With varicose veins, the veins of various organs (esophagus, spermatic cord - varicocele, rectum - hemorrhoids) can be affected, but varicose veins of the legs are the most common.
What is it?
Varicose veins, or varicose veins (from Latinvarix- knot, swelling) - persistent and irreversible expansion and lengthening of the veins (vessels that carry blood to the heart) of the lower limbs with thinningvenous wall and "Nodes" formation due to severe pathology of the venous walls, as well as insufficiency of their valves due to a genetic defect.
Since ancient times, doctors such as Hippocrates, Avicenna, Galen and Paracelsus have tried to cure varicose veins, but without success. The famous Italian anatomist and doctor Marcello Malpighi, who discovered the mechanisms of capillary circulation more than 300 years ago, has devoted many years to the study of the disease.
Varicose veins are a fairly common disease. Today, one in three women and one in ten men suffer from varicose veins, and most often the disease begins at working age in 30-40 years. The more time a modern person spends sitting at a computer or in a car, the greater the risk of developing varicose veins. This problem is very relevant these days.
Why does this happen?
Varicose veins occur not only in the lower limbs, there are also varicose veins of the stomach and esophagus, pelvic veins, testicular veins and spermatic cord - varicocele. Varicose veins of the small pelvis are one of the causes of hemorrhoids and varicocele threatens with possible infertility and surgery is required to prevent this. However, the most common varicose veins of the lower extremities.
The main reasons for the development of varicose veins of the lower limbs are:
- heredity - people whose family tree have frequent cases of varicose veins of the legs are at risk;
- gender: pregnancy in women causes varicose veins and taking hormonal drugs;
- increased venous pressure (sedentary lifestyle, static loads when standing, obesity).
These causes of varicose veins contribute not only to varicose veins, increased venous pressure or disruption of the normal functioning of venous valves. The consequence of the disease is incorrect, pathological blood flows in the veins of the lower extremities - reflux (pathological, reverse flow of venous blood from deep to superficial veins). They also cause the disease to worsen over time, as they increase the pressure on the venous system many times over. Therefore, the features of hemodynamics with varicose veins are both a consequence of the disease and its cause. A vicious circle is born.
Correct blood flow is when blood flows through the leg veins from bottom to top, ie against the action of gravity. This is achieved through several mechanisms: blood pressure from the arteries (the smallest contributor), the contraction of the leg muscles during movement (this acts as a pump) and the presence of valves in the veins that prevent blood from flowing back. It is the inability of these valves to perform their function that causes the disruption of venous blood flow, which leads to overstretching of the veins. As a result, the blood flow becomes chaotic, blood stagnates in the veins of the lower limbs, especially in the subcutaneous ones, the pressure inside them increases so much that the vessel walls cannot resist and begin to expand and thin out.
People who have been standing for a long time (doctors, salesmen, hairdressers) have a very high risk of developing varicose veins of the legs.
In women, the causes of varicose veins can be associated with a hormonal imbalance (for example, incorrectly selected hormonal contraception). In addition, varicose veins of the small pelvis, as well as varicose veins of the lower extremities, often develop during pregnancy, when the pressure of the growing uterus on the veins of the abdominal cavity gradually increases, which, in turn, makes it difficultthe flow of blood through the veins of the legs.
Furthermore, an increase in intra-abdominal pressure during heavy lifting, coughing, sneezing, chronic constipation and so on also leads to a malfunction of the venous valves.
Finally, venous dysfunction is quite natural for the elderly.
What happens when this happens?
The first symptoms of varicose veins are swelling of the legs towards the end of the day, a feeling of heaviness and fullness in the calves, which appears during prolonged sitting or standing. A feature of varicose veins is the disappearance or significant reduction of these symptoms when walking and after a night's rest.
Subsequently, there are severe pain in the calves, a feeling of heat in the legs and nocturnal cramps in the calf muscles. In addition, small blue-red vascular "stars" appear on the legs, dark blue intradermal veins become visible and, finally, saphenous veins expand, resembling clusters of overripe red grapes.
If varicose veins form, eczema may develop in the affected areas.
So, if you notice the initial symptoms of varicose veins, in the near future contact a phlebologist, a specialist in venous diseases.
The success of the treatment of varicose veins directly depends on the stage in which the treatment is started. The sooner you see a phlebologist, the easier the treatment and the lower the risk of complications.
After the initial examination, the doctor will prescribe one or another type of instrumental examination. Doppler ultrasound is usually sufficient to make a diagnosis. However, if necessary, radionuclide and radiopaque methods are also used - special substances are introduced into the bloodstream and their distribution through the vessels is examined.
Treatment of varicose veins
How are varicose veins treated !? There are three ways to treat varicose veins: by performing a surgical operation on varicose veins, using sclerotherapy or medication. Also, in the process of treating varicose veins, physiotherapy exercises and medical knitting are actively used.
The essence of sclerotherapy consists in injecting special drugs into the veins, making the vessel walls adhere and closing the lumen.
In the surgical treatment of varicose veins, the affected veins are simply removed. It is important to note that removing saphenous veins does not interfere with blood flow and is safe for the body. Only 10 percent of the blood normally flows through the superficial veins that affect varicose veins. The rest of the load is absorbed by the deep veins of the legs. Therefore, after the operation to remove varicose veins, in most cases, these vessels can easily compensate for the function of the superficial veins.
Remember: varicose veins can and should be treated, because in the absence of treatment they are fraught with unpleasant complications.