As a general rule, varicose veins aren’t dangerous. They can be unsightly and, in some situations, cause discomfort. There are several things you can do to avoid developing varicose veins, but once they develop they’re hard to get rid of without the help of a professional.
However, if your varicose veins developed during pregnancy or due to a rapid weight gain, you may find that the veins disappear once you recover from the pregnancy and lose the weight.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Your heart and circulatory system work to route blood through the body. On the way back to the heart, some blood vessels can fail or become weak, allowing blood to pool in veins close to the surface of your skin. When this pooling becomes extreme, the vein becomes damaged and flabby, resulting in a varicose vein. Smaller blood vessels may burst, resulting in a spider vein.
Varicose veins are not a principal part of the circulatory system. The veins that do the work of carrying blood back to your heart are actually deeper within the leg.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
While anyone can get varicose veins, women are more susceptible to the condition. There are multiple factors that can cause this. Hormonal changes including puberty, pregnancy and menopause can contribute to the development of varicose veins.
Additionally, hormonal supplementation including birth control pills can weaken the valves in your veins and alter the circulation in your legs. Obesity can be a contributing factor, and aging will increase your risk of varicose vein development. Finally, gravity and spending a lot of time on your feet can contribute to the condition.
Are Varicose Veins Dangerous?
As a general rule, varicose veins are just unsightly. However, rare complications can occur.
- bleeding under the skin
can occur in some who struggle with varicose veins. Should you notice any swelling, redness or pain near the site of a known varicose vein, you should see a physician immediately.
How Do I Fight Varicose Veins?
If you know you have a strong family history of varicose veins, there are many steps you can take to limit the development of varicose veins. Maintaining a healthy weight by sticking with a diet high in fibre and low in salt is a great step on the path to a hearty circulatory system; constipation can ultimately contribute to varicose veins.
In addition to fibre, work to increase your intake of flavonoids. These compounds can be found in many fruits and vegetables, including spinach and citrus fruits. Flavonoids improve blood circulation overall.
Pay special attention to your wardrobe. Garments that apply increased pressure on the abdomen can contribute to the development of varicose veins.
Additionally, a regular exercise program and health habits that avoid prolonged periods of sitting can reduce your risk of blood pooling in the legs. If you have a job that requires a great deal of standing, try to find time in the day to get your legs elevated and relieve the pooling and pressure that causes veins to bulge.
Will Treating My Varicose Veins Hurt?
Older treatments included stripping the vein via a flexible metal rod, and many varicose vein sufferers reported a great deal of discomfort with that treatment. However, modern treatments involving heat or adhesives offer the same results with less invasive techniques.
As a general rule, varicose veins are not especially bad for your health. However, some sufferers struggle with a variety of symptoms.
- a sense of heaviness
The symptoms caused by varicose veins can make it extremely difficult to treat them naturally. For example, if your legs ache, it’s hard to come up with the energy for a walk. If you find your legs swelling or itching, you may struggle to get sufficient, healing sleep.
In short, treating your varicose veins isn’t simply a matter of cosmetics. If your veins are damaging your attempts to live a healthy lifestyle, it’s time to seek professional help.
We Can Help!
At Vein Solutions, we offer both traditional vascular surgical options and non-invasive treatments. We can help you with both varicose vein treatment and with thread or spider vein issues.
Many of the treatments we offer are an outpatient therapy and can even allow you to leave our office and go back to work. Some of our treatment options include
- cyanoacrylate glue
- laser therapy – EVLT
- radio-frequency thermal ablation – VNUS
- foam sclerotherapy
Cyanoacrylate glue addresses blood flow to the damaged part of the blood vessel that is allowing blood to pool. By sealing off this blood flow, the damaged, bulging area of the vein is no longer fed and will atrophy. Remember, primary blood flow back to the heart doesn’t occur at the skin level but deeper in the leg.
Many patients who undergo this therapy can go back to their normal routine within hours.
Laser therapy is a more invasive therapy, highly effective for more serious varicose vein cases. This therapy heats the walls of the veins and may cause some discomfort. You will be given compression stockings and will have some limitations on driving and bathing.
Radio-frequency thermal ablation is a minimally invasive therapy that can be used instead of the traditional stripping. A flexible tube is inserted into the diseased vein that applies RF energy (radio-frequency) to the tissue. This heats the tissue and seals the vein.
Foam sclerotherapy was once used only for thread or spider veins, but can now be used for larger veins. If you have been unable to have your veins treated due to health conditions that would not allow the application of heat, this treatment may be ideally suited to your needs.
The treatment of varicose veins is not only a cosmetic process. This condition can be extremely painful and disruptive. In addition, over time varicose veins can lead to serious health problems. Vein Solutions can help you with a successful treatment program especially tailored to your needs.