Veins appearing blue or dark purple, enlarged, twisting and swollen are known as Varicose veins. When faulty valves in the veins cause blood to flow along a wrong path or pool in an area, the valves malfunction, resulting in this condition called varicose veins. Such veins are large, swollen and are seen on legs and feet.
Usually, no treatment is required for varicose veins as they do not impact overall health. But if you are experiencing swollen veins causing ache, pain and discomfort, treatment is available. Home remedies also help to tame this condition when it is mild. In severe cases, a ruptured varicose vein may cause varicose ulcers on the skin that need to be treated medically.
The types of Varicose veins include:
Moderate intensity veins bulge under the skin and are significant. Moderate varicose veins are considered a cosmetic issue at the beginning because they are bluish-purple. Neglecting treatment might cause severe health issues in the future. It is vital to have a vein exam if you have moderate varicose veins to check if you have Chronic Venous Disease. The disease has many more symptoms and health complications associated with it. The moderate-intensity veins cause blood to pool in the veins instead of supporting normal blood flow to the heart.
- Severe Leaving varicose veins untreated for long can make them more disfigured. It can also result in many other severe health conditions. Chronic venous disease is most commonly found. It leads to skin and tissues thickening, skin ulcers and even discolouration and severe swelling. Severe varicose veins require repetitive treatment sessions.
Being pregnant leads to extra blood production, which in turn increases the pressure applied on the blood vessels. It can in turn cause varicose veins in pregnant women, usually on the legs, pelvic area and vulva. Women who have had multiple pregnancies are more likely to get Pelvic Congestion Syndrome. It causes severe and moderate varicose veins in the legs and pelvic area. These veins are often more painful than regular varicose veins.
- Spider Veins
Spider veins appear like a spider web or tree branches and are considered a mere cosmetic issue. The risk of getting dermatitis, chronic aching and skin ulcers because of spider veins increases with time. The most relieving news about spider veins is that they are effortless to treat, and simple lifestyle changes can help cure them. Wearing compression stockings can also support this condition.
Every condition wherein blood flow is affected has a high risk of complications with it. In the majority of cases of varicose veins, no complications are seen, but if they do, they may be-
- A blood clot in the veins causes them to become inflamed. (Thrombophlebitis)
- Chronic venous insufficiency- Weak blood flow causes inefficiency in exchanging oxygen, nutrients and other waste material between the skin and blood. Varicose veins do not directly cause this condition, but they are closely connected.
The other health issues related to chronic venous insufficiency are varicose eczema, the condition of hard and tight skin (lipodermatosclerosis) and venous ulcers (form around ankles and are preceded by discoloured area). A medical examination is needed.
Usually painless, the condition may or may not be accompanied by the following symptoms-
- Blue or dark purple veins
- Swollen, twisted and lumpy veins
Depending on the patient, other symptoms include-
- The fat present in the skin above the ankle hardens and causes the skin to shrink, known as lipodermatosclerosis.
- Ankles get swollen.
- Heaviness in legs, particularly after exercising or at night time.
- Aching legs.
- Longer bleeding time than usual if an injury is sustained.
- Restless legs syndrome.
- Spider veins in the affected leg (telangiectasia)
- Brownish or Blue colour shiny discolouration of skin near the varicose veins.
- The skin near the affected area becomes red, dry and itchy (venous eczema or stasis dermatitis)
- Leg cramps when the patient stands up suddenly.
- Irregular white patches similar to scars appear at the ankles (atrophie Blanche)
The veins have valves that allow a one-directional flow of blood. Stretching of these valves can make them weaker, allowing the reverse flow of blood as well. It leads to the accumulation of blood in veins causing them to swell and enlarge in size. Veins that are furthest from the heart are more often affected because gravity prevents blood from flowing back to the heart. Conditions that put pressure on the abdomen like pregnancy, constipation and tumours, can cause varicose veins.
Potential risks mentioned below can be seen in many cases, even if you do not experience any symptoms-
It is seen that women are more prone to varicose veins than men. It may be because women's hormones tend to relax veins. Hormone therapy or birth control may contribute to this reason.
With increasing age, wear and tear of valves are seen, so the risk also increases.
Obesity leads to an increase in weight, which can be a potential risk for developing varicose veins.
Family inheritance is commonly observed for this disease.
- Certain Jobs
An individual who spends most time standing at the job is at a higher risk of developing varicose veins.
A visually focused physical exam can help a doctor confirm the diagnosis for varicose veins. The patient is asked to stand as the doctor checks for swelling. Other tests include-
- Doppler Test
It is an ultrasound scan suggested to check the blood flow and look for any blood clots that are present in the veins.
- Colour Duplex Ultrasound Scan
The test helps to detect any abnormalities in veins and measure blood flow speed by providing colour images of veins.
Additionally, the doctor can ask for symptoms and depending on them, refer you to a vascular specialist.
Mostly, varicose veins can be treated at home, like using compression stockings to reduce pressure in veins. If the veins need to be destroyed, then ablation therapy is recommended. Treatment of mild-moderate varicose veins is best done with homoeopathy. Homoeopathy helps reduce swelling, pain, and varicosities and treats accompanying conditions like varicose ulcers.
Benefits of homoeopathy include-
- A holistic approach to treatment
- Safe and gentle medication
- Medicines prescribed based on your traits
- Blood flow and muscle tone is enhanced
- It reinforces the valves present in veins
- Overall improvement of health and management of symptoms
- No side effects because the use of natural ingredients
Many researchers say that bluish discolouration and swelling can be effectively controlled with proper and continuous homoeopathic treatment. Besides medication, homoeopathy doctors can offer effective lifestyle management, diet and exercise-related suggestions to treat varicose veins.