Varicose veins in the lower extremities are characterized by unpleasant symptoms and can lead to unpredictable catastrophic consequences if they do not resort to timely medication and unconventional methods.
Characteristics of the disease
The disease itself is a pathology of the veins that results in a loss of their elasticity. Due to constant strain on the legs, such as when standing, fluid stagnation occurs in the lower body. In such cases, the outflow of blood into the heart is difficult, and as a result, a person gets venous nets on the legs, which are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also indicate severe failures throughout the body.
Causes of the disease in women
Common causes of the disease include common factors such as wearing high heels, standing work, taking hormonal contraceptives, malnutrition, smoking, and heredity.
Causes of the disease in men
Although varicose veins mainly affect the female half of the population, one in four men on the planet suffers from this pathology. It occurs due to genetic predisposition, hard work, low physical activity, smoking, and taking certain hormonal medications.
Important to know!
The risk of the disease increases after the age of 40, for both men and women.
Varicose vein classification
The classification includes the division of the disease into stages:
- Compensation phase. In this case, there is no complaint. Visually, the presence of dilated veins on one or two legs is noticeable.
- Subcompensation phase. Feeling of pain, swelling, seizures, bloating and goosebumps. Spider veins and large, dilated blood vessels visible from the outside.
- Decompensation phase. It is characterized by the above-mentioned signs, to which is added the presence of eczema, severe itching. The skin becomes tight and unhealthy. Large, dilated veins are visible through the tissues.
- Class 0. The patient complains of leg heaviness while there are no visual disturbances in the veins;
- class 1. Externally, vascular networks and bleeding are observed. There are complaints of leg heaviness and night cramps;
- class 2. Dilated veins are visible;
- Class 3 appears swelling of the legs, which does not disappear after rest;
- class 4. There are swellings, redness of the legs;
- Class 5 There is a pre-ulcer condition characterized by redness, itching, pain;
- Class 6 trophic ulcers are formed that are difficult to treat.
Signs and symptoms of varicose veins
In the initial stages of the disease, the disease often goes unnoticed. As a general rule, the patient feels difficulty in the legs after a day of work. In the morning, a person forgets these feelings and the disease continues to develop, causing swelling, leg cramps at night. As the condition of the veins worsens, there is pain after training or long walks. Later, the pain becomes permanent, even at rest. If you ignore the disease, there will come a time when the dilation of the veins will peak and manifest itself in the presence of trophic ulcers on the legs. They are accompanied by severe pain and itching and are difficult to heal.
Diagnosis of the disease
The following diagnostic methods are used to identify such pathologies as varicose veins:
- duplex examination of blood vessels;
- Ultrasound of the veins of the lower extremities;
- Magnetic resonance imaging;
Possible complications of the disease
If you neglect to prevent and treat the disease, it can lead to irreversible processes in the body. The most dangerous complications are trophic ulcers and blood clots. Blood clots (thrombi) are formed due to harmful blood circulation and the clumping of red blood cells into a single thick plaque. It is attached to the wall of the vessel and closes its lumen, resulting in impaired tissue nutrition and impaired blood flow to the heart. Such a plaque can break loose at any time and be fatal.
Trophic ulcers are skin lesions associated with a lack of oxygen in the lower extremities. Wounds do not heal well and can grow to the depths of the lower leg to deep tissues, leading to decomposition processes.
Varicose veins treatment
There are now many treatment options for varicose veins. Some of them may intertwine for best results.
This includes taking different groups of medicines as well as using external forms of medicines.
- Angioprotectors. It is used to improve the quality of blood circulation and the vessel wall. This group is prescribed by doctors for a long time, up to 6 months.
- Venotonic. It is used for various stages of venous insufficiency and varicose veins. Such drugs relieve swelling, improve blood circulation and strengthen the walls of blood vessels.
- Antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants. It prevents blood clots from forming and breaks down existing blood clots.
- Lipid-lowering drugs. It helps lower cholesterol. It cleans the walls of blood vessels of the lipid (fat) layer.
