Varicose veins today are one of the most common diseases affecting one in four people in the world.
Scientists have been studying the pathology since ancient times. Varicose veins are divided into classifications - the types and complexity of the course of the disease.
What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins or varicose veins is a vascular disease that occurs due to swollen veins. They swell due to the fact that they lose their elasticity and begin to deform under the weight of the blood.
When the disease begins to develop, it first affects the small capillaries, and only then does it pass to the veins. Under the influence of certain factors, blood circulation in the limbs is disturbed. In order for the blood to rise, the pressure rises and pushes it out. But due to its own density, it cannot fully rise.
Thus, the remnants flow along the veins and become clogged in the so-called "pockets", which appear due to the weakening of the vessels. After a while, the accumulated blood aggregates into blood clots attacking the blood bodies - the erythrocytes to each other.
Therefore, varicose veins can be called pathological changes in the vessels, most often occurring in the lower limbs.
But it also happens on the hands and even on the genitals. The veins are elongated and can be seen through the skin. The first symptom of varicose veins is the appearance of varicose veins and asterisks. This suggests that there is a violation of the outflow of blood, and in parallel the vessels are destroyed. To avoid complications, you should immediately contact a phlebologist when a vascular pattern is found under the skin.
According to statistics, 20 out of 100 people suffer from varicose veins, and 10 of them are unaware of the development of this disease. The expansion of the veins affects the fair sex the most, as women have more reasons and reasons for the disease: high heels, pregnancy, hereditary factor.
Why does blockage of the veins occur?
There are many different factors that cause varicose veins to develop.
Consider the simplest:
- Walking and physical activity. At risk are people who spend a lot of time in a standing position, such as standing work. When a person is standing, the veins are under pressure. If we take into account the force of attraction, it becomes clear that at this moment the veins are deformed. That is why it is important to warm up, sometimes to sit down. Squat or do exercises in between. In addition, with excessive physical exertion, the blood vessels lend themselves to stretching. As a result, natural plasticity is lost over time, resulting in the development of varicose veins.
- hereditary predisposition. It has long been proven that cardiovascular disease can be inherited. To be more precise, it is not the varicose veins themselves that are transmitted at the genetic level, but the structural features of the vascular network throughout the body, which can be a predisposition to various types of vascular pathologies.
- Hormonal imbalance most often occurs due to disruption of the endocrine system. The female body undergoes hormonal changes many times in life: during puberty, during pregnancy, during menstruation, during menopause, at that time. When men are affected only by hormonal disorders associated with the transitional age.
- Violations in the work of the nervous system directly affect the tone of the vascular wall. Excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking, taking medications, constant stress - all this destroys nerve cells, resulting in a decrease in the flexibility and elasticity of the venous networks. And this is a direct path to varicose veins.
- Other diseases that can cause the development of varicose veins. The load on the veins increases with various pathological processes, from the common cold to surgical intervention. Therefore, it can be concluded that any disease
Interestingly, previous varicose veins were considered a disease of people aged 40 and over. Now this pathology also affects young people aged 18 to 22. This is due to hormonal disorders, malnutrition, too active or sedentary lifestyle.
How does the disease manifest itself?
Varicose veins can present with different symptoms. It is easy to recognize it on its own in the advanced stages and it is quite difficult to spot it in the initial stage, when it is easier to treat it.
The main signs of the development of varicose veins are the following factors:
- constant fatigue in the legs, especially after a long walk
- swelling in the legs
- manifestation of a vascular pattern on the upper part of the skin
- with the intensive development of the disease, venous nodes and cyanosis appear
- the protruding vein is very painful, itching may occur around it
In addition, other symptoms associated with circulatory disorders may appear: a change in blood pressure, disturbances in the work of the heart.
The described symptoms cannot be ignored, since in addition to varicose veins they can also signal other diseases.
Classification of varicose veins
It has already been mentioned above that scientists have been studying varicose veins for more than a century. During this period, several classifications of this disease have been defined.
