Varicose Veins – What You Need to Know

Any slight flaw in the beauty of the skin not only causes discomfort in people but it could also be a sign that something is wrong. Varicose veins are a medical condition where the veins at the back of an individual’s legs protrude, giving an unsightly dark hue. The veins usually appear twisted and conventionally blue or dark purple. It’s a condition that affects a huge number of adults worldwide. Expert cardiologist, Dr. Rishin Shah in Plano postulates that the disease happens because of the weakening of valves, causing the pooling of blood. 

What Cardiologists Say

According to Dr. Shah, a specialist in treatment and prevention of heart diseases, pregnant women, old people, and obese individuals are the most likely segment of the population to get varicose veins, due to the extra pressure exerted by their body’s weight on the blood veins in the lower limbs. Varicose veins are primarily caused by the failure of valves to function properly, and this section of people is highly predisposed to the defect. The veins of the affected individual retain the tissue fluid causing swelling.

Risk Factors

These factors increase your risk of developing varicose veins:

  • Age. As with most other parts of our bodies, aging causes wear and tear – in this case on the valves in our veins that help regulate blood flow.
  • Your Sex. Women are more likely to develop varicose veins due to hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause because female hormones tend to relax vein walls. Some hormone treatments, such as birth control pills, may increase your risk factor as well.
  • Pregnancy. When you are pregnant, the volume of blood in your body increases to support the growing baby. Unfortunately, it can also enlarge the veins in your legs.
  • Family History. If other family members have had varicose veins, it increases the likelihood that you will too.
  • Obesity. Being overweight puts added pressure on your muscles, your joints, and your veins.
  • Standing or Sitting for Long Periods. If you sit or stand for long periods of time in the same position, your blood does not flow as well. It is vital that you change your position every so often.

Prevention

There is no way to completely prevent varicose veins from happening, but by improving your circulation and muscle tone, you are a step ahead to reducing your risk of developing them or getting additional ones. You should also be sure to follow these tips to assist you.

  1. Exercising.
  2. Watching your weight.
  3. Eating a high-fiber, low-salt diet.
  4. Avoiding high heels and tight hosiery.
  5. Elevating your legs.
  6. Changing your sitting or standing position regularly.

Detection and Consultation

Apart from vein swelling, varicose veins are generally painless and can be detected by consistently swollen ankles, and abnormal bleeding from any slight injury to the affected area. One’s forelimbs tend to get heavier at night, causing discomfort and sometimes lack of sleep. It may also be accompanied by a slight ache in the legs.

Most individuals usually wait for the condition to become severely painful and uncomfortable, before seeking medical attention. Dr. Shah also prescribes minor surgical procedures for cases where reconstruction of the skin (for cosmetic reasons) will be required. Home remedies for treating varicose veins include exercising at home, regularly raising legs, and minimizing hours spent sitting. Advanced methods for treating the disease include compression stockings, surgery, litigation and striping, sclerotherapy and radiofrequency ablations.

Compression Stockings

Compression stockings are designed to be tight at the ankles and loose up the leg, allowing them to activate the upward flow of blood, and in the process reverse the side effects of varicose veins. This option is preferred only in cases where the protruding veins are abnormally large affecting the appearance of the skin. Cardiologists may apply a minor surgery to reverse this condition.

Sclerotherapy

Most physicians including gynecologists recommend sclerotherapy as a treatment for varicose veins for expectant women. These are cases where the swelling is minor and there is irritating pain. Sclerotherapy is the process of injecting the swelling with a very fine needle to remove it and numb the ache. Patients are advised to disclose any current allergic reactions to the doctor in order to help prevent side effects.

Ligation

For severe cases, ligation is used, concurrently with stripping. Here, the patient’s skin has become severely sore with excessive swelling around the veins. In the procedure, a vascular surgeon ties the veins and makes a small incision on the skin to prevent the pooling of blood.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Although radiofrequency ablations are designed for pacifying back pains, the technique is gaining popularity in cardiovascular cases. The doctor simply uses heat to technically destroy the wall of the vein and cause a blockage. A thin tube is introduced into the vein after administering a sedative and the treatment is carried out.

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