Categories: Vascular Surgery

Varicose Veins: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

For those who are wondering what is varicose veins disease; they are enlarged, twisted veins caused due to the wrong-direction flow of blood in the veins. Now, you may ask what varicose veins are and how it affects any person. Well, it’s important to note that any superficial vein might eventually get affected; however, the veins that are most commonly affected are those residing in your legs.

So, what causes varicose veins in the legs? That mainly happens because while you stand and walk upright, most of the pressure is felt by your lower body. 

What is Varicose Disease?

So, what is meant by varicose veins? For quite a few people, varicose and spider veins are nothing more than a cosmetic concern.

Spider veins are a common, mild avatar of varicose veins. However, depending on the case in hand, varicose veins can often lead to pain and discomfort among many. It must be noted that in many scenarios, varicose veins might lead to even more serious issues.

Spider veins are identical to varicose veins. However, the vital difference between the two is that they are smaller in size. Spider veins can be found near the skin’s surface, and they often turn blue or red. They mostly occur on your legs, but these special type varicose veins can also be found on your face. They often vary in terms of size and appear similar to a spider’s web.

Symptoms of Varicose Veins

Now that you know what varicose veins disease, let’s reveal the symptoms of the disease. In this regard, it’s important to remember that varicose veins might not cause any initial pain. However, there are other signs that might indicate if a person has developed varicose veins, and the symptoms are as follows:

  • Veins turn blue or dark purple
  • Veins might appear bulged or/and twisted
  • They might appear like cords

After the initial stage, when the pain starts coming into play, they are accompanied by the following signs:

  • An ache in your legs
  • Your legs might feel heavy
  • Burning feeling in the lower legs
  • Throbbing
  • Cramping of muscles
  • swelling of the lower legs
  • Worse pain after standing or sitting for a prolonged period
  • Itching around your veins
  • Skin discoloration around the affected area

Causes of Varicose Veins

Here are the factors that lead to the development of varicose veins:

  • Age: When a person ages, their valves inside the veins start wearing and tearing. Since these valves are responsible for the regulation of blood flow, wear and tear lead the valves to leak blood to flow back into the veins where it eventually stores, instead of flowing to the heart.
  • Gender: Significantly, women are more likely to develop such a condition, especially while undergoing hormonal changes during pregnancy, or menopause. This mainly happens because female hormones often tend to relax the vein walls. More importantly, certain hormone treatments like consuming birth control pills might increase the risks of developing varicose veins.
  • Pregnancy: You probably know that the volume of blood inside a woman’s body increases during pregnancy. Although this change in blood volume positively supports the growing fetus, it also has an unfortunate side effect that leads to the enlargement of veins in the legs.
  • Family history: In case you have a genetic tendency of varicose veins, you may also have a great chance of getting affected.
  • Obesity: People who are overweight experience greater pressure on their veins, which in turn leads to the development of varicose veins.

Diagnosis

The minute you start noticing the symptoms mentioned above, ensure that you don’t waste any more time and get the condition assessed by a doctor with immediate effect. The more time you waste, the worse the situation might turn into. Consider seeing a doctor of your choice if you feel that the symptoms are starting to grow deeper.

Treatment

Next, comes the question, what is the best treatment for varicose veins? Well, the treatment for varicose veins involves certain self-care measures that are to be prescribed by your doctor, who might also recommend removing the affected veins in order to minimize discomfort in the future.

Surprisingly, there’s no single way of preventing the development of varicose veins. However, an improvement in blood circulation and toning of muscle might reduce the risk of getting affected by varicose veins. Here are some self-care measures you might want to undergo:

  • Exercising
  • Monitor your weight
  • Eating a low-salt and high-fibre diet
  • Avoiding tight hosiery and high heels
  • Elevating your legs once in a while
  • Changing your standing and sitting position at regular intervals.

Generally, self-care measures like regular exercise, the elevation of your legs and wearing compression stockings often help in easing the pain resulting from varicose veins. In this regard, it is equally important to mention that self-care might also prevent the condition from developing worse shape.

Treatment is primarily by

  1. Compression Stockings – These are tight socks worn to keep symptoms in control.
  2. Varicose Vein Ablation – A variety of minimally invasive procedures like Laser, RFA, sclerotherapy, Glue Injection, phlebectomy are available for treatment. In rare cases, open surgery is also done.

Varicose veins  is curable with correct & timely intervention.

Dr. Prasenjit Sutradhar, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center, Bommasandra – Bangalore

Narayana Health

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