Many of us might have experienced pain in the lower part of our legs with swelling. This is caused when the veins dilate and bundle up within. Scientifically, this bundling up of veins is known as Varicose Veins .It is a type of venous disease which may take deeper roots and be extremely painful. During the initial phases, it remains harmless but at the later stages it is susceptible to turn ulcerous. To prevent the above cited stages, proper precautions must be taken. To treat Varicose Veins disease, we have to go deeper into understanding the causes and symptoms associated with it and how to treat it.

WHAT IS VARICOSE VEINS DISEASE?

These veins are located at the lower part of our limbs (thigh or calf or ankle area). These veins are elongated and dilated veins which when bundled up, suffer from restricted blood flow and appear dark purple in colour on the surface of the skin Varicose veins can turn painful during movements like walking, running, climbing steps. Sometimes these can be itchy.

CAUSES OF VARICOSE VEINS DISEASE:

The varicose veins occur due to the stagnation of blood in the veins. As we know, the heart pumps oxygenated blood throughout the body, supplied by a network of arteries. The deoxygenated blood then returns to the heart via these veins. When the deoxygenated blood comes back from the legs towards the heart, against the gravitational force, the valves present inside the veins help in pushing the blood in an upward direction. When these valves and the walls of the veins become weak and damaged, the venous blood becomes stagnant in the leg and ankles. As a result, the individual suffers from cramps in the leg and calf muscles and swelling around the ankles. Due to the restricted flow of blood, the skin may also turn purple in appearance. If not diagnosed on time, the problem may intensify and become ulcerous. Some other symptoms include itchiness around the skin.

SYMPTOMS OF VARICOSE VEINS DISEASE:

  • Muscle cramp
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Ache and throbbing sensation in the leg
  • Burning sensation
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Discoloration on the skin; Skin turns bluish black or purple in colour around the affected area like thighs, calves and ankles.

FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED BEFORE THE TREATMENT:

  • General health condition
  • Size of the vein
  • Position of the veins
  • Severity of the vein
There are various invasive and less invasive treatments available to cure Varicose Veins. Some of these treatments are widely popular and effective in successfully treating varicose veins.

Some minimum ablative procedures are:

  • Radio frequency ablation
  • Endovenous laser treatment ( EVLT/ EVLA)
  • Ultrasound guided foam sclerotherapy
  • Mechanical Chemo ablation
  • Graduated compression stocks
  • Some medicated drugs.
During the initial stage of Varicose Veins, doctors often prescribe medicated drugs like Daflon or vino active drugs to uncoil the veins and soothe the pain.

Graduated compression stockings are also advised which help in pushing the blood upwards back to the heart. Incase of severe cases, minimum ablative treatments are suggested. These treatments are easily accessible and provide adequate relief in minimum recovery time. Ablative treatment procedures usually take around 30 minutes to complete post which patients can walk and participate in normal activities.

In radio frequency ablation, a needle is inserted in the veins under scan guidance. By passing the radio frequency ablation catheter, the veins are shrunk to deploy them in the wall segment of the ankle and the thigh region .This prevents the leakage of blood from the thigh segment in to the legs and ankles further preventing the formation of varicose veins. The entire procedure can be completed in 30 minutes without the need of general anaesthesia. A sleeping injection is sufficient to provide optimum rest after the procedure is completed.

Another process used to treat severe Varicose Veins is known as Endovenous Laser Treatment. In this process, the surgeon first draws a mark on the leg.

This area is then scanned through an Ultrasound that is used to guide EVLT sheath into the leaking vein. A tape is positioned at the marked area on top of the leg. To minimize any sensation, a small amount of anaesthetic Drug is injected around the veins. The procedure involves infusing of saline solutions in the leg to protect and compress the surrounding nerves and skin from the laser beams. Once the catheter sheath is positioned at the correct place, laser beams are activated. The veins then close and the blood is restricted from flowing through these veins .Soon, the laser and the sheath is gradually withdrawn down the veins. This closes the full length of the vein and the vein becomes a harmless fibrous tissue which is gradually absorbed by the body

For very severe cases, doctors recommend Mechanical chemo ablation in the form of sclerosant. In this process, sclerosant is injected in to the veins emerging from the thigh segment; just below the knee joint .This ablates the entire segment of the vein. This treatment is highly successful in curing superficial varicose vein.

For smaller veins affected by this disease, foam sclerotherapy is provided. Foam sclerotherapy involves injecting a sclerosant in to the smaller branches and make the veins disappear, thus allowing free flow of the blood.

The above treatments are less ablative as well as have minimum recovery time.

Homeopathic treatments are also available but they may not cure the varicose veins completely. Instead, homeopathic treatments are only helpful in reducing the pain and discomfort caused by Varicose Veins. Some of the most popular Homeopathic medicines used to reduce Varicose Veins pain are Hemamalis, Arnica, pulsatila, calc carb, carboveg, paeonia and Fluoric acid .

In Ayurveda few herbs like Amla, Aswagandha, Shatavari, Brahmi etc are used as potent drugs to cure varicose veins.

Few simple remedies or measures of varicose veins :

  • Exercise like walking, cycling and yoga can give relieve as it increases blood circulation.
  • Compression stockings increase the blood flow in upward direction.
  • Proper diet rich in Rutin is helpful in reducing Varicose Veins pain. Doctors also advise reduction in intake of red meat, spicy food, salty food and high sodium foods for patients suffering from the disease. One should eat almonds, pistachios, lentils, potatoes, leafy vegetables, fish like salmon and tuna, flax seeds, whole grain etc. and avoid food which can cause constipation as it may strain the vein and aggravate the condition.
  • Weight loss also provides significant relief. Obesity or weight gain can aggravate the condition further.
  • Flavonoid rich food should be taken. Onion, spinach, bell pepper, grapes, apples, cocoa and garlic should be consumed as these help in improving blood circulation.
  • Keep the legs always elevated at the height of your heart or above. While sleeping, a pillow can be placed below the feet to ease the pain and reduce chances of bundling up the veins. While sitting the leg should be raised and placed on the front table in a straight position.
  • Avoid sitting crossed leg as it hampers blood circulation.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Do not soak the leg in cold water.

By following the above one can manage the varicose veins effectively.

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