What causes varicose veins

Varicose veins are a pathological disease that results from chronic venous insufficiency, in which the vein walls become thinner, the lumen of the veins increases and aneurysm-like enlargements (nodes) form. Visually, the veins are very swollen, blue, twisted. It manifests itself as a feeling of heaviness in the legs and their tiredness, swelling of the feet and legs, night cramps in the legs.

Varicose veins in the legs

The causes of varicose veins

In clinical phlebology, a number of provoking factors that lead to varicose veins are distinguished:

  1. Working on the legs or standing for long periods.
  2. Use socks with strong elastic bands that keep your legs pressed together.
  3. Tissue weakness as a result of congenital characteristics.
  4. Walk upright. The legs are subject to increased stress on the entire body. This factor is dangerous for people whose work requires standing for long periods of time.
  5. Genetic predisposition. If the parents had varicose veins, then with a 70% chance the child will also develop pathology. True, the risks can be reduced and avoided. To do this, you just do not need to create provoking factors. With a genetic predisposition, varicose veins appear very early.
  6. Way of life. When a person isn't active enough, the risk of varicose veins increases. Phlebologists call this condition "computerized varicose veins".
  7. Hormonal disorders and fetal wear. During pregnancy, varicose veins develop due to an increase in blood volume, as well as compression of the veins from an enlarged uterus. With hormonal disorders, the production of progesterone increases and estrogen synthesis decreases, which increases blood clotting.
  8. Obstacles to blood flow. This condition occurs with the formation of blood clots and the development of tumors.
  9. Obesity. Obesity increases the stress on the legs, impaired blood circulation and extra pounds cause an increase in abdominal pressure, which changes the flow of blood.
  10. Diabetes. In the event of illness, a high proportion of sugar begins to damage the vascular system, which leads to the formation of blood clots.
  11. Stress and nervous disorders affect blood vessels, lead to the development of varicose veins.
  12. Alcohol abuse. Alcohol can dry out the body, and if consumed in excess, blood thickens, veins clogged and blood flow interrupted.
  13. Imbalanced diet. If the body does not receive vitamins C, E, P, as well as useful microelements: blood circulation is disturbed, the condition of the vessels deteriorates, which leads to varicose veins.
  14. Frequent stool retention. When this happens, abdominal pressure increases and blood flow in the legs is impaired.
  15. Kidney and heart pathology.
  16. Overdose of medication to increase blood clotting.

Depending on the cause of the development of the disease, there are 3 main stages of varicose veins:

  • Compensation.
  • Subcompensation.
  • Decompensation.

Varicose veins are not a serious pathology, but their complications are terrible.

Notice! When the disease occurs, it will not go away on its own. Early access to a specialist leads to serious violations that are dangerous.

The main symptoms of varicose veins

The main signs of varicose veins include:

  1. The appearance of swelling on the legs at the end of the day, in the evening. The very first symptom is possible, especially when wearing tight shoes. After a normal rest in the morning, the swelling will go away.
  2. Heaviness in the legs. A person feels not only heaviness, but also a burst in the calves, especially after a day of work. The symptom is more common in people who do sedentary work. If you go for a walk in the evening and get enough rest, symptoms will go away in the morning but reappear in the evening.
  3. Intense heat in the legs, namely in the calves.
  4. Cramps at night constricting the calves.
  5. The appearance of a vascular network on the legs (blue-red "stars").
  6. Increased veins in the legs (as if protruding from the skin). This symptom develops as one of the last and speaks of pronounced varicose veins.

Complications from varicose veins

The complicated course of varicose veins is expressed by:

  • Thrombophlebitis in an acute form.
  • Trophic ulcers.
  • Phlebothrombosis.
  • Bleeding.

Diagnosis of varicose veins

At the beginning of the development of varicose veins, symptoms are usually not pronounced, often pain in the legs and other sensations are attributed to fatigue.

The patient does not immediately decide to see a doctor (if the veins swell and this can be seen with the naked eye).