- External remedies. These include ointments, creams and gels based on horse chestnuts, leech extract and other ingredients. They help to reduce the feeling of heaviness in the legs for a short time, so it is advisable to use them in combination with oral medications.
Traditional treatment methods
When varicose veins did not exist, treatments based on other herbs and natural extracts were developed:
- Apple vinegar. It is used to make creams for the venous network. After several compactions, a significant improvement is noticed - the protruding containers become bright. This is due to the acidic properties of acetic acid and malic acid. Thus, external defects can be eliminated, but the therapeutic effect cannot be achieved from within;
- white acacia flower tincture. The plant contains flavonoids and tannins that help fight varicose veins both internally and externally. The product is not difficult to prepare, it is enough to take 8 tablespoons of flowers and pour 200 ml of vodka on them. The tincture is ready in a week if stored in a cool, dark place. You should do 1 compression per day, applying it to the problem area for 20-30 minutes;
- horse chestnuts. An effective treatment in the fight against cardiovascular pathologies. To prepare the tincture for oral administration, 50 grams of raw material should be poured with vodka. The total volume of the solution should be 300 ml. The resulting tincture is taken orally with 1 tablespoon twice a day for one month;
- nutmeg. It helps to strengthen the vascular tissues, giving them flexibility. To make the healing tincture, you need to take 100 grams of nuts and pour them with 500 ml of vodka. You should then stick to the resulting solution for two weeks and take 20 drops three times a day. The course can be extended for up to one month, after which you must take a break for two weeks.
Exercises against varicose veins
- Toe standing. Stand up straight with your hands on your waist. Stretch your toes and lower yourself to the floor. Do 30 reps in 4 sets.
- Birch. Lie on your back. Raise your leg, support your lower back with your hands, and lean on your elbows. Hold this position for 1 minute, then gently lower your feet to the floor. Repeating the exercise daily is a good prevention at the onset of varicose veins.
- Swing your leg. Stand up straight. For the first count, raise your leg, for the second, return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise with the other leg. To achieve the result, a swing of 15 feet per day should be performed.
- Scissors. Lie on your back. Raise your leg and simulate the movement of the scissors for two minutes. Then take a break for 30 seconds and repeat the exercise.
If you feel unwell, stop exercising and consult a physiotherapist for advice.
Nutrition against varicose veins
If you have one stage or another of varicose veins, you definitely need to rethink your diet. It’s worth considering that alcohol, fatty foods, and salty foods should be a thing of the past. It is important to pay attention to meat and other proteins (eggs, cottage cheese). They should be low fat varieties. Preference should be given to beef and chicken breast. Fish species rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as cod and salmon, are also recommended.
It is important to include fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Peppers, celery, Jerusalem artichokes, lettuce, cabbage, beets, broccoli, zucchini, pumpkin have a beneficial effect on the body. To strengthen the vessel wall, elastin is needed, which is found in squid and seaweed. As for fruits, do not rely on sweet fruits and berries, prefer citrus, apples, kiwi, pears. Watch your sugar and salt intake. They retain fluid in the body, which can lead to swelling. You should also leave flour products completely.
As with any diet, the dose should be about one-third of a plate. You should eat five times a day. The daily diet should include allowed vegetables and fruits, meat, legumes, side dishes (potatoes, buckwheat, rice) and should meet 2000 calories.
As water is still needed for normal digestion and cleansing the body, it is recommended to drink up to one and a half liters of water a day, but no later than six o'clock in the evening.
This is a modern method of treating varicose veins that involves introducing a chemical sclerosant into the damaged vein, followed by artificial inflammation of the vessel and, as a result, narrowing. After a while, the vein disappears. After such an intervention, the elastic bandages should be worn for up to one month.
The procedure has several advantages, including pain relief during manipulation, lack of inpatient treatment, lack of rapid surgery, and post-intervention scars. The method is successfully demonstrated in the postoperative period, as there is no relapse in almost 100% of cases.
