mitigation of already existing problems. Therefore, it is worthwhile to find out recommendations how to effectively prevent varicose veins or slow down its appearance.
How to prevent varicose veins
- Avoid prolonged sitting or standing. If, after all, you have to stay in a vertical position for a long time, every few minutes, transfer the weight of the body from one leg to the other. As much as possible, try to walk around periodically, and often change position. When working sitting, you should, if possible, make periodic breaks for several minutes to get up and be like. In addition, when you sit, try to move your legs often, and do not toss your foot( this position makes blood flow in the veins difficult).
- Take care of the proper nutrition of - first of all, avoid products that cause constipation. Make the diet varied - many different fruits and vegetables, rich in fiber. Drink a lot of vegetable juices, as well as infusion of leaves of linden and birch, improving the tone of blood vessels. Avoid seasonings containing salt, and the salt itself, which keeps water in the body, and limit bad habits. Diet for varicose veins should be rich in foods that contain large amounts of vitamin C and rutin, which strengthen the walls of blood vessels, as well as vitamins B, E and PP, silicon and cellulose.
- Try to perform the required amount of physical activity - the most recommended form of activity is swimming. In addition, all exercises that gently strengthen the leg muscles: walking, dancing, cycling, climbing the ladder will be useful.
Physical exercises and exercises should be selected on the basis of individual capabilities and health status, exercises that require very large efforts or loads on the legs( for example, lifting weights) should be avoided. In addition, it is important that the relevant exercises are performed regularly.
- Do not allow excess weight - excess excess pounds contributes to varicose veins, making it difficult to circulate in the legs. If you already have excess weight, be sure to try to get rid of it and try to maintain a normal body weight. For your own good, give up sweets and lots of animal fats.
- Resting with the legs above the body - this pose improves the flow of blood from the legs to the heart. It is advisable that several times during the day, raise your legs to a height of 10 cm above your body. During rest and sleep it is recommended to lie with slightly raised legs, slightly bent at the knees.
- Avoid high temperatures - heat causes veins, so avoid overheating your legs. Prohibited, in particular:
- long hot tub;
- long-lasting sunburn;
- hot wax epilation;
In addition, the presence of heated floors in the house is not recommended.
And it is desirable to take a cold shower every day - low temperature hardens blood vessels and improves microcirculation. It is recommended to cold, but not ice this shower: 10 seconds to pour on each leg, and start it from the feet.
- Take care of the correct clothing of - avoiding too narrow clothing that interferes with free microcirculation( especially tight jeans, socks and knee-highs).Your clothes should be spacious and properly selected so as not to create obstacles for the outflow of blood.
- Wear comfortable shoes - the appropriate heel height is very important: the most suitable shoes are 3-4 cm heel, which makes the muscles of the calves work more. Give up shoes with high heels( more than 5 cm).If, after all, you need to wear the studs, then during the time you sit, force the muscles of the calves.
Take care that your shoes are adapted to the shape of the foot( corresponding grooves), and if necessary, correct the discomfort with the appropriate inserts.
Avoid shoes that prevent blood circulation in the legs - more suitable will be with wide socks.
- If you smoke, try to quit as soon as possible - nicotine speeds up the processes of destruction of the walls of blood vessels. In addition, in the case of women, the use of hormonal birth control pills and smoking greatly increases the risk of varicose veins.
- Consult your doctor about taking hormones - hormonal contraception and other hormonal drugs may increase the risk of varicose veins. Therefore, before you start using hormonal drugs, be sure to tell your doctor about the presence of varicose veins, as well as such ailments as: convulsions, and a feeling of heaviness in the legs, evening swelling.
- For women suffering from varicose veins, gynecological examinations are very important - often chronic gynecological diseases, including inflammation, tumors( benign or malignant) are present along with varicose veins.
- Visit the phlebologist( doctor specializing in venous diseases) - if you ever had a problem with the veins, then you should be under the constant supervision of a specialist, for diseases of the veins. Do not underestimate even one varicose veins, because it increases the stagnation of blood, which can lead to a deepening of the disease.
- Do not forget about foot massage and massage your feet, hand or soft sponge, from the toes to the groin( always in the direction of the heart) in the morning and in the evening.
- Use specialized drugs that prevent problems with vessels - sold in pharmacies without prescription ointments and gels( decongestants and for the prevention of varicose veins), as well as cosmetics for strengthening blood vessels. Admittedly, creams, gels and tablets do not treat varicose veins, but can greatly alleviate the discomfort associated with the disease. Some drugs will help to bring temporary relief, especially those containing troxerutin or extracts from chestnut seeds. Good results can be obtained by applying simultaneously drugs in the form of ointments and tablets.