A phlebologist is engaged in the diagnosis of varicose veins, the diagnosis is made on the basis of a conversation with a patient, an internal examination, as well as data from diagnostic studies, in particular:

  • Color duplex examination. It enables the measurement of the speed and direction of the blood. The data enables the blood flow to be mapped.
  • Venography. Shows the external properties of the veins, the function of the valves. The method is used in extreme cases.
  • Tourniquet tests - allow you to determine the patency of the veins and the condition of the valves.
  • Doppler ultrasound - An assessment of the flow of blood in a specific vessel is performed.

The consequences of varicose veins on the legs

The danger lies not in varicose veins themselves, but in the complications and consequences that follow, which become a real threat to human life. Let's take a closer look.

Venous insufficiency

This state comprises several development steps. At the onset of venous insufficiency, the changes are insignificant and horizontal venous reflux occurs.

There are 4 levels:

  1. Zero. There are no characteristic symptoms, there is only temporary swelling of the legs, veins are easily visible.
  2. First. It is accompanied by strong varicose veins in the legs, but there are no trophic failures.
  3. Second. The obvious appearance of veins on the legs with a large number of knots, the legs are affected by eczema and ulcers.
  4. Third. Persistent trophic disorder that cannot be stopped with medication.


This complication is characterized by the appearance of blood clots, which clog the vessels. The blood becomes viscous, which makes it difficult to drain it. The thighs and lower legs are affected. A phlebologist can easily identify a complication by pronounced changes:

  • Redness.
  • Pains.
  • Weakness.
  • Consolidation of substances.

In the initial stage, outpatient therapy is carried out if the varicose veins have not reached the lower leg.

For treatment are used:

  • Nonsteroidal drugs used to relieve inflammation.
  • Anticoagulants.
  • Angioprotectors.
  • Disaggregants.

Trophic ulcer

A trophic ulcer always occurs in advanced cases when the blood flow is severely impaired. Typical signs of complications:

  • Slow education.
  • Darkening of the skin on the legs, heavy pigmentation.

Pulmonary embolism

Main development risks:

  1. Oncology.
  2. Surgical intervention.
  3. Heart failure.
  4. Thrombophilia.
  5. Longer lying.

Complications are more likely to occur in women, development is also possible in children. A pulmonary embolism can be identified by the following symptoms:

  1. Chest pain.
  2. Temperature rise.
  3. Tachycardia.
  4. Cough up blood.
  5. To cough.
  6. Panting.
  7. Dyspnoea.

Treatment and prevention of varicose veins

There are several main types of treatments for varicose veins today:

  • Conservative treatment. The technique depends on the stage of the disease. They use drug therapy, sclerotherapy of the affected veins, and compression treatment.
  • Surgery. This method includes different types of surgery: radio frequency obliteration of veins, endovenous thermal occlusion, varadi surgery, and laser coagulation of veins.

The essence of prevention is to keep blood vessels in a healthy condition and prevent disorders of the venous circulation.

Preventive measures are also indicated for healthy people who can develop varicose veins due to genetics or standing work, as well as for people already suffering from varicose veins.

What are varicose veins, why do they occur?

The disease causes the veins in the legs to enlarge so much that the skin becomes covered with bumps. In fact, they expand and get longer.

This is the "fault" of the vessels or their changes and insufficiency of the venous valves. The provoking factor is decreased tone, poor elasticity of the veins.

In this case, it creates the force of gravity that prevents blood flow. This contributes to the formation of blood congestion in the leg veins. This in turn leads to vascular deformation.

This phenomenon is more common in the calves and under the knees from the back of the leg. According to statisticians, every tenth inhabitant has varicose veins.

The most common defect of the venous valves of the congenital type. During pregnancy, overweight, sedentary work, low physical activity, a lot of pressure is put on the veins. This leads to a circulatory disorder in the lower extremities.

Symptoms of varicose veins in the legs

The initial stage of varicose veins is characterized by the following sensations:

  1. When walking or standing for long periods of time, pain of the "buzzing" type can be felt in the area of the lower leg and foot. Without timely rest, the feeling will only get stronger.
  2. In the evening, you may notice that your legs are swollen.
  3. Striking ornament from vessels on the shinbone region.
  4. Muscle cramps at night (cramps in the legs while sleeping).

