Varicose veins, or, more correctly, varicose veins, is a disease that affects only the venous system. It is considered by many to be a selective foot disease.
But varicose veins are found not only on the lower extremities, but also happens in the small pelvis. Moreover, it manifests itself as hemorrhoids, varicocele (dilated testicular veins) or disguises itself as various gynecological ailments. Varicose veins of the esophagus with cirrhosis of the liver gives a lot of trouble to patients.
Causes of varicose veins
The task of the venous system is to ensure the delivery of blood after the tissues have utilized useful substances to the heart, so that the heart sends it to receive oxygen to the lungs. The outflow is constant. The negative pressure created by the diaphragm and some parts of the heart helps the vessels. Since a person spends most of the time in an upright state, the veins must overcome the force of gravity, prevent blood stagnation. For this, they have a muscular frame and valves on the inner shell.
Varicose veins are the result of venous insufficiency. Violation of the structure of the wall leads to loss of elasticity, decreased tone. Flaccid valves are not able to retain blood, excess deposition (accumulation) occurs in distant parts of the body.
Due to the slowing down of the speed of blood flow, favorable conditions are created in them for gluing platelets and the formation of blood clots. The situation becomes dangerous, since a blood clot can break off at any time and enter an important blood vessel and cause tissue necrosis.
Another complication is the development of infection on the weakened venous wall (phlebitis). This leads to even more negative symptoms.
Signs of varicose veins are found in every fifth woman and every tenth man.
The causes of the disease are conventionally divided into primary and secondary varicose veins.
- The primary lesion is associated with abnormalities in the structure of the vein wall.
- With the secondary, changes occur in the valve apparatus.
This occurs when:
- hereditary predisposition associated with a lack of collagen in the body, which provides wall elasticity, or components for its synthesis;
- endocrine disorders from prolonged use of hormonal drugs (birth control pills, steroid drugs);
- heavy physical exertion;
- forced long standing working position;
- sedentary lifestyle;
- leg injuries.
Taking into account the listed factors contributing to the disease, it is possible to determine the risk group, which will include future patients with varicose veins, regardless of age:
- professions that require a long stay on their feet (salespeople, teachers, hairdressers);
- motionless position of the body (drivers of transport, sitting at the computer) - stagnation is created in the legs and small pelvis;
- the habit of wearing high heels - redistributes body weight and increases the load on blood vessels;
- athletes - weightlifting, bodybuilding, wrestling, tennis cause great tension in the legs;
- people wearing tight underwear, stockings with elastic bands, a belt, a belt - any constriction contributes to a delay in the outflow of blood;
- the habit of sitting "cross-legged" for a long time blocks the superficial veins of the lower leg, contributes to stagnation;
- passion for alcoholic beverages and coffee - causes dehydration of the body, respectively, the blood thickens and slows down the flow through the vessels.
Symptoms of the disease
With varicose veins, the most "disadvantageous" conditions for blood circulation are created in the peripheral tissues. Therefore, varicose veins of the legs are the most common manifestation of the disease.
- Pain and fatigue in the legs occurs towards the end of the working day.
- Burning sensation.
- Convulsions when walking or at night.
- Swelling of the feet in the evening, patients note the tightness of their usual shoes.
- The appearance of "vascular spiders" on the legs.
- Darkening and dryness of the skin of the feet and legs.
- Trophic ulcers on the feet.
The signs listed above develop gradually over the years.
The appearance of "visible" symptoms indicates a progressive vascular lesion.
Therapy for varicose veins cannot relieve the patient of the disease, but it will help prevent serious complications and slow down the further development of the disease.
What habits will you have to get rid of?
In the treatment of varicose veins, ask yourself the question: "What should you change in your usual life? "The following tips will help you:
- stop visiting the bathhouse, steam room, hot baths are contraindicated for you;
- Limit the use of spirits and beer;
- quit smoking gradually;
- control your posture while sitting, do not cross your legs;
- stop all pulling with belts, belts and special underwear;
- get rid of excess weight;
- do not wear tight shoes and high heels;
- Get into the habit of rinsing your feet with cold water after a shower, at night, while resting at home, throw your feet on a pillow.
