Varicose veins of the legs are a rather dangerous disease for humans and not just a bluish cosmetic defect. It can lead to significant consequences for the patient's health, so it is very important to fully understand all aspects and details of the course of this disease. Having correct information can help in the implementation of treatment and in drawing attention to some of the characteristic nuances of the disease.
General characteristics and causes of varicose veins
Varicose veins are persistent significant changes in the vessel walls of a person's lower extremities. The deformation mechanism leads to an increase in pressure in this part of the body. This is due to the fact that in some cases some ailments prevent the normal lifting of venous blood from a person's legs to the heart. The compensation function of the body helps to overcome obstacles by increasing the pressure level in the vessels and pushing the blood upwards.
As a result of changes in the work of blood vessels, valvular insufficiency develops in the lower limbs. It is characterized by the flow of blood from deep to superficial veins. Over time, due to high pressure, the walls of the vessels lose their elasticity, which in turn leads to their stretching and thinning. Subsequently, on the surface of the skin of the lower extremities, you can see changes that look like bluish or cyanotic nodules.
Varicose veins on the legs are a disease that affects not only the legs, but the entire cardiovascular system. This disease can lead to patient disability and even death. In view of this, it is necessary to know why varicose veins occur. The reasons for this process are as follows:
- Increases the level of progesterone in a woman's body. This hormone adversely affects the condition of the walls of blood vessels and valves. They become quite weak and unprotected.
- Certain congenital anomalies and abnormalities of the walls of blood vessels or valves. This can be the cause of poor venous conduction or a lack of connective tissue function, from which varicose veins also appear.
- Some neoplasms, both benign and malignant. They affect the appearance of the disease not only in the case of localization on the lower limbs, but also in the abdominal cavity.
- Various wounds, bruises and leg injuries.
- Various endocrine diseases.
- Thrombophlebitis - venous thrombosis with an inflammatory process affecting the walls of blood vessels.
- Some joint diseases. These mainly include osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Taking certain hormone-based medications.
- Sedentary lifestyle. This passive behavior of a person becomes the cause of the manifestations of stagnation in the legs.
- Increased pressure in the intra-abdominal region. Most often it appears due to persistent constipation or some lung problems of a person.
- Overweight. As a result, too much stress acts on the lower limbs.
- Wear the wrong size shoes and clothes. First of all, this applies to tight clothing.
- Poor diet with a predominance of high-calorie and fatty foods and almost total absence of vegetable fiber.
- Some adverse habits such as smoking and drinking.
The signs of varicose veins appear due to all of the above reasons. Therefore, people at risk should be extremely careful about their health.
The first symptoms and signs of varicose veins
To pay attention to the disease over time, it is worthwhile to understand what are the signs of varicose veins in the legs. The following symptoms should be noted:
- Pain in the legs. Also, it can be of a different nature. When walking, painful sensations, most often pulsating and hot, while in a calm state, the pain is aching.
- Having nocturnal seizures while sleeping or lying on the bed.
- Some changes in the skin of the limbs. These are dark spots, lumps and nodules. At the same time, the skin is quite dry. These signs of varicose veins of the legs already indicate that some changes have occurred in the vessels.
- Feeling of heaviness in the legs. A sick person can feel a certain explosion that comes from within. Most often this happens in the evening after a long stay in business.
- Thickening of the veins of the lower limbs. They can be visible from under the skin, creating a fairly clear pattern of their location on it.
The first signs of varicose veins on the legs should be a factor that prompts a person to go to a medical institution. The longer the patient hesitates, the more the disease will progress. This, in turn, will affect the intensity of the symptoms and the complexity of the treatment.
Over time, varicose veins develop quite severe symptoms. These are extensive eczema and non-healing trophic ulcers. In severe cases, they can turn into gangrene. If the treatment of varicose veins in the legs is not undertaken, the progression of the disease can also result in amputation of the limbs. This will be necessary so that blood poisoning does not happen through open wounds.
Despite this, the most dangerous consequence of the disease is still the formation of blood clots. They can enter any part of the human body, blocking blood flow. As a result, strokes and heart attacks occur, leading to death.
Treatment methods for the lower limbs
The treatment of varicose veins on the legs currently occurs in different ways. The following methods of treating the disease can be distinguished:
- Conservative.Most often this method is used in the early stages, when the first signs of varicose veins in the legs have just appeared.
- Sclerotherapy.Doctors recommend this vein treatment in cases where the conservative technique has failed.
- Surgical.Surgical intervention, as a method of getting rid of varicose veins in the legs, is indicated in cases where the disease threatens the patient's life.
In addition to the above methods of treatment, experts recommend putting the veins in the legs in order against the background of a diet and appropriate gymnastic and physiotherapeutic procedures. Only an integrated approach can give a really good result and get rid of the disease.
Creams and ointments
One of the most popular ways to treat varicose veins damaged by varicose veins is to apply various creams and ointments to the skin of the legs. Such local therapy is safe enough for human health. It rarely causes side effects and has few contraindications.