The swelling of the legs is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  1. When walking long distances, greatly enlarged veins are visible in the lower leg area and nodules appear.
  2. With a disturbed blood supply, disorders of a trophic nature appear (the color of the skin on the legs changes due to the accumulation of pigments, a brown or black tint appears).
  3. The skin becomes inflamed and dermatitis develops.
  4. In more severe cases, skin atrophy (sunken areas can be seen on the feet or lower legs).
  5. Such symptoms lead to the appearance of a trophic ulcer.
  6. An ulcer that does not tend to heal develops into gangrene.


The following reasons can cause varicose veins:

Genetic predisposition

Doctors have found that 60% of the risk of varicose veins is hereditary.

If parents have problems with veins, then the peculiarity of the structure of blood vessels can be transferred to children.

Because of this, under the influence of a number of factors, a disease is formed. Genetics affect the propensity to produce low levels of collagen and elastin. That leads to:

  • to weaken the walls of blood vessels in the area of the legs;
  • abnormal development of the valve apparatus of the legs or a disordered structure from the anatomical side;
  • poorly developed layer of the vein walls.

Bad habits

The presence of an incorrect lifestyle directly affects the appearance of varicose veins.


Smoking cigarettes acts as a provocateur in diseases of the vascular system in the lower extremities.

With addiction to nicotine, the blood becomes thicker, with the appearance of varicose veins, blood clots form. Until you quit smoking completely, any leg treatment you do won't make sense.


Excessive alcohol consumption affects the presence of venous pathology. They lead to a dehydration of the body, as a result of which the tissue and the vessels next to the vessels "feel" a lack of nutrients.

Ethyl alcohol provokes thrombosis, which occurs when erythrocytes stick together (agglutination).

The first step in treating varicose veins is to completely refuse alcohol.

Weak physical activity

If you sit down and do not do sports, the muscles in the leg area are weakened and the blood flow and the work of the endocrine system are disturbed.

Against this background, the risk of blood stagnation develops. It is in these conditions that varicose veins develop successfully.

For prevention, consider walking to work, swimming, or going to the gym whenever possible.


Minimal exercise and abuse of unhealthy foods (fast foods, fried foods) lead to obesity.

The manifestation of varicose veins directly depends on what indicators a person has on the scales. The higher the number, the more severe the leg disease is.

With this factor, the treatment of varicose veins must be accompanied by a special diet.

Disturbed hormonal background

When the body is not working properly at the hormonal level, it is one of the main reasons why varicose veins appear.

This explains why many women in position suffer from leg discomfort. A predisposition to varicose veins can develop after childbirth or during menopause.

How to treat varicose veins with folk remedies

Changes in veins and blood vessels cannot be managed just by taking medication or therapy under medical supervision.

The composition of many plants and fruits contains substances that put the condition of the legs in order. Horse chestnut, for example, has been used against varicose veins for a long time and is very effective.

1. Nutmeg

The components of the walnut are a natural pain reliever, promote blood circulation and at the same time reduce standing spots.

Provide skin tissue restoration. This action is aimed at speeding up the healing process of trophic ulcers that arise with varicose veins.

It is used to treat self-ground nuts (a coffee grinder is required) or ready-made powder from the spice department.

How to use

  • Nut powder (1 teaspoon) is poured into a glass of boiling water (200 ml).
  • 1 teaspoon of honey (light liquid) is introduced.
  • After stirring, the product is infused for 1 hour at room temperature.

When treating varicose veins, you need to drink a glass of the remedy an hour before the first meal every day.

Two hours later you will need to have another glass of infusion. The treatment must be repeated every day for a year. The effectiveness of the reception will be felt in a month.

2. Unripe tomatoes

Compresses are made from the fruits, which must be applied to the places on the legs where there are nodules or veins are swollen.