Endavasal laser surgery is performed in a hospital. First, a painkiller is injected, then the puncture site is treated and a light guide is inserted, and the adhesive walls of the vessels are replaced by connective tissue as a result of the energy. The duration of such an operation shall not exceed 1 hour. It is also recommended to use compression stockings, otherwise pain, bruising, thrombophlebitis may occur.
Percutaneous laser surgery. It is used to remove vascular networks by heating the vessel walls to 60-70 degrees. It is used for interventions on thin vessels thicker than 3 mm.
This is a well-known method that helps reduce hemoglobin and make the blood more fluid. Due to the enzyme hirudin, which is introduced into the bloodstream by the leech, the ability of the thrombus is lost. Thanks to hirudotherapy, there is a temporary relief due to a decrease in pressure in the lower extremities and a thinning of the blood. The procedure can be performed once every 2-3 weeks. Don’t forget hygiene after manipulation, as the wound following the leech stays open for a long time and bleeds, which means bacteria get in.
Hirudotherapy has many contraindications and is not a panacea for the disease. Contact a specialist.
Surgical treatment of varicose veins
The surgical method has been used for decades. Based on removal of the affected area of the vein. It has a great advantage because there is complete remission after surgery and no relapse is noticeable.
Phlebectomy is a surgical procedure that removes saphenous vessels through incisions in the lumbar region. Because surgery is technically complex, it is performed under general anesthesia and can take up to several hours. Rehabilitation varies from person to person, usually from two weeks to several months.
Great way to keep blood vessels stable. In order to maintain the good condition of the blood vessels, compression tights, stockings, knee height are for sale. You should wear them no more than 8 hours a day. Such underwear is often prescribed after surgeries, during pregnancy, long journeys and flights.
For the prevention of varicose veins and in the postoperative rehabilitation period:
- observe proper nutrition;
- give up alcohol and smoking;
- wear compression underwear;
- take a contrast shower daily;
- perform prophylaxis with drugs (after 40 years);
- use folk remedies.
Varicose veins during pregnancy
Even in wonderful periods like pregnancy, varicose veins can cause a lot of trouble and discomfort. It is caused by an increase in blood mass and pressure on the walls of the blood vessels, bringing them into a stretched state. Because expectant mothers should be careful not to take medications, homeopathic medications as well as external gels, creams, and ointments are recommended to relieve severity and swelling. Don't forget physical activity. Prefer relaxing sports such as yoga, swimming, walking. Compression knitwear such as stockings or tights will be very useful. Such underwear helps to reduce the stress caused by the veins and reduces the severity and pain.
Do not self-medicate or choose a compression garment during pregnancy, as the reaction to the fetus may be unpredictable.
- "After 15 years of work on my feet, I started to feel uncomfortable stiffness in my calves. Sometimes there were night cramps and dizziness. At first I thought it was an overload, but after the rest, the feeling of difficulty persisted. I then met with a vascular surgeon who prescribed me medications and treated me for a month. There were improvements after treatment, of course, but the echoes persisted. I think let’s go to the pool and get special compression stockings. "
- "I know first hand what a varicose vein is. Thirty years ago, during my pregnancy, I suffered a lot from the pain, but after giving birth, everything stopped and I didn’t take action. I was recently diagnosed with diabetes, which provokes varicose veins. Now I am completely reviewing my diet and buying nordic walking sticks. I don’t trust the pills, all the more so because I drink them in large quantities. I’m trying a white acacia tincture, it helped my friend in time.
- "I only got rid of the varicose veins with the help of laser surgery. Everything went very quickly and painlessly. I probably chose a good clinic. After the surgery, I had a good day on the second day. It cost a lot of money, of course, but what a result. Knowing my predisposition to varicose veins, I continue to support my body and eat right. Anyway, the doctor said that compression underwear with frequent loads is simply necessary. I got myself pantyhose.
Together with the treatment of varicose veins, all methods are good. The key is to take care of your health and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Pay attention to your body and listen to the signals coming from your body so as not to miss the development of the disease.