Varicose veins of the legs: why it occurs, how to treat without surgery

varicose veins in a woman's legs

Varicose veins in the legs are a disease in which the elasticity of the veins is lost and blood circulation is disturbed. Pathological changes provoke swelling of the feet, aching pain in the calves and other dangerous symptoms. Why in women the disease occurs more often than in men, is it possible to get rid of varicose veins with the help of drugs and which doctor to seek treatment - in the material of RIA Novosti.

Varicose veins on the legs

Varicose veins of the lower extremities is a disease characterized by a 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, connecting superficial to deep ones. The latter flow into the vena cava, which in turn flows directly into the heart. Varicose veins, usually occurs 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 to return to the heart. As a result, the leg muscles constrict the deep veins, which contain valves, allowing 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 legs. The process of sending blood to the heart is called the venous pump. In the process of walking, the muscles of the legs and the pump are actively working, but if a person sits or stands, especially for a long time, the blood in the veins of the legs can stagnate, the pressure in them increases.

a sedentary image leads to the formation of varicose veins

"Deep and perforating veins are usually able to withstand short periods of increased pressure. However, if there is a predisposition to the development of the disease, the veins gradually expand. This subsequently leads to weakening of the walls of the vessels and damage to their valves.

The first manifestation of varicose veins is spider veins on the legs, and subsequently a vascular network forms under the skin. This may cause pain in the legs. If treatment is not started at this time, then the superficial veins continue to expand, become tortuous, in parallel with this, the venous outflow from the lower extremities suffers, as a result of which the nutrition of the leg worsens, edema, skin thickening and other symptoms of pathology appear, "adds the expert.

Symptoms

At the initial stage of varicose veins, there are no symptoms of the disease. 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, a feeling of heat and fullness;
  • the appearance of edema in the lower leg and feet;
  • increased fatigue of the lower extremities;
  • aching or throbbing pain in the calves;
  • convulsions at night;
  • the appearance of spider veins on the skin.

Dilated protruding veins indicate a severe course of the disease. Malnutrition of the skin 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.

Causes

causes of varicose veins

The main cause of pathology is heredity. If someone in the family or from close relatives is faced with varicose veins or congenital weakness of the connective tissue, 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 include:

  • long static loads;
  • weight lifting;
  • prolonged standing or sitting;
  • frequent leg injuries;
  • hormonal imbalance,
  • long-term use of estrogen-containing drugs;
  • smoking;
  • obesity;
  • age-related changes in blood vessels.

"Women are more prone to varicose veins due to the anatomical and functional characteristics of the body. Also one of the reasons is pregnancy, in the second half of which there is pressure on the inferior vena cava. The presence of the disease can be accompanied by such subjective symptoms as discomfort and heaviness in the legs, a feeling of throbbing, swelling of the legs, cramps, skin itching, tingling and a feeling of heat, "adds the therapist, senior medical consultant.

women are more susceptible to varicose veins

Classification

Varicose veins in the legs have several stages, which differ in form and symptoms. Among them are the following: initial, second and third.

Initial characterized by the appearance of spider veins on the skin. Also, the patient may experience discomfort in the legs, swelling and heaviness. In this case, there is no pronounced venous insufficiency.

The second stage most often stretches for many years. Its main symptoms: cramps in the calf area at night, constant swelling, bulging of veins, discoloration of the skin on the lower leg.

The third stage is characterized by impaired venous outflow. Swelling of the feet and legs does not subside, skin itching appears, saphenous veins are pronounced. In addition, at this stage, violations of tissue nutrition processes occur: pigmentation, trophic ulcers, etc.

Complications can occur at any stage, but most often they appear at the last two.

Complications

Ignoring symptoms or improper treatment of the disease can lead to complications. They can manifest themselves not only in the form of cosmetic defects, but also in such serious forms as: trophic eczema (later turning into an ulcer), thrombophlebitis and other vein lesions.

Trophic ulcer - the inevitable outcome of varicose veins in the absence of treatment. A vein enlarged by varicose veins not only leads to an increase in the amount of harmful substances in the affected area, but also an increase in foot edema. Trophic ulcer exists for a long time, slowly closes and has a high degree of resistance to treatment.

Thrombophlebitis is a pathology of the circulatory system, which is characterized by inflammation of the wall of a superficial vein 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 also be observed.

The degree of danger of the disease increases with the appearance of bleeding from varicose veins. If the walls of the vessel are expanded for a long time, the skin in the affected area becomes thinner and any small injury can lead to bleeding.

Diagnostics

"As a rule, it is not difficult to assume a diagnosis. Varicose veins are manifested by "bumps" and / or "knots" on the lower extremities. Instrumental diagnosis of leg varicose veins is ultrasound Dopplerography of the veins. The method allows you to obtain information about the anatomy and hemodynamics of the venous bed, while simultaneously visualizing the studiedvessel, will determine the direction of blood flow and its parameters. In addition to ultrasound, a method such as phlebography with contrast is additionally used. It allows you to visualize deep and superficial veins, it is used only when planning surgical treatment. Therapy begins when the first signs of the disease appear. Its main goal is recovery /improving blood flow, preventing complications and improving the patient's quality of life, " explains expert Ekaterina Yesakova.

Treatment

Treatment of varicose veins is aimed at eliminating the manifestations of venous insufficiency, preventing progression, preventing relapses 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 dilated veins.

Surgical methods

Scientists have developed many surgical techniques aimed at treating varicose veins:

Combined phlebectomy. Combined phlebectomy is an operation during which the surgeon removes the saphenous 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 has to be hospitalized for several days. Recovery after surgery is long, and the aesthetic result is low.

laser surgery to remove varicose veinssclerotherapy for varicose veins

Conservative treatment

Conservative therapy is aimed at relieving the symptoms of pathology, but it does not lead to recovery.

The phlebologist surgeon identifies two important aspects in the prevention and treatment of varicose veins:

  • Compression therapy.Prevention of varicose veins or its treatment necessarily include 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 stockings, stockings or tights. It turns out that the higher the leg area, 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 hosiery is shown to those who work at the computer, move 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 concerned about problems with veins.
  • Medical therapy.It includes taking venotonics, the main active ingredient of which is diosmin. In addition, the doctor prescribes heparin-containing ointments and creams.
compression stockings for varicose veins

Treatment results

After the complex treatment, the patient gets rid of the unpleasant symptoms caused by varicose veins: swelling, heaviness, fatigue and pain in the legs. With successful treatment, the risk of life-threatening complications is reduced to a minimum. The aesthetic problem is solved, the patient is no longer bothered by veins protruding from the legs.

It should be borne in mind that none of the methods of treating varicose veins gives a full guarantee of eliminating the pathology.

Diet

Along with drug treatment of varicose veins, nutrition plays a very important role. People with varicose veins, as well as with a predisposition to this disease, it is important to monitor body weight. If you are overweight, the risk increases several times. But even with a normal body mass index, it is also important to follow nutritional recommendations in order to eliminate inflammatory processes in the intestines, since the state of human health and, accordingly, the quality of life depends on the state of the gastrointestinal tract.

diet for varicose veins

"To maintain optimal weight, it is important to observe the caloric content of the daily diet, control the content of proteins, fats and carbohydrates (BJU). A nutritionist or nutritionist can help with the correct calculation, since the diet is selected for each person individually, taking into account weight, height, age, physical activity, as well as comorbidities, " explains the nutritionist.

In addition, experts recommend monitoring blood viscosity and observing drinking regimen. Alcoholic drinks, sweets, pastries, flour products should be excluded.

The diet should contain a sufficient amount of protein, sources of collagen: bone broths, 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 the production of collagen), vitamin E, B vitamins, copper. Such foods include: lean fish and meat, seafood, eggs, nuts, liver.

Also, food should be rich in fiber, as it stimulates the intestines and reduces the risk of constipation, which in turn leads to negative consequences in the body as a whole, as well as to the formation of varicose veins due to stagnant processes in the pelvis, "addsexpert.

Prevention

When the first symptoms of pathology appear, it is necessary to seek advice from a phlebologist who will select the optimal course of prevention, teach the correct and most effective use of compression stockings.

Also, experts highlight some recommendations for maintaining the health of the leg veins:

  • 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 the vessels);
  • refuse socks with tight elastic bands or tight jeans;
  • do not sit cross-legged;
  • make rotational movements with 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;
  • observe the drinking regime (at least one and a half liters of water per day);
  • stop drinking alcohol and smoking;
  • do cool foot baths in the evenings;
  • if the work involves a long stay in one position, periodically change the position of the body;
  • monitor your diet, minimize the use of tea and coffee.