The application of this method is aimed at relieving pain in the hot summer. At this point, the tomatoes are just beginning to set.

The effect is based on lycopene, which is found in high concentrations in green tomatoes.

It affects the restoration of the elasticity of blood vessels, while protecting their walls from free radicals.

How to use

  • Cut the green tomatoes into slices.
  • Apply to the surface of the calf and the area under the knee joints.
  • Fix with a bandage (for safety, you can use a special mesh for bandages).
  • Remove the compress after the night.

Traditional medicine recommends tomato therapy all year round. Outside the season you can use the already ripe fruits.

3. Infusion of durian seeds

Important! You need to use such a recipe with extreme caution due to the toxic effect of seeds that occurs due to the high concentration of scopolamine, atropine and hyoscyamine in them.

How to cook

  • Grind 100 grams of seeds, carefully removed from the box, in a coffee grinder or mortar (it is advisable to buy a special device that does not come into contact with food).
  • Pour the powder into a jar with a tight lid and fill it up with vodka (500 ml).
  • Protect from sunlight (use cupboard or pantry), leave to rest for 2 weeks. Shake it every day.

When treating varicose veins, you need to gradually increase the concentration of the infusion. The first dose should be 15 drops of durian diluted in 100 ml. Drink water.

You need to drink 2 hours before meals once a day. Increase the amount of infusion added to the water by 2 drops per day. The maximum amount should be 25 drops, reception lasts for a month.

4. Garlic

The items rich in garlic cloves have a positive trend in the treatment of varicose veins. A paste with added oils will help normalize blood flow.

How to cook

  • Divide the clove of garlic into cloves, peel and peel.
  • Rub it into the pulp in the foot or give it through a special press.
  • Combine one part garlic and two parts butter in a suitable small jar with a screw cap.

The mass is used as a compress during a night's sleep. It is applied to the calf area or under the knee joints. The legs are wrapped with parchment and weakly fixed with a bandage that has a warming effect (scarf, scarf).

After waking up, it is necessary to remove the compress and rinse the legs under warm running water. You need to use a mixture of garlic and oil without stopping every night for a month.

Without missing a single time, the veins will become less noticeable after the treatment time and then completely restore their normal condition.

It is more effective to use the prescription at the initial stage, when the first signs of varicose veins appear.

The causes of varicose veins

The causes of bloated leg veins can be as follows:

  1. Obesity (most common). This is due to the pressure of excess weight on the vessels of the lower extremities;
  2. Pregnancy. Excessive exposure during this time can lead to disease;
  3. Long stay on the legs. Because of this, the disease develops in those who have to stand for a long time, for example, salespeople, hairdressers, etc. ;
  4. Pelvic organ tumors. They can compress the pelvic veins, which makes it difficult for the blood to drain;
  5. Disease of the walls of the venous vessels. It is accompanied by the proliferation of connective tissue, the thickening of the walls, impaired blood circulation and the formation of blood clots;
  6. Congenital insufficiency of the venous valves - blood flow back to the legs.

Symptoms of varicose veins of the lower extremities

This disease can develop for a very long time, up to decades. The initial stages are often asymptomatic. Only sometimes, after standing for a long time, can a person be bothered by the heaviness, aching pain, and cramps in the calves.

Later stages are manifested by severe symptoms:

  • Bluish, protruding, gnarled veins;
  • Swelling of the calves in the evening;
  • Pain, burning, warmth along the affected vessels;
  • Cramps at night;
  • Hyperpigmentation and thinning of the skin;
  • Itchy skin.

How can varicose veins on the legs be cured?

The earlier you start therapy, the more successful the result will be. The approach to treating the disease is complex: therapy includes physical therapy, drugs, diet.


This procedure effectively improves blood flow to the veins. Massage should only be performed by a specialist, since improper behavior can only aggravate the course of the disease.


The limbs affected by varicose veins are wrapped with special bandages. By doing this, you can stop the disease from getting worse and reduce symptoms. Special elastic compression stockings are used for a similar purpose.