Doctors recommend using the following drugs in case of varicose veins:
- Products based on heparin.They have resolutive properties, prevent congestion and the appearance of blood clots. The main active ingredient of such drugs is heparin, a natural anticoagulant.
- Products based on venoactive components.The action of these drugs is to reduce painful sensations and strengthen blood vessels. Their main components are horse chestnut, sweet clover and butcher's shop.
- Non-steroidal drugs.These drugs are anti-inflammatory.
- Means based on glucocorticosteroid hormones.These drugs have an excellent anti-inflammatory and antihistamine effect, while having many side effects and contraindications.
Varicose veins have various symptoms, according to which the selection of drugs must be made. This should only be done by a qualified specialist.
Topical medications often need to be supported by systemic therapy. It consists in taking drugs of the following groups:
- Venotonic.The action of these funds is based on improving the elasticity of the walls of blood vessels, restoring tissues and improving blood circulation.
- Anticoagulants.These agents reduce blood clotting by preventing the formation of blood clots and blood clots.
- Antiplatelet agents.These drugs are used in the presence of blood clots.
Varicose veins in the legs should only be treated based on the symptoms they caused. The doctor should prescribe medication after examining the patient. It is strictly forbidden to conduct therapy alone.
Varicose veins in the legs can be treated with a treatment such as scleropathy. It involves the introduction of a special drug into the vein of a sick person. It has properties that affect the hardening of the vessel walls. Through this effect, they stick together, which is why the blood stops moving. That is, in this way, the high pressure damaged vein is substantially closed.
Scleropathy is performed only under local anesthesia. General anesthesia is not required for this procedure. After that, the doctor must apply an appropriate bandage on the patient's leg. To consolidate the positive result obtained from this treatment, the patient must wear special compression underwear in the future. Without it, relapses of the disease can occur.
Recently, some specialists have used a laser to treat the veins. The essence of this method lies in the thermal effect on the walls of the damaged vessel to close its lumen. Such treatment takes place on an outpatient basis, that is, immediately after the procedure, the patient can go home.
Before treating the veins with a laser, you should know that this method does not allow you to completely get rid of the disease on your own. The sick person will have to undergo further treatment. Often, after laser therapy, the use of compression underwear is prescribed, in which the vessels do not expand.
Surgery for varicose veins is performed only in cases where other methods of treatment have not given a positive result. That is, such disease therapy is a forced measure for the most pronounced signs of the disease, when the patient's life and health are at risk.
Doctors can perform different types of surgery depending on their specific situation:
- Make three small incisions through which the damaged vein is removed.
- Extraction of the diseased vein through an incision, followed by ligation of nearby vessels.
- A small incision in the skin for the purpose of ligating a diseased vein in the area of a non-functioning valve.
- Complete removal of varicose areas with veins and nodes. Usually, in these cases, there are trophic ulcers that need to be cleaned. This type of operation is considered the most difficult. It is performed to save the patient's life.
In order not to bring the situation to a critical state, it is necessary to pay attention to all the signs of varicose veins in the legs. A timely visit to a doctor can save a person from the need for surgery.
One of the methods of affecting damaged areas of blood vessels is ozone therapy. It represents a new method for the treatment of varicose veins. Its essence lies in the fact that a small amount of ozone is injected into the lumen of the vein through a needle, which sticks it together, blocking the blood flow. Thus, the damaged vein stops working and its functions are transferred to healthy vessels in the leg.
To obtain a good result from ozone therapy, a few procedures are enough. Before treating varicose veins in this way, you should consult your doctor.
Flabectomy is one of the types of surgery to eliminate varicose veins in the legs. It is an operation that involves making several small incisions and removing the damaged vein.
Immediately after completing the surgery and applying a special bandage, the patient can go home. At the same time, for about a month, she should wear special compression underwear that tightens the leg. After a while, the wounds after surgery become almost invisible and do not represent any cosmetic skin defects.
Traditional methods of treating varicose veins
Varicose veins can be treated in various ways. Traditional medicine also helps a lot in this. Most often, his recipes should be used only in the early stages of the development of the disease, since in other cases their use is useless. This is mainly due to the fact that with the progression of the disease, only more radical measures can correct its consequences.
The following recipes are useful and quite effective in some cases:
- Infusion of dried nettle leaves.To do this, grind them well and pour boiled water, after which the liquid must be poured into a thermos. It should be infused for about 30-40 minutes. Once this is done, the liquid should be filtered. It is necessary to take 1/3 cup "medicine" three times a day 1 hour after each meal. With varicose veins, such treatment helps only in the early stages, when there are no changes in the vessels.
- Potato soup.This "medicine" mainly helps with ulcers caused by varicose veins. A potato should be well chopped with a grater, then put the resulting material on the 1 cm wound. From above, the gruel must be covered with several layers of gauze, and after 4-5 hours the potatoes can be removed from the wound by replacing it with a new one.
- A decoction of hop cones.You will need a spoonful of this medicinal ingredient. It should be crushed and filled with 200 milliliters of boiling water, after which the liquid should be boiled for about 15 minutes in a water bath. The resulting broth should be taken three times a day, one glass before meals, it can also be used to lubricate varicose veins on the legs. Some people use hop cones to make lotions.