Taking into account the risk factors, it is necessary for people of "dangerous" professions to take breaks with a foot massage: drivers get out of the car to walk, hairdressers sit on a chair and massage the legs from the bottom up with light stroking movements.
You need to walk as much as possible, the work of the muscles of the legs promotes the outflow of blood.
Exercising in the morning should include exercises while lying on your back with raising your legs, pulling your toes towards you, and tightening the arch of the foot.
From sports it is recommended to go swimming, cycling.
The choice of products for varicose veins is associated with the need to strengthen the walls of blood vessels, limiting spicy and salty foods that retain fluid.
You should limit fatty meat in any form, hot spices, smoked meats, butter, cheese, mayonnaise, sweets, carbonated drinks.
Introduce vegetables and fruits, cereals, dairy products, green or herbal tea, vegetable oil, onions and garlic into your daily diet.
To support venous blood flow, it is recommended to bandage the legs from the toes to the mid-thigh. It is much more convenient to wear special compression socks. They are sold in the pharmacy chain and are sized. A doctor will help you to choose knee-highs.
Any advertised medicines, ointments have their effect only in the initial stages of the disease, when a person notices increased fatigue in the legs. The doctor will advise on the most modern and effective medications. In the "visual" stage, their use is practically useless.
Specialists phlebologists are engaged in the treatment of varicose veins. They believe that about 95% of cases can be compensated for with less traumatic methods, only 5% require surgical intervention.
Low-traumatic methods of treating varicose veins
These procedures do not require a skin incision at all or involve a small incision. They are performed on an outpatient basis and are painless. The patient does not experience any restrictions, he can do his usual work.
Under local anesthesia, a light guide is carefully inserted into the varicose area; during the reverse movement, a laser with a circular action is turned on. The procedure takes up to two hours. The laser beam causes a burn of the inner shell with further hardening. It is used to treat veins of any diameter.
The patient is injected into the affected vessel with a substance that causes the walls to collapse, and then sclerosis. Currently, clinics use foam drugs that are safe for the body. It is used with a diameter of no more than 1 cm. After the procedure, it is recommended to walk for an hour. You need to wear compression socks for another month.
After local anesthesia, a small skin incision is made (no more than a few mm), the diseased vein is captured with a special hook, brought out and removed. Vessels of any size can be removed in this way. For several days after the procedure, bruising will be noticeable at the incision site. A small scar will form. It is necessary to wear compression socks for about 10 days.
The method is similar to the laser one, but here a catheter with microwave radio frequency effect is inserted into the varicose veins area. It is believed that it does not cause burns and is safe for surrounding tissues. After half an hour exposure "seals" the lumen of the vessel. After a week, it is allowed to play sports.
An operation to remove an enlarged vein or a whole bundle is called phlebectomy. Its implementation requires hospitalization. General anesthesia is used. Two skin incisions are made (in the groin and under the knee). The surface branches are tied. The entire vein is brought out and excised. After the operation, the patient should be observed in the hospital for about a week. The state of the postoperative sutures is monitored, drugs are prescribed that slow down blood clotting to prevent thrombus formation. The stitches are removed after 7 to 10 days.
Contraindications to phlebectomy:
- simultaneous damage to superficial and deep veins;
- age over 75;
- various skin diseases at the site of surgery;
- oncological diseases;
- atherosclerosis of the vessels of the lower extremities;
- severe form of diabetes mellitus.
Traditional methods of treatment
Traditional methods are best used in the early stages of the disease in combination with drugs.
Hirudotherapy (using leeches) is an old proven method. The enzyme secreted by leeches into the blood helps relieve inflammation, tightens the walls of blood vessels.
Herbal decoctions and tinctures are advised to be used in the form of compresses on the site of varicose veins. To do this, use: chamomile flowers, calendula, St. John's wort, yarrow, leaves of wormwood, horse chestnut, burdock. It is recommended to use walnuts and garlic inside.
The choice of treatment for varicose veins is the business of an experienced surgeon. Timely access to a doctor and the implementation of recommendations will prevent the serious consequences of the disease.