- For prophylaxis and treatment of venous insufficiency, good results are achieved by the use of compression therapy - correctly selected tight-fitting products such as knee-length socks, stockings or tights with graduated compression, prevent stagnation of blood.
When is time to see a doctor?
Some signals, such as: a feeling of heaviness in the legs, swelling, in particular evening, painful cramps and pains in the calves, increased sensitivity of the skin of the feet to touch or nagging and itching-show that it's time to see a doctor. Observing your health and identifying other first symptoms of the disease is extremely important. In many cases, respectively, early diagnosis and initiation of treatment can prevent the development of the disease, and also help to avoid more serious therapies in the future. In the case of varicose veins, the principle works: the earlier to start their treatment, the better. Do your veins need treatment?
The following test will help you assess how much time you need to consult a doctor. Answer the following questions by selecting the correct answer.(YES / NO)
- Do you have any feeling of heaviness in your legs at the end of the day?
- Do you often suffer from pain in your feet and legs?
- Are there any noticeable reddish or cyanotic "vascular asterisks" or venous mesh on my legs?
- Do you have pain in the legs and swelling that occurs in the evening?
- Do you have painful cramps in the calves?
Even a single YES response may indicate a symptom of the disease. It is better to assess this doctor, and if necessary, will send a special ultrasound( ultrasound).Duplex scanning, with which you can diagnose any violation of blood flow in the veins. After examining the condition and working capacity of the venous system, the doctor will decide on the method of treatment.
There are several ways to treat varicose veins: surgical methods, varicose veins( sclerotherapy), compression therapy and pharmacotherapy. The choice depends on the severity of the disease, the patient's condition, according to the doctor's assessment, and also the patient's decision. In the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency, depending on the degree of severity of the disease, several methods of therapy are often used simultaneously. Currently, very popular methods include: stripping( operation of varicose veins removal) and sclerotherapy.
Methods of treatment of varicose veins
- Stripping ( Stripping) - is a traditional operation that consists in the general or partial removal of the diseased trunk of venous outflow. The procedure lasts about an hour and is performed in the hospital under general or epidural( the drug is injected into the spine) with anesthesia. You can get up and walk the next day after the operation, but the effectiveness of a sick leg for several weeks is limited. In addition, for several days the incision hurts, and in places that have been removed for several weeks, hematomas can be seen. After a cut, scars remain.
- Miniflebectomy ( Miniflebektomia) - is a modern treatment for varicose veins of the lower extremities. It is in the removal of the main trunk of the vein, not in full, but in patches. Along the vein passage, minimal( 2-3 mm) incisions are performed, through which special pieces resembling a hook are extracted from the venous drainage, and in the end - small branches. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia and does not require hospitalization. The advantage of the procedure is a very good cosmetic effect.
- Cryostriction ( Kriostripping) includes the removal of varicose veins through a special freezing probe inserted inside. The operation lasts about an hour, often carried out under local anesthesia. After the procedure, you can immediately return home. Two weeks you need to walk in compressive clothes, and then in specially selected by the doctor tights.
- Sclerotherapy - is an inoperable way to get rid of varicose veins, their densification. It is in the introduction of an ineffective vein of the drug, which causes the gluing of its walls. The choice of the drug for sclerotherapy depends on the diameter and size of the vessel. Sclerotherapy is most often used to treat small varicose veins, and also with so-called vascular asterisks. The procedure does not last long( 10-30 minutes) and can be performed on an outpatient basis. Does not require anesthesia, however, if the patient is afraid of injections, he may ask for local anesthesia. After the procedure, you can immediately return home. It is necessary to wear a bandage( up to 2 weeks).Most often, to achieve an acceptable cosmetic effect, it is necessary to repeat this operation several times.
- Removing vascular changes with the PhotoDerm .This modern method is used, in particular, to remove the spider veins and small veins. The undoubted advantage of the method is the short duration of the procedure, in addition, immediately after the operation you will be able to return home. On the foot, you do not need to wear any compressive bandages, you just need to take care of the hygiene of irritated skin to prevent bacterial infections. Before the procedure, the skin should not be tanned, and later it should also not be sunburned for at least a month.
- Laser therapy is used to treat vascular asterisks( old ones).The procedure is carried out on an outpatient basis, immediately after it, you can return to your daily activities. Before the procedure, the skin can not be tanned, later, avoid exposure to the sun for at least a month. In addition, you should show special hygiene of the place where the treatment was carried out.
After learning about the occurrence of varicose veins, you may be interested in learning about other diseases of the veins that are worth knowing, with a brief description of them. And also find out what is venous disgemia.