Varicose veinsare varicose veins that are too stretched, irregularly shaped and twisted that lose their elasticity. Its length and width increase and look like a twisted, translucent blue stripe under the skin.
Veins become like this when the venous valve disappears or for some reason is unable to perform its function. If the valve does not function properly, blood flows back through the veins, accumulating in the lower part of the leg. As a result, the veins lose their natural shape, and a chain of various complications begins.
Patterns ofvaricose veinsare highly variable for different patients. In some patients, varicose veins are generally invisible. On the other, they protrude under the skin with twisted straps and knots. But we must not forget that the severity of the disease rarely corresponds to the severity of external manifestations.
Varicose veinsis one of the most common diseases of the vascular system. According to some estimates, about a third of the total population of Western countries suffers from varicose veins. The number of people with varicose veins increases with age, and women develop varicose veins more often than men. According to statistics, in the age group under 25, only 8% of women suffer from varicose veins, and in the older age group - from 55 years and above - the symptoms of varicose veins are detected in 64% of women.
The most common signs of varicose veins are:
These symptoms are especially noticeable after prolonged static load (sitting or standing without movement) or lifting and carrying weights. Often these symptoms appear or worsen in the evening. However, it is usually impossible to determine exactly where it hurts. If these unpleasant symptoms (fatigue, heaviness and pain) disappear after resting with the legs raised, then most likely it is caused byvaricose veins.
However, some other painful conditions can show similar symptoms. For an accurate diagnosis of the causes of the symptoms described, it is necessary to undergo an examination by a vascular surgeon.
With varicose veins, painful nocturnal spasms in the leg muscles can indeed occur (in other words, "unifying legs"). Often, cramps appear in the calf muscles and are sometimes very painful until the patient wakes up. Moreover, night cramps usually occur after a difficult day, when the patient has to stand or sit a lot.
Varicose veinsmost often occur on the surface of the lower legs (at the bottom of the legs and thighs), just under the skin. More often than not, large saphenous veins, which run along the inner surface of the foot from the ankle to the groin, suffer. This is a great saphenous vein tributary that first underwent a varicose transformation and was able to manifest itself in various forms of disease from the"venous network"and"spider veins"indeep ankle area to large varicose veins.
Varicose veinsis definitely hereditary. Scientists even believe that they managed to isolate the separate genes responsible for the development of varicose veins. It is unclear whether this gene causes damage to the venous valve or damage to the venous wall itself.
Undoubtedly, this study will help develop genetic therapy methods - perhaps the most promising method to prevent and treat varicose veins. Unfortunately, this is still a relatively distant future problem, and gene therapy is not yet available for patients with varicose veins.
Pregnancy does not cause varicose veins, but it is often a trigger factor for the appearance of varicose veins in women who are exposed to it. For example, in people with congenital insufficiency or the absence of venous valves. This fact has been proven for sure, as many pregnant women do not have varicose veins on their legs. Sometimesenlargement of varicose veinsappears only during the fourth or fifth pregnancy. And in some women, they, after appearing during pregnancy, disappear immediately after the birth of the child.
Pregnancy acts as a trigger factor forvaricose veinsdue to the fact that intra-abdominal pressure increases during pregnancy (pressure exerted by the fetus on the abdominal organs). Also, the content of female sex hormones in the blood - estrogen and progesterone - increases dramatically. These hormones in high concentrations contribute to the softening of venous walls, stretch veins, and valves cannot be closed because of this.
If there is no proper correction, a detailed picture of chronic venous insufficiency arises.
The widespread spread of varicose veins in developed countries is indeed associated with the lifestyle of the population. For example, we spend a lot of time sitting in chairs. From kindergarten to graduation, one sits at least 40 hours a week (about 5 hours in the afternoon in class, 3 hours in the evening - doing homework, watching TV, etc. - 5 days a week). Now we multiply this clock by 10 months a year, and so on - up to 17 years. Then - work in several institutions, where you have to sit more. When a person sits in a chair, the veins running down the back of the thighs are pressed, and the calf muscles (whose watery contractions help move venous blood to the heart) do not function.
Another important factor is nutrition. In Western countries, people prefer a low-carb diet. With such a diet, there is a high tendency to constipation. It also has a very negative effect on the condition of the venous valve and contributes to the transformation of varicose veins.
Why arevaricose veinsmore common in the elderly, and especially in women?
However, hormonal supplementation at the same time softens the venous wall in much the same way as increasing estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy. The side effects of these hormone pills are even more dangerous because the venous wall is getting weaker - due to natural changes in the age-related muscle layers. Therefore, more clinical studies are needed to finally clarify this issue.
Varicose veinsis divided into two main groups:
When a clot or thrombus passes through a vein, the integrity of the venous valve is disturbed and a secondary varicose vein is formed.
The clinical severity of the disease:
By the department involved in the development of a picture of chronic venous insufficiency. (superficial veins, deep veins, perforated veins).
With major pathological processes leading to the appearance of varicose veins
Spider veinsare thin, purple or red thread vessels that appear around the knees or ankles. Sometimes such vascular "spider webs" can appear on the face, near the nose. These blood vessels should not be called varicose veins. In fact, this is a slightly widened venula (the channel that connects the capillaries to the veins properly), which is located close to the surface of the skin.
Such enlarged veins appear due to increased levels of female sex hormones in the blood and are often found in women taking birth control pills. But the venula can also expand when there are varicose veins that are not manifested from the larger veins.