The enlarged, swollen and twisted veins in bluish-purple or red colour are known as varicose veins. The varicose veins are not usually life-threatening unless it is chronic. These can occur anywhere in the body but usually varicose veins occur in the lower extremities of the body, especially in the foot, leg and thighs. These veins are formed when blood flows in wrong direction through faulty valves in the veins. Adults are the most affected by varicose veins.
Some of the signs and symptoms of having varicose veins are:
- Twisted, swollen and lumpy veins
- Blue, dark purple or red colour veins
- Legs feeling heavy and aching pains in legs.
- Muscle cramps, throbbing or inflammation in legs.
- Swollen ankles or feet
- Skin discoloration around the veins
- Itching around the veins
- Worsened leg pains after standing for a long time
- Fatigue and discomfort like restless leg syndrome
- Spider veins or telangiectasia in the affected legs.
- Injury in the affected area leading to longer bleeding.
- Irregular white patches termed as atrophie blanche in the ankles which appear as scars.
Weak or damaged valves in the veins are the main reason for the formation of varicose veins. This leads to reduced blood circulation. In the process of blood circulation the muscles in legs contract to push and pump the blood to flow back to your heart.
As the blood flows towards the heart, tiny valves in the vein open to stop the blood to flow back. But if the valves are weakened and damaged, it results the backward flow of the blood and gets filled up in that region causing the veins to stretch and twist, forming a lump.
Inactivity and lack of exercise are the main risk factors that cause varicose veins. Other factors that tend to develop varicose veins are:
Age: Adults above 50 years has more tendencies to develop varicose veins. Aging causes wear and tear of the valves in the vein. This leads to poor blood circulation as blood flows backward and collects forming lumps instead of flowing back to the heart.
Pregnancy: Enlarged veins in the legs and hormonal changes during pregnancy are one of the side effects of increase of blood volume during pregnancy. This might develop varicose veins in the pregnant women.
Sex: The female sex seems to be more affected by the varicose veins. The hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, menopause and also the changes that occur while taking birth control pills causes the weakening of valves in the veins. This leads to blood leakage or flow of blood in wrong direction.
Family history: Varicose veins could also occur as hereditary conditions. If other members of your family have varicose veins, you might also develop them.
Obesity: The condition of being overweight gives more pressure to your legs. This pressure affects the veins too and causes valve damages.
Standing or sitting for long hours: There will be a lack of proper blood circulation when you sit or stand in the same position for prolonged hours.
Some of the factors are wearing high heels, sodium deficiency, history of diabetes and sitting for longer periods with crossed legs.
Some of the measures that be followed to prevent Varicose veins are:
Don’t sit or stand in the same position for a long time. Take breaks and walk around for some time. Make sure move your body during these breaks. Otherwise these stiff postures can cause more pressure on your legs as well as affect blood circulation.
Exercise regularly to keep your body healthy. It increases blood circulation.
If you are overweight, shed excess weight as it would cause pressure on your legs.
Keep your legs raised while sleeping.
Avoid sitting cross legged and don’t wear tight fitted cloths.
- Keep your legs elevated above heart level to avoid swelling.
- Wearing compression stockings can also relieve pain and help in muscle contractions. These stockings can be purchased from any pharmacy. You can always seek the help of 3MEDS- the medicine app in India.
- Consume food rich in fiber and foods that have antioxidants and magnesium.
There are other surgical and non-surgical therapies to treat varicose veins. These treatments are mainly vein stripping, cryosurgery, sclerotherapy etc. These are treatments suggested by doctor when varicose veins become more complicated. For purchasing any medicines and health care products you can opt for the 24 hour medicine deliver service of 3MEDS.