Published On: Sun, Mar 24th, 2013

Varicose Veins – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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are an abnormal condition wherein the superficial veins on the legs are enlarged and become tortuous and sometimes produce and itching. In most of the cases varicose veins are not harmful except giving an ugly appearance. The exact cause for development of varicose veins is not known. The veins in the legs which carry impure blood to the heart some times become weak and loose their elasticity. With the result they bulge and become tortuous underneath the skin. It is also seen in some pregnant women and they become normal after delivery which is a normal condition.

English: The illustration shows how a varicose...

The illustration shows how a varicose vein forms in a leg. Figure A shows a normal vein with a working valve and normal blood flow. Figure B shows a varicose vein with a deformed valve, abnormal blood flow, and thin, stretched walls. The middle image shows where varicose veins might appear in a leg.

What are the causes of the varicose veins?

  • Varicose veins are seen in some families suggesting a genetic factor involved in its formation.
  • It is very common in people standing or sitting continuously. House wives, traffic police people etc who stand continuously are most affected people.
  • It is also common in pregnant women due to hormonal changes.
  • Lifting heavy objects cause weakness of the veins and predispose for the development of varicose veins.
  • Obesity also favors the development of varicose veins.
  • It is also seen in persons with little or no exercise.

What are the symptoms of varicose veins?

  • They appear on the legs with raised and enlarged veins in a tortuous manner.
  • In long standing cases they may itch resulting in the formation of ulcers due to scratching requiring medical treatment.
  • Some times the varicose veins bleed which is a serious problem requires immediate attention to control it.
  • Swelling of the ankles.

How varicose veins be diagnosed?

  • By their appearance underneath the skin they can be identified easily.
  • By physical examination is usually sufficient to diagnose.
  • Rarely if deeper veins are suspected ultrasound examination will be done.

Treatment of varicose veins:

  • In milder cases wearing of stockings gives relief from the varicose veins. The stockings compress the veins and prevent stasis of blood in the veins.
  • In severe cases surgery is done to excise the superficial veins to control.
  • In bad cases early treatment should be done to prevent complications.
  • Vitamin C and E should be taken by people suffering with varicose veins to strengthen the veins.

Prevention of formation of varicose veins:

  • Varicose veins can be prevented if some of the following measures are taken.
  • Avoid continuous sitting or standing.
  • Resting of the leg by keeping on a stool while working for long times helps to prevent accumulation of blood in the veins.
  • Avoid crossing of legs.
  • Prevent constipation by taking fibrous food, and green .

Some home remedies for varicose veins:

  • Maintain good health by taking nutritious and healthy food like fruits, all grain food, and raw vegetables.
  • Fasting 2-3 times in a month and maintaining by fruit juices helps in preventing varicose veins.
  • When constipation is there a lukewarm enema can be done for emptying the bowels.
  • Taking a bath of Epsom salt (Magnesium sulphate) for the legs helps in curing the varicose veins
  • Rosemary oil can be massaged on the affected areas for a relief.
  • Application of apple cider vinegar on the affected areas helps in shrinkage of the veins.
  • Cold water and hot water baths also helps in giving a relief.
  • Herbs like Gotu kola and Horse chestnut can be tried which are said to give relief from the varicose veins.
  • Exercise regularly to prevent complications from the varicose veins.
  • Reduce weight if overweight.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing including foot wear, underwear etc to prevent movement of blood.
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