Varicose veins of the lower extremities - persistent and irreversible expansion, lengthening of the veins. The disease develops due to gross changes in the walls of blood vessels, dysfunction of the valve apparatus, genetic defects.
Causes of the disease
Varicose veins can be congenital, primary, secondary. The pathological process can cover superficial, perforating, deep veins.
The main reasons for the development of varicose veins of the lower extremities:
- hereditary predisposition;
- prolonged static loads, physical inactivity;
- violation of hormonal levels, prolonged use of estrogen-containing drugs;
- frequent leg injuries;
- smoking, abuse of coffee, alcoholic beverages;
- the habit of sitting cross-legged;
- a tendency to constipation;
- lifting weights;
- age-related changes in blood vessels.
In women, varicose veins occur more often than in men. With an increase in the concentration of the hormone progesterone during pregnancy, on certain days of the menstrual cycle, the extensibility of the venous walls increases. The risk of developing the disease increases among those who like to wear high heels.
How does varicose veins manifest?
At the initial stage, there are no obvious symptoms of the disease. But the presence of bulging veins is a reason to see a doctor, even if all else fails. Timely treatment will help avoid the development of thrombophlebitis and other complications.
The first signs of varicose veins:
- by the end of the day, the legs are swollen;
- there is a feeling of heaviness, heat, bloating;
- aching, throbbing pain in the calves;
- worried about itching of the skin of the legs;
- cramps at night;
- spider veins appear on the skin.
The appearance of protruding veins and nodes indicates a severe course of varicose veins. In case of a malnutrition of the skin, areas of the skin with a varnished surface appear. In the center is a whitish area, which indicates the development of white skin atrophy. Then trophic ulcers form.
If the skin color changes, itchy nodules, vesicles appear, the swelling of the legs does not go away overnight - this indicates chronic venous insufficiency.
If signs of varicose veins appear, it is necessary to visit a phlebologist. The doctor can make the initial diagnosis after an external examination and anamnesis.
- Ultrasonic duplex scanning. . . The specialist examines the vessels on both legs, assesses the diameter, compressibility, reveals the violation of blood flow and reverse blood flow. The study is carried out in a standing or sitting position with the legs down.
- Valve function assessment methods, the length of the reverse blood flow. Compression tests, straining tests, imitation of walking, Paran's reception.
- Additional methods. . . Doppler ultrasound, plethysmography, CT, MRI, thermography.
Medication and compression treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities
When treating varicose veins with drugs, the main goal is to eliminate the manifestations of venous insufficiency, to reduce the severity of side effects after surgery.
Groups of drugs:
- phleboprotectors or venotonics;
- external agents based on heparin;
- vitamin complexes.
Compression therapy is necessary for any method of treating varicose veins, to prevent the development of the disease. Special elastic bandages of varying degrees of stretching are used. Bandages with maximum extensibility are used after operations to securely fix the dressings and stop bleeding. For therapeutic and prophylactic purposes, bandages of medium and short stretch are suitable.
You should always bandage from the joints of the toes, grabbing the heel. The pressure of the bandage should gradually release from the ankle to the hip. With varicose veins, bandages need to be worn all day, remove only before bedtime.
Alternative to bandages - compression knee-highs, stockings, tights. Products are made from cotton, natural or synthetic rubber.
Surgery for varicose veins
Surgical intervention helps to significantly improve the quality of life with advanced varicose veins, reduce the risk of complications and recurrence of pathology. The task is to remove dilated veins, eliminate pathological refluxes.
- Thermal obliteration. . . A minimally invasive method in which the veins from the inside are soldered with a laser, a radio frequency sensor.
- Traditional surgery. . . The dilated saphenous veins are excised.
- Sclerotherapy. . . At the initial stage, it avoids a full-fledged surgical intervention. A special drug is injected into the enlarged vein, which glues the vessel from the inside.
Diet for varicose veins
With varicose veins, you need to eat more fruits and vegetables. The diet should contain fish, foods high in fiber, vitamin C, B, and routine. Vitamin E, which is found in olive oil, strengthens the walls of blood vessels. Products with vitamin P are useful - green tea, walnuts, rose hips. Foods for improving the elasticity of veins - sprouted grains of rye and wheat, beans and peas, green onions and garlic.
List of prohibited foods:
- salty, spicy, smoked food;
- animal fats;
- refined carbohydrates;
- strong tea, coffee;
- meat in a minimum amount.
Varicose veins can be avoided by following a healthy and active lifestyle.
How to keep the veins of the lower extremities healthy:
- do not get carried away with hot baths, a sauna, prolonged exposure to the sun - all this reduces the tone of the veins, the blood stagnates in the lower extremities;
- exercise regularly, but the load should be moderate;
- get rid of excess weight - each extra kilogram increases the load on the blood vessels;
- do not wear tight jeans, socks with tight elastic bands;
- when sitting or standing work, periodically change the position of the body;
- do not sit cross-legged;
- in the morning and before bedtime, perform 3-5 rotational movements with the feet to improve blood circulation;
- do cool foot baths in the evening;
- observe the drinking regime - drink at least 1. 5 liters of water per day;
- get rid of bad habits;
- walking barefoot more in summer;
- women choose comfortable shoes with a heel height of 3-5 cm.
In addition to thrombophlebitis, non-healing ulcers form in severe varicose veins. Due to damaged valves, blood enters the superficial venous system, and the pressure rises. Blood flow slows down, oxygen supply to tissues is disrupted.