Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are gnarled, enlarged veins. Any vein may become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet. That’s because standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the veins of your lower body.

Varicose veins may also signal a higher risk of other circulatory problems. The condition is very common, especially in women. Around 25 percent of all adults have varicose veins.

Causes

The veins have one-way valves so that the blood can travel in only one direction. The valves may get weaker if the walls of the vein become stretched and less flexible (in-elastic). A weakened valve can allow blood to leak backward and eventually flow in the opposite direction. When this occurs, blood can accumulate in the vein(s), which then become enlarged and swollen.

Any condition that puts pressure on the abdomen has the potential to cause varicose veins; for instance,

  • Pregnancy
  • Constipation
  • Tumors (rare case)

Some potential risk factors include:

  • Age over 50
  • Standing for long periods
  • Family history of varicose veins
  • Obesity
  • Use of birth control pills
  • Menopause
  • Puberty

Symptoms

In the majority of cases, there is no pain, but signs and symptoms of varicose veins may include:

  • Twisted, swollen, and lumpy (bulging) vein
  • Blue or dark purple colored veins
  • Aching legs
  • Sensations of heaviness usually after exercise or at night
  • Longer bleeding than normal in case of any minor trauma
  • Lipodermatosclerosis (hardening of the fat under the skin resulting in the skin shrinking)
  • Ankle edema/ swollen ankles
  • Shiny appearance of skin as compared to the normal limb
  • Leg cramps
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Irregular whitish patches on ankles (Atrophie Blanche)

Precautions

Measures can be taken to prevent varicose veins from worsening, these include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Losing weight
  • Elevating the legs
  • Avoiding prolonged standing or sitting
  • Quit smoking
  • Stop alcohol consumption
  • Improve dietary regimens
  • Wear the right pair of shoes
  • Take rest intervals during long hours of standing or sitting

 Home Remedy

Here are the few tips to manage varicose veins without any side effects:

  1. Massage gently by applying the upward strokes to relieve blood pooling
  2. Use compression stockings to prevent the backflow and facilitate the smooth flow of blood
  3. Use apple cider vinegar as a part of your daily routine. Take a glass of water and add two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Stir it well and drink the mixture twice a day for one month to have positive outcomes.
  4. Cayenne pepper – miracle treatment! Add one teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder to a glass of hot water and mix it well. Drink this blend thrice a day for one or two months.

Treatment

If you don’t respond to home remedy or if your complaint is more severe, your physician may recommend one of these varicose vein treatments:

  1. Medications
  2. Sclerotherapy in which solution is injected in the varicose veins that closes the veins
  3. Laser treatments/ surgeries
  4. Ambulatory phlebectomy, the procedure in which smaller varicose veins are removed via a series of tiny skin punctures
  5. Endoscopic vein surgery
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn