Almost 67% of women and 32% of men suffer from varicose veins - a disease of the blood vessels in the lower extremities. According to official statistics, the average duration of venous disease at the time of visiting a phlebologist is more than 12 years. In addition, the disease responds well to conservative treatment in the early stages.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are a condition in which the veins increase in size and appear lumpy, arched, or twisted. Most often the disease manifests itself on the legs and feet.
Symptoms of the disease:
- Heaviness in the legs
- "Buzz" in the calf area,
- Change in the shape and size of the veins.
The cause of the disease is a violation of the valve apparatus of the veins. Blood flows smoothly to the heart through a healthy vein. Reverse blood flow is controlled by valves that open and close to allow blood to flow through. When the valves are weakened or damaged, gravity can collect blood in the veins around the calves and feet, eventually causing them to swell and enlarge (varicose veins).
Treating varicose veins without surgery
As a rule, the disease progresses gradually: At the end of the day, a slight feeling of heaviness may appear in the legs, a barely noticeable violet-blue "network" of capillaries appears under the skin, and then individual venous nodules swell. But even at this stage, the disease requires treatment.
Treatment of varicose veins is necessary in:
- Relief of unpleasant symptoms;
- Prevention of complications such as edema, thrombophlebitis or ulcers.
Most often, the treatment of varicose veins begins with conservative methods:
- Compression garments,
- local remedies: ointments and gels,
- folk methods of treatment.
"When a doctor deals with the treatment of varicose veins, patients are advised to undergo examinations such as ultrasound of the veins of the lower extremities, blood tests for coagulation, to rule out diabetes mellitus. Based on the results of these tests, the doctor will choose the correct treatment. As a rule, systemic drugs are prescribed in conjunction with phlebotonics that allow you to get rid of the symptoms of varicose veins. In addition, the local treatment of varicose veins has proven itself well - these are various gels and, of course, compression stockings, without which the treatment of varicose veins is no longer possible. Gels are needed to improve blood circulation in the legs, eliminate manifestations of venous stasis, prevent thrombosis "- Ivan Pakhomov, phlebologist, surgeon.
Medical treatment of varicose veins
To treat pain, heaviness and swelling of the legs, venotonic drugs can be used - systemic drugs that have a complex effect on the entire venous system, especially the venous walls, which have lost their tone and the capillaries are damaged, and help veinsto reduce traffic jams.
Venotonics help strengthen the walls of blood vessels, increase venous tone, ensure lymphatic drainage, and normalize capillary permeability.
Sometimes, in addition to venotonics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to relieve the uncomfortable pain sensations that can be associated with varicose veins.
Treatment of varicose veins with compression therapy
Compression therapy is considered an effective treatment for varicose veins in the early stages of the disease. The stockings ensure a constant differential pressure on the legs. They narrow superficial arteries and veins and help the venous valves function properly so that the blood does not stagnate, but rather flows back to the heart. Compression stockings should be worn daily.
Local remedies for treating varicose veins
To relieve the first symptoms of venous diseases, you can also use local preparations: gel, ointment or cream, which will help with unpleasant symptoms of the disease - puffiness, a feeling of heaviness. Topical products cannot penetrate deep enough that they cannot fully cure varicose veins or spider veins, but they have worked well as part of a comprehensive varicose vein treatment.
Treatment of varicose veins with folk remedies
Most patients try to solve the problem with the help of folk remedies before seeking help from a doctor.
Traditional medicine offers various methods of treating varicose veins: local compresses, tinctures for oral administration, herbal baths, rubbing with apple cider vinegar, homemade ointments according to the recipe of the "grandmother".
Treatment with folk remedies has several risk factors:
- As a rule, it happens uncontrollably - a person does not seek help from a specialist, but heals himself, as a result of which he may not notice the progression of the disease.
- Some plants can cause allergic reactions.
- The effect of this treatment has not been proven.
"I would like to mention the hirudotherapy from the folk treatment methods. This method works very well, but it should be remembered that leeches should not be placed directly on the affected veins, this can lead to inflammation and bleeding and, in the future, if surgery is required, it will make the life of surgeons much more difficult. - Phlebologist, surgeon.
Regular exercise, especially walking and bending the foot, promotes blood circulation in the calf area.
Treatment and prevention of varicose veins at home
Although there are many drugs available to treat varicose veins, it is important not only to take medication but also to take care of yourself every day to reduce the risk of complications from varicose veins.
- Wearing compression stockings. . For independent home use, you can wear stockings with a compression pressure of 20-30, but it is better to consult a specialist.
- Lifting the legs. Lifting your legs can help reduce swelling and other symptoms if you have mild to moderate varicose veins. In the evening, lie down and lift your legs above your head to allow blood to flow.
- Moisturizing the skin. The skin is the first line of defense. It protects your internal organs, including your veins. Hence, hydrating your skin on a daily basis is very important to keep it healthy, especially if it is dry or cracked.
Prevention of varicose veins of the legs
Varicose veins arise for a variety of reasons. Risk factors include age, family history, pregnancy, obesity, hormone replacement therapy or hormonal contraceptives, and prolonged static posture. Some of these risk factors, such as family history or age, are difficult to rule out, but there are prevention methods that can help reduce the risk of developing varicose veins or slow the progression of varicose veins.
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Standing or sitting in one position for long periods of time makes it harder for blood to flow through the veins of the legs against gravity. This increases the pressure in the veins. Ultimately, this can lead to a build-up of blood around the ankles, swelling and pain in the feet and calves. Exercise lowers venous pressure and improves blood flow. If you have to spend all day at a desk in the office, take short breaks and walk whenever possible.
- Bring movement into your life. If you don't want to work out in the gym, start your day with exercising and take at least 10, 000 steps each day. Appropriate activity can help you avoid weight gain by reducing the stress on your legs. Swimming, cycling, yoga, and stretching are good for vein health as these activities train the calf muscles without the risk of injury and improve blood circulation. Moderate exercise can also help with high blood pressure, one of the risk factors for varicose veins.
- Drink enough water throughout the day. This is the key to a healthy cycle.
- Eat a low-salt diet. Excessive sodium intake leads to water retention in the body.
- Include foods rich in potassium in your diet. Potassium is essential for the proper functioning of nerves and muscles, maintaining heart rate, and regulating fluid levels. Its low value can lead to water retention.
- Avoid high heels. High heels of any kind can put undue strain on your feet.
- Don't sit cross-legged. This habit can put undue pressure on the legs and affect normal blood flow.
"The prevention of varicose veins is a limitation of the static load on the lower extremities. It is recommended to avoid standing and sitting for long periods of time if possible. If this is not possible due to your activity, it is recommended to use preventive compression stockings and physical therapy exercises, "says phlebologist, surgeon.