Understanding Varicose Veins and What to Do About Them
Do You Have?
- Notice giant blue creepers climbing on your leg & feet .. known as varicose vein
- Prominently dilated veins that are clearly visible superficially
- Notice myriad of symptoms ranging from dragging or heavy sensation in legs to skin pigmentation to multiple nonhealing ulcers
So What Next?
- Do all varicose vein need tretament ?
- Should all visibly dilated veins be treated?
- What happens if you don’t get your veins treated immediately?
- Is it life-threatening?
- When should you take the pain to consult a Doctor?
So lets us now understand first, what is the classical definition of varicose
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are large, ropy veins that often appear on the lower leg. For some people, varicose veins are a non-issue; they simply cover them up with long pants and dark tights or flash them with style. For others, however, they can be a source of embarrassment and even shame. This is due in large part to the fact that these veins are associated with age and are considered unattractive.
Varicose veins can also be painful, causing swelling and throbbing in the legs as well as itching.
What are the symptoms?
- Bulging, bluish vein or veins
- Swelling in the legs
- Aching pain in the legs
- A feeling of heaviness in the legs and feet
- Itching around the vein or veins
- Skin color changes around the vein or veins
- Nighttime leg cramps
How are varicose veins caused?
Varicose veins are usually caused by poor circulation in the lower leg. Instead of flowing smoothly, the blood pools in the leg causing the veins to swell. When this happens to the veins just under the skin’s surface, they develop the prominent, ropy appearance common to varicose veins.
There are several reasons why your circulation could be obstructed including:
- Standing or sitting for long periods
- Damage to the veins
- Usually occur in older individuals. This is due in large part because the veins have lost elasticity which makes it difficult for the vein to return to its normal size.
- Pregnancy is another factor. When a woman is pregnant the blood that normally flows into the legs and feet and then back up to the heart, is rerouted to the growing fetus. And as the pregnancy goes on and the baby gets bigger, more blood is diverted.
- Obesity, Much like pregnancy a person who is overweight has blood that is diverted to other areas, typically areas that are fatty. Fat cells require more blood than muscle for sustainability, and as the veins work harder because they are transferring more blood, they wear out faster and lose their elasticity.
Learning more about the cause of your varicose veins can go a long way toward helping you cope, and finding the right solution.
Diagnosing Varicose Veins
- A physician can usually diagnose varicose veins by looking at them and asking questions.
- Ultrasound of the lower limbs is recommended to check and locate any damaged valves.
- Other investigations include Color Duplex Ultrasound scan and Venograms (X-rays of the area taken after injecting a special dye).
Do all varicose vein need tretament ?
If a person has no symptoms or discomfort and does not mind the sight of the varicose veins, treatment might not be necessary.
When should you take the pain to consult a Doctor?
- Leg pain – Pain due to varicose veins is typically an aching type, commonly starts during the evening and aggravates at night while lying down in bed. It is typically seen in professions that mandate standing for a long time eg: Teachers, Bus conductors, Police constables, etc.
- Skin Discoloration – Varicose veins result in the impaired return of blood to the heart causing stagnation and pooling of blood in the lower aspect of the leg. As a result, Hemosiderin or Iron that is present in the blood stains your skin resulting in skin discoloration. It is advisable to consult your doctor and get your veins treated during the initial stage.
- Itching – Blood, Hemosiderin, and Fluid leak into the tissues due to varicose veins causing an inflammatory response that includes scaling and intense itching. The trauma produced by the scratching is of great concern because it can result in excoriation, secondary infection, and large non-healing ulcers.
- Ulcers – Ulcers in varicose veins can be due to repeated itching resulting in skin trauma or spontaneous. These ulcers are large, painless, and typically present around the ankle. Hence unless you get your veins treated it is less likely to heal.
Complications in varicose vein
- Phlebitis (inflammation)
- Blood clots (actually in very rare complications)
- Varicose eczema
- Bleeding and venous ulcers
- Deep vein thrombosis
The conventional treatment for varicose veins usually involves techniques like
- Sclerotherapy – involves injecting a liquid or foam through a chemical injection to redirect the blood to a healthier vein
- Laser surgery – employs the use of light energy to block off a vein
- Micro sclerotherapy – similar to sclerotherapy
- Endoscopic vein surgery – uses a small scope with a light that is inserted into the vein through a small incision to block it off.
- Endovenous ablation therapy – uses radiofrequency waves and heat to block off a vein.
These treatments tend to have some very common side effects that include nerve damage, deep vein thrombosis, wound complications like skin infections, blood clots, vascular injuries, scarring, and staining of the skin.
Also, despite an invasive surgery, the chances of recurrence of the problem are common. Homeopathy has an excellent scope for treating varicose veins.
Scope of Homeopathy in Varicose Vein
The symptoms like pain, cramping, tiredness, and a sensation of heaviness in the legs are well-managed with homeopathy medicines. Homeopathy for varicose veins works at strengthening the valves of veins in the legs, reducing blood engorgement, and aiding in the symptomatic management of the varicose veins.
Managing Varicose Veins
- Regular exercise can help increase the blood flow throughout the body and also reduce inflammation.
- Exercises, like calf raises, side lunges, and leg lifts help stretch and strengthen the veins around the legs
- Low-impact activities like bicycling, walking, and swimming also help alleviate pressure from the veins in the legs.
- Sitting and standing for long hours should be avoided, and gentle stretches and exercises should be incorporated into everyday life to keep the circulation up.
- Avoid wearing high heels for long durations.
- compression stockings squeeze the leg muscles and help them move the blood efficiently.
Research paper on Efficacy of Homeopathy in varicose vein
- The efficacy of <i>Hamamelis</i> 30 in the management of varicose veins and its complications using revised venous clinical severity score tool and peripheral venous Doppler study – Journal of Integrated Standardized Homoeopathy