Varicose Veins

varicose veins

All veins normally have microscopic leaflet-like valves that prevent flood from flowing back on itself. Varicose veins are enlarged veins whose valves have stopped functioning properly and allowed blood to flow backwards, requiring the vein to enlarge. Any type of vein can become varicose, but the veins that are most commonly affected are in you legs and feet.

Standing and walking increases the pressure in your lower body and therefore your leg and feet veins become varicose. Varicose veins are often more of a cosmetic concern for individuals, but other individuals can have aching pain and mild discomfort, or circulatory problems in more severe cases.

There are medical treatments that are available, including surgery. In addition, there are also home remedies that can help avoid developing varicose veins in the first place.

Risk Factors Associated With Varicose Veins

Age and pregnancy are the two main causes of varicose veins. As we age, our veins begin to lose the elasticity they had in their youth. This causes them to stretch and weaken, causing blood to flow backwards instead of to your heart. The blood pools that are located in your veins begin to enlarge, hence becoming varicose veins.

During pregnancy blood volume increases tremendously and causes the blood flow from your legs to decrease, to support the fetus and its growth. Changes in your hormones during pregnancy can also result in varicose veins. Most varicose veins due to pregnancy improve without medical treatment, normally within three months. Multiple pregnancies may cause the varicose veins to be more persistent and not fade as rapidly or at all.

People ages 30 to 70 are more at risk to develop varicose veins. Women are more likely to develop varicose veins because of pregnancies, menstrual cycles, and menopause. Hormone replacement therapy has been proven effective in tightening the vein walls and prolonging the effect of varicose veins. Genetics are always a factor in varicose veins. Obese people frequently develop varicose veins due to the additional pressure the added weight places on the legs and ankles. Jobs requiring employees to stand for long periods of time are commonly associated with the development of varicose veins.

Treatment of Varicose Veins

varicose veins

There are several non-invasive procedures available that have had some success treating varicose veins. Compression stockings are normally the first recommendation from a doctor.

These stockings squeeze affected areas of the legs to assist the veins move blood more efficiently. There are a variety of strengths and sizes available to address individual cases.

Compression stockings are sold in most department stores and doctors may also prescribe stockings as well, if your medical insurance approves it. As your medical professional for assistance when first applying the leg stockings to ensure that they are not too tight or loose.

Medications like Diosmin and Hesperidine are often administered to treat symptoms like pain and pressure in the legs. Over-the-counter drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen can also be taken as part of any treatment plan to help reduce swelling, but check with your doctor first to make sure that any over-the-counter drugs will not conflict with prescription drugs.

Several surgical methods can also be used to treat and even remove varicose veins. Stripping, for example, is the removal of the main trunk of the saphenous vein (or a portion of it). This helps improve blood flow efficiency and greatly lessens the appearance of varicose veins. Other surgical methods include vein ligation, ambulatory phlebectomy, and cryosurgery.