Varicose veins on the legs are a disease in which the elasticity of the veins is lost and blood circulation is disturbed. Pathological changes cause swelling of the feet, painful pain in the leaves and other dangerous symptoms. Why does the disease occur more often in women than in men, is it possible to solve varicose veins with the help of medication and which doctor to seek treatment for - in the material of RIA Novosti.
Varicose veins in the legs
Varicose veins of the lower extremities is a disease characterized by persistent expansion of the saphenous veins of the legs, which can lead to the development of chronic venous insufficiency.
"There are three types of veins on the legs: superficial, which are closer to the skin, deep, which are located in the muscles, and perforating, which connect the superficial with the deep. These others flow into a hollow vein, which flows. directly to the heart. Varicose veins most often occur in the superficial veins of the lower extremities ", explains the highest category cardiovascular surgeon, phlebologist, candidate of medical sciences.
When a person is upright, the blood in the veins of the legs must flow against gravity in order to return to the heart. As a result, the leg muscles narrow the deep veins, which contain the valves, allowing the blood to move in the right direction. When the leg muscles contract, the valves inside the veins open, and when the muscles relax, they close. This prevents blood from flowing in the opposite direction, down the leg. The process of sending blood to the heart is called a venous pump. In the process of walking, the leg muscles and the pump actively work, but if a person sits or stands, especially for a long time, the blood in the leg veins can stagnate, the pressure in them increases.
"Deep and perforating veins can usually withstand short periods of increased pressure. However, if there is a predisposition for the development of the disease, the veins gradually dilate. This later leads to weakening of the walls of blood vessels and damage to their valves.
The first manifestation of varicose veins are spider veins on the legs, and then a vascular network is formed under the skin. This can cause leg pain. If treatment is not started at this time, the superficial veins continue to dilate, become crooked, and at the same time the venous outflow from the lower extremities suffers, which worsens the nutrition of the legs, edema, skin thickening and other symptoms of pathology, "he added. expert.
There are no symptoms of the disease in the initial phase of varicose veins. But if there are bulging veins, you should consult a specialist. Timely treatment helps to avoid the development of complications such as thrombophlebitis, trophic ulcer, etc.
The first signs of varicose veins include:
- heaviness in the legs, feeling of heat and fullness;
- occurrence of edema in the lower leg and feet;
- increased lower extremity fatigue;
- aching or throbbing pain in the leaves;
- convulsions at night;
- appearance of arachnoid veins on the skin.
Varicose veins indicate a severe course of the disease. Skin malnutrition can lead to the development of white skin atrophy.
Discoloration of the skin on the lower leg, the appearance of itchy nodules and vesicles, are symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency.
The main cause of pathology is heredity. If someone in the family or close relatives is faced with varicose veins or congenital connective tissue weakness, then the risk of developing the disease increases.
In addition to genetic factors, the main reasons for the development of varicose veins of the lower extremities are:
- long static loads;
- prolonged standing or sitting;
- frequent leg injuries;
- hormonal imbalance,
- long-term use of estrogen-containing drugs;
- age-related changes in blood vessels.
"Women are more prone to varicose veins due to anatomical and functional characteristics of the body. One of the reasons is pregnancy, in the other half of which there is pressure on the inferior vena cava. The presence of the disease may be accompanied by subjective symptoms such as discomfort and heaviness in the legs. , swelling of the legs, cramps, itchy skin, tingling and a feeling of heat ", adds the therapist, senior medical advisor. .
Varicose veins on the legs have several stages, which differ in shape and symptoms. Among them are: initial, second and third.
The initial is characterized by the appearance of arachnoid veins on the skin. Also, the patient may feel discomfort in the legs, swelling and heaviness. In this case, there is no pronounced venous insufficiency.
The second phase usually lasts for many years. Its main symptoms: cramps in the lower leg at night, constant swelling, bulging veins, discoloration of the skin on the lower leg.
The third phase is characterized by impaired venous outflow. Swelling of the feet and legs does not subside, itchy skin appears, veins in the skin are pronounced. In addition, at this stage there is a violation of the process of tissue nutrition: pigmentation, trophic ulcers, etc.
Complications can occur at any stage, but most often occur in the last two.
Ignoring the symptoms or improperly treating the disease can lead to complications. They can manifest not only in the form of cosmetic defects, but also in such serious forms as: trophic eczema (later turned into an ulcer), thrombophlebitis and other venous lesions.
Trophic ulcer - the inevitable outcome of varicose veins in the absence of treatment. An enlarged vein with varicose veins not only leads to an increase in the amount of harmful substances in the affected area, but also to an increase in foot edema. Trophic ulcer exists for a long time, closes slowly and has a high degree of resistance to treatment.
Thrombophlebitis is a pathology of the circulatory system, characterized by inflammation of the superficial vein wall with the formation of a thrombus that closes the lumen of the vessel. The main symptoms of such a disease are redness and swelling, as well as pain along the thrombosed zone, and an increase in body temperature can be observed.
