Varicose veins in the legs are a disease in which the elasticity of the veins is lost and blood circulation is disturbed. Pathological changes result in swelling of the feet, aching pain in the calves, and other dangerous symptoms. Because in women the disease occurs more often than in men, it is possible to get rid of varicose veins with the help of drugs, and which doctor to look for treatment - in the material of RIA Novosti.
Varicose veins on the legs
Varicose veins of the lower limbs are 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 found in the muscles, and perforating, which connect the superficial to the deep ones. The latter flow into the vena cava, which in turn flows. directly into the heart. Varicose veins usually occur in the superficial veins of the lower limbs, "explains the highest-ranking cardiovascular surgeon, phlebologist, candidate for medical sciences.
When a person is standing, blood in the leg veins must flow against gravity to return to the heart. As a result, the leg muscles constrict the deep veins, which contain the valves, allowing blood to move in the right direction. When the leg muscles contract, the valves within the veins open and when the muscles relax, they close. This prevents blood from flowing in the opposite direction along the legs. The process of sending blood to the heart is called a venous pump. In the process of walking, the muscles of the legs and the pump work actively, 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.
"The deep, 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 vessel walls and damage to their valves.
The first manifestation of varicose veins is varicose veins on the legs, subsequently a vascular network is formed under the skin. This can cause pain in the legs. If the treatment is not started at this time, 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, thickening of the skin and other symptoms appear of pathology ", adds the expert.
In the initial stage of varicose veins, there are no symptoms of the disease. But if there are protruding 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 warmth and fullness;
- the appearance of edema in the lower leg and feet;
- increased fatigue of the lower limbs;
- aching or throbbing pain in the calves;
- convulsions at night;
- the appearance of varicose veins on the skin.
Dilated bulging 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 lumps and blisters are symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency.
The main cause of the pathology is heredity. If someone in the family or close relatives faces varicose veins or congenital weakness of the connective tissue, 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;
- prolonged standing or sitting;
- frequent leg injuries;
- hormonal imbalance,
- long-term use of drugs containing estrogen;
- to smoke;
- age-related changes in blood vessels.
"Women are more prone to varicose veins because of the anatomical and functional characteristics of the body. One of the reasons is also pregnancy, in the second half of which there is pressure on the inferior vena cava. The presence of the disease can be accompanied by symptoms. subjective such as discomfort and heaviness in the legs, throbbing sensation, swelling of the legs, cramps, itchy skin, tingling and feeling of heat, "adds the therapist, senior medical consultant.
Varicose veins in the legs have several stages, which differ in shape and symptoms. Among them are the following: initial, second and third.
Initial characterized by the appearance of varicose veins on the skin. In addition, 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 extends over many years. Its main symptoms: night cramps in the calf area, constant swelling, swelling of the veins, discoloration of the skin of the lower leg.
The third stage is characterized by impaired venous outflow. The swelling of the feet and legs does not subside, skin itching appears, saphenous veins are pronounced. Also, at this stage, violations of tissue nutrition processes occur: pigmentation, trophic ulcers, etc.
Complications can occur at any stage, but most often appear in the latter two.
Ignoring the 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 severe forms as: trophic eczema (which then turns into an ulcer), thrombophlebitis and other venous lesions.
Trophic ulcer - the inevitable outcome of varicose veins in the absence of treatment. An enlarged vein from 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 has been around 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 wall of a superficial vein with the formation of a thrombus that closes the lumen of the vessel. The main symptoms of this disease are redness and swelling, as well as pain along the thrombosed area 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 vessel walls expand for a long time, the skin in the affected area becomes thinner, and any small lesions can lead to bleeding.
"As a rule, it is not difficult to make a diagnosis. Varicose veins manifest themselves as" bumps "and / or" knots "on the lower limbs. The instrumental diagnosis of varicose veins in the legs is ultrasound Dopplerography of the veins. to obtain information on the anatomy and hemodynamics of the venous bed, simultaneously viewing the vessel being studied, it will determine the direction of the blood flow and its parameters. In addition to ultrasound, a method such as venography with contrast is also used. It allows you to visualize the 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 the recovery / improvement of blood flow, the prevention of complications and the improvement of the quality of life of the patient ", explains expert Ekaterina Yesakova.
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.
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. This 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 cosmetic result is low.
Conservative therapy is aimed at relieving the symptoms of pathology, but does not lead to recovery.
The phlebologist surgeon identifies two important aspects in the prevention and treatment of varicose veins:
- Compression therapy.The prevention of varicose veins or its treatment necessarily includes compression therapy. Special knitting creates a certain pressure on different parts of the leg, contributes to the correct movement of venous blood. It exerts maximum pressure in the ankle area, which decreases at the level of the lower leg or the thigh, depending on whether it is in stockings, stockings or tights. It turns out that the larger the leg area, the less 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 stockings show themselves to those who work on the computer, they don't move much. Such products should be used during intense physical exertion, sports, during pregnancy and on long journeys. It is also worth wearing knitwear for preventive purposes if one of the relatives is concerned about vein problems.
- Medical therapy.It includes the intake of venotonic, the main active ingredient of which is diosmin. Also, the doctor prescribes heparin-containing ointments and creams.
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 minimized. The aesthetic problem is solved, the patient is no longer bothered by the veins protruding from the legs.
It should be borne in mind that none of the methods of treating varicose veins offers a full guarantee of elimination of the pathology.
Along with the 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 the nutritional recommendations for eliminating inflammatory processes in the intestine, since the state of human health and, consequently, the quality of life depends on the state of the gastrointestinal tract.
"To maintain an optimal weight, it is important to observe the calorie content of the daily diet, check 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 the viscosity of the blood and observing the drinking regimen. Alcoholic beverages, sweets, pastries, flour products should be excluded.
The diet should contain a sufficient amount of protein, sources of collagen: broths of bones, 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, tea.
"You have 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.
In addition, 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 organism as a whole, as well as the formation of varicose veins due to stagnant processes in the pelvis "adds expert.
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.
In addition, 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 take a hot bath;
- get rid of excess weight (each kilogram increases the load on the ships);
- refuse stockings with tight elastic bands or tight jeans;
- do not sit cross-legged;
- making 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;
- take fresh foot baths in the evening;
- if the work involves a long stay in one position, periodically change the position of the body;
- monitor diet, minimize the use of tea and coffee.