Before treating varicose veins with folk methods, you should definitely consult with your doctor. It is not possible to get rid of this disease by all means, which is associated with the individual characteristics of the organism and the presence of certain complications that only a specialist can take into account.
Compression hosiery is often used to keep the lower limbs in the correct physiological conditions. It is a special anti-varicose underwear that has a healing effect on a person's legs.
The mechanism of action of hosiery involves the redistribution of blood flow from damaged veins to healthy ones. This helps improve the nutrition of nearby tissues and increase blood circulation.
It is very important to choose the right size when choosing the lingerie. It is best if your doctor or another specialist helps you to do this. You should also be sure to find out all aspects of using compression stockings. Quite often, the treatment of varicose veins should be carried out only against the background of the use of such products. They speed up the therapeutic process, thereby reducing the risk of blood clots.
Exercises for varicose veins
Some physical exercises are a fairly effective prevention of varicose veins. They should be fairly moderate but intense. Separately, doctors recommend throwing your legs back over your head, thereby allowing blood to flow away from your feet. Positions in which the lower limbs are above the level of the whole body have proven to be the most effective for varicose veins in the lower limbs.
The following exercises are useful:
- It is necessary to rise on toes in such a way that the heels are 2 centimeters from the floor, after which it is necessary to fall sharply on the feet. Repeat this action at least 30 times. Once this is done, you can rest for about 10 seconds, after which the lifts should be repeated again. You should exercise this way about 3-5 times a day.
- After taking a prone position, lift your right leg. Having relaxed it, you need to sharply shake your foot, after which you can rest your leg on the floor. Repeat the same action with the left limb. This exercise will be useful if it is performed 10 to 20 times. A sufficient number of approaches - from 3 to 5 per day.
The vibro-gymnastics of the famous academician also proved effective. Before starting such treatment, you should consult your doctor.
The first symptoms of varicose veins on the legs are not very pronounced, so very often patients seek help only in the later stages. In these cases, some changes can already be seen on the skin. That is why a doctor can only make a diagnosis with an external examination of the patient's lower limbs, even a novice specialist can. But more often than not, diagnostics are not limited to this. Some additional examination methods may be assigned, among which the following should be highlighted:
- Ultrasonic flowmetry or dopplerometry.These diagnostic methods allow you to determine the speed of blood flow and the level of vascular filling.
- Champions of Perthes, Sheinis and Pretty.Their positive result may indicate the development of varicose veins, even without its external manifestations.
- Phlebomanometry.This diagnostic method determines the venous pressure in the vessels of the patient's legs.
- Scanning of the veins.This method of examination allows the attending physician to assess the condition of the walls of blood vessels and valves.
- Phlebography.This procedure is quite invasive. This is due to the introduction of a special contrast agent into the bloodstream that recognizes X-rays. In addition, such a survey is as informative as possible.
- Ecosclerotherapy.For this method of examination, a special substance is injected into the patient's vein: sclerosing. Next, the legs of the sick person are scanned.
- Thermography.This infrared examination helps assess the functionality of the lower limb veins.
- Computer phlebography.This method is a relatively new and more modern analogue of conventional venography.
- Phleboscintigraphy.This test evaluates the veins and lymph nodes in the patient's legs. They may also have some changes that should be taken into consideration when prescribing treatment. In this case, radionuclides are used for visualization.
- Photoplethysmography.This method is based on the use of photodiodes.
With varicose veins, the patient may be prescribed one or two methods of examination, since many of them give similar results. A qualified doctor can draw conclusions after a routine scan.
Consequences and complications of the advanced form of varicose veins
Varicose veins are a dangerous disease that leads to serious consequences and complications. Among them are the following:
- Acute stage of superficial venous thrombophlebitis.
- Trophic ulcer.
- Chronic venous insufficiency.
In addition, in advanced cases, varicose veins contribute to a significant formation of blood clots. This can lead to strokes and heart attacks. By ripping off the vessel wall, a blood clot can kill a person.
When to see a doctor and which one
Varicose veins require treatment to be performed as correctly and promptly as possible. It happens that a sick person does not seek help from a medical institution for a long time. This attitude towards your health is incorrect. The patient cannot cope with the disease alone. Only a phlebologist knows what to do with the disease and how to treat it. It is this specialist that you should contact if you have varicose veins or varicose veins. When the vascular changes are too strong, an angiosurgeon should attend to the patient.
The reason for the diagnosis should be the first signs of varicose veins: swelling, feeling of swelling and pain. As soon as these symptoms have arisen, it is necessary to contact a specialist for examination.
In order not to wonder what varicose veins are and how to get rid of them, you should clearly follow some preventive rules. Among them are the following:
- Fixed construction of work and rest mode. If possible, reduce orthostatic loads.
- Change in body postures during prolonged sitting.
- Abandoning the leg-to-leg pose.
- Knead the feet.
- Constant walks in comfortable clothes and shoes.
- Maintain blood pressure at a normal level.
- Balanced and correct nutrition.
If you adhere to all the above simple rules, you can significantly reduce the risk of varicose veins or the progression of this disease to complications.