The therapeutic complex includes pain relievers, anti-inflammatory, blood-thinning drugs, and vitamins. Only a doctor can prescribe medication. Arbitrary use of medication can harm the body.

Special ointments

Without a prescription, almost any pharmacy can buy products for external use: ointments, gels and vein creams. These complement the treatment complex. It should be noted that these are never the basis of therapy.

Surgical intervention

In severe cases, when the disease is very advanced, they resort to surgical intervention: the varicose vein is removed.

Diet treatment

Patients have been shown to eat foods that are high in protein, vitamins and minerals and low in cholesterol. Useful substances strengthen the walls of blood vessels and increase their elasticity. It is recommended to add more seafood (shrimp, squid, sea fish, seaweed), fermented milk and fresh fruit to the menu. Broths, marinades, smoked meats, alcohol and coffee are worth cutting back on or eliminating altogether.

Weight control

Obesity is the leading cause of vein malformation. If you don't lose weight, then treatment won't produce long-term results.

Correct alternation between work and rest

It makes sense for patients to lie with a pillow under their feet. If the lower limbs are taller than the body, blood will drain out of them more easily. Of course, rest should not be abused, as a sedentary lifestyle does not have the best effect on the body.

How to treat varicose veins: folk remedies

The benefits of herbs

There are many recipes that you can use at home. Herbal baths, for example, are very effective: they improve blood circulation and tighten blood vessels. It is best to use oak bark, chamomile, succession, St. John's wort, plantain for these purposes.

For ulcers and eczema

If the disease is complicated by eczema or trophic ulcers, then you can make compresses with olive and sea buckthorn oils, honey and aloe juice. Compresses have a healing effect.

Horse chestnut from varicose veins

Horse chestnut infusion is perhaps the most famous folk remedy for varicose veins in the legs. It is easy to prepare at home: Pour 50 grams of flowers with ½ l of alcohol and let them shake daily for 14 days. Then the tincture is filtered and taken orally three times a day after a meal. The duration of therapy is 7 days, followed by a break of 2 weeks.

The benefits of green tomatoes

Before going to bed, green tomato circles are applied to the affected areas of the veins and fixed with a bandage. They are removed in the morning. If you do such compresses all year round, the venous bumps will become softer, and then go away completely.

Treatment of varicose veins of the lower extremities with nutmeg

Nuts are ground into powder. Dissolve a small spoon in 200 ml of hot water, add a little honey and let it rest for 30 minutes. One glass is drunk an hour before breakfast and the same amount after 2 hours.

The first results are visible within a month. Nutmeg has pain relieving properties, prevents congestion, and improves healing of trophic ulcers.

What complications can varicose veins of the legs cause?

If you do not treat varicose veins of the lower extremities, the eczema becomes chronic, the legs become covered with non-healing wounds; the vessels bulge strongly, become gnarled, "venous stones" appear - the calcification of a blood clot.

The lumps can tear and cause bleeding. Swelling of the legs can increase and lead to "elephantiasis".

Prevention of varicose veins

Preventive measures are a whole series of methods.

This will allow you to prevent the disease from developing.

  1. Alternation between work and rest. It is especially important for those who have a hereditary predisposition to pathologies;
  2. If you have to sit a lot, it is worth changing your posture more often;
  3. You can't sit cross-legged;
  4. The wardrobe should exclude things that squeeze the legs, groin area, waist;
  5. Long, slow walks in comfortable shoes are shown. Heels should be worn as infrequently as possible;
  6. Avoid constipation as it increases pelvic blood pressure;
  7. Cycling improves the functioning of the heart and blood vessels;
  8. To swim;
  9. Morning or evening exercises;
  10. Hirudotherapy, if necessary;
  11. Normalization and weight control;
  12. Balanced nutrition;
  13. Rejection of bad habits;
  14. Cold and hot shower;
  15. Compliance with the drinking regime - approx. 1 ½ l of water per day;
  16. Exercises to promote blood circulation;
  17. Increased tone of the vein wall. To do this, they use folk recipes and drugs prescribed by a doctor.