The degree of danger of the disease increases with the appearance of bleeding from varicose veins. If the walls of the veins dilate for a long time, the skin in the affected area becomes thinner and any minor injury can lead to bleeding.
As a rule, it is not difficult to predict the diagnosis. Varicose veins are manifested by "bulges" and / or "nodes" in the lower extremities. Instrumental diagnosis of varicose veins is ultrasound dopplerography of the veins. visualization of the studied vessel, the direction of blood flow and its parameters will be determined. In addition to ultrasound, a method such as phlebography with contrast is used. for visualization of deep and superficial veins is used only when planning surgical treatment. Therapy begins when the first signs of disease. it is to recover / improve blood flow, prevent complications and improve the quality of life of patients ", explains expert Ekaterina Yesakova.
Treatment of varicose veins is aimed at eliminating the manifestations of venous insufficiency, preventing progression, preventing recurrence and complications of the disease.
Modern approaches to the treatment of varicose veins of the legs can be divided into two important groups: conservative treatment of varicose veins and surgical treatment of varicose veins.
Scientists have developed many surgical techniques to treat varicose veins:
Combined phlebectomy. Combined phlebectomy is an operation during which the surgeon removes the varicose vein through a small incision in the groin and medial malleolus. Such an operation includes several types of interventions: crossectomy, stripping, removal of veins according to Narat, Klapp. Most often, combined phlebectomy is performed under general anesthesia, and the patient must be hospitalized for several days. Recovery after surgery is long, and the aesthetic result is low.
Conservative therapy is aimed at alleviating the symptoms of the pathology, but does not lead to recovery.
A phlebologist surgeon identifies two important aspects in the prevention and treatment of varicose veins:
- Compression therapy.Prevention or treatment of varicose veins necessarily includes compression therapy. Special knitwear creates a certain pressure on different parts of the leg, contributes to the proper movement of venous blood. It exerts maximum pressure in the ankle area, which decreases at the level of the lower leg or thigh, depending on whether it is socks, stockings or tights. It turned out that the larger the surface of the legs, the lower the compression. These medical products are used for the prevention and treatment of varicose veins and other pathologies of the venous system of the legs. Compression socks are shown to those who work at the computer, they move a little. Such products should be used during heavy physical exertion, sports, during pregnancy and on long journeys. It is also worth wearing knitwear for prevention purposes if one of the relatives is worried about vein problems.
- Medical therapy.It involves taking venotonics, whose main active ingredient is diosmin. In addition, the doctor prescribes ointments and creams that contain heparin.
After the complex treatment, the patient gets rid of the unpleasant symptoms caused by varicose veins: swelling, heaviness, fatigue and pain in the legs. Successful treatment reduces the risk of life-threatening complications to a minimum. The aesthetic problem has been solved, the patient is no longer bothered by the veins protruding from his legs.
It should be borne in mind that none of the methods of treating varicose veins gives a complete guarantee for the removal of the pathology.
In addition to medications for varicose veins, diet plays a very important role. It is important for people with varicose veins, as well as those with a predisposition to this disease, to monitor their body weight. If you are overweight, the risk increases several times. But even with a normal body mass index, it is important to adhere to dietary recommendations to eliminate inflammatory processes in the intestines, as the state of human health, and therefore quality of life depends on the state of the gastrointestinal tract.
To maintain an optimal weight, it is important to pay attention to the caloric content of the daily diet, control the content of protein, fat and carbohydrates (BJU). , age, physical activity, as well as accompanying diseases ", explains the nutritionist.
In addition, experts recommend monitoring blood viscosity and monitoring the drinking regime. Alcoholic beverages, sweets, pastries, flour products should be excluded.
The diet should contain a sufficient amount of protein, sources of collagen: bone broth, aspic, offal. An important role in varicose veins is played by foods rich in polyphenols, which are found in plant foods: vegetables, fruits, spices, herbs, teas.
"You need to eat foods rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, which are antioxidants and support immunity (vitamin C also contributes to collagen production), vitamin E, B vitamins, copper. Such foods include: lean fish and meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, liver.
Also, food should be rich in fiber, because it stimulates the intestines and reduces the risk of constipation, which has negative consequences for the body as a whole, as well as the formation of varicose veins due to stagnant processes in the pelvis, "added the expert.
When the first symptoms of pathology appear, it is necessary to seek advice from a phlebologist who will choose the optimal course of prevention, learn the correct and most effective use of compression stockings.
Also, experts point out some recommendations for maintaining leg vein health:
- exercise regularly (loads should be moderate);
- refuse frequent visits to the sauna and taking a hot bath;
- get rid of excess weight (each kilogram increases the load on blood vessels);
- discard socks with tight elastic bands or tight jeans;
- do not sit cross-legged;
- make rotational movements of the feet in the morning and evening to improve blood circulation;
- give preference to comfortable shoes with low heels;
- walk barefoot as much as possible;
- adhere to a drinking regime (at least one and a half liters of water per day);
- stop drinking alcohol and smoking;
- take cold foot baths in the evening;
- if the work involves a long stay in one position, change the position of the body from time to time;
- follow a diet, reduce the use of tea and coffee.