Stage classification of the disease:
- Compensation A is the stage where there are no claims. There are no cramps, swelling or pain. But on examination, the veins stand out on one or both limbs;
- Compensation B is manifested by bulging veins, pain, itching in the area of the nodes, periodic seizures, swelling and itching.
- Decompensation is the last stage, in which, in addition to all the symptoms of the veins, skin diseases also appear: dermatitis, eczema. The skin is too dry, it begins to peel off, to crack. Capillaries burst, and due to subcutaneous hemorrhage, hyperpigmentation appears, which manifests itself in a lilac-burgundy shade.
Classification according to the form of the pathology:
- vascular diseases without reflux
- segmental lesion with pathological shunt
- diffuse lesion with pathological shunt
- stage zero, in which varicose veins are just starting to develop. At the same time, all symptoms are completely absent: pain, itching, fatigue, swelling. Occasionally, fatigue and heaviness in the legs may occur.
- the first phase, in which the vascular networks and asterisks can already be seen through the skin. In rare cases, seizures may occur
- the second - there is an expansion of the veins, that is, the blood vessels lose their elasticity, and the sagging veins appear as small tubercles that can be seen with the naked eye
- the third stage is characterized by the appearance of swelling in the ankles and feet. It does not go away after rest.
- the fourth degree of varicose veins - the occurrence of dermatitis, dryness, skin lesions
- the fifth stage of varicose veins is the appearance of a pre-ulcerative condition, in which the skin constantly bursts, looks blue or burgundy. The wounds hurt, the swelling does not subside, the veins do not hide
- the sixth stage is a trophic ulcer. This is a wound that has the particularity of not healing. That is, it is a constantly open wound that hurts a lot, the skin around it itches and if swelling occurs, the wound can grow
If you are guided by the international classification, stages 1-3 are still amenable to conservative treatment. But the more advanced forms of the disease require only surgery, in which the veins are surgically removed.
Diagnosis of the disease
Only a specialist can diagnose varicose veins and determine the stage of the pathology after different types of examination of the patient. Swelling and pain can also occur with other diseases.
Even the most experienced phlebologist or vascular surgeon cannot make a diagnosis on the basis of symptoms alone.
Diagnosis consists of palpation and examination. The doctor probes the veins, assessing their condition. Subsequently, the patient must perform a blood test to find out the characteristics, the number of blood cells, the coagulability and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
It is also important to confirm or rule out the presence of pathogenic bacteria or viruses in the body.
An obligatory element in the study is ultrasound diagnostics, which will allow the doctor to see the whole picture.
That is, this method will help to see the condition of the veins and the degree of "blockage". An x-ray may also be needed. To "light up" the veins, a special drug is injected, which allows you to see the entire circulatory network on an x-ray.
If your doctor suspects other medical conditions during the examination, he or she may schedule an examination with another doctor, such as a cardiologist, endocrinologist, gynecologist, and other specialists. The fact is that before starting treatment it is necessary to clearly determine the cause of the appearance of the pathology, and it can be varied.
Methods of treatment
There are many methods of therapy that are prescribed during varicose veins. The type of treatment will directly depend on the severity of the disease, the stage of obstruction of the veins and the general condition of the patient.
Consider the main methods:
- Conservative treatment includes complex therapy, which is aimed at relieving symptoms and eliminating the root cause of varicose veins. First you need to relieve pain and inflammation, which occurred due to vascular damage. It is also necessary to drink a course of diuretic drugs that will help remove fluids from the body that have accumulated due to impaired blood circulation. In parallel, doctors prescribe drugs that thin the blood and strengthen the walls of capillaries and veins. Thus, the drugs work in their own right and relief comes. This method is relevant in the initial stage of the disease. That is, with trophic ulcers or a presented state, such a method will be ineffective.
- Surgery during the treatment of varicose veins. During the operation, damaged veins and venous areas with a high level of obstruction are removed.
Laser surgery is the modern and most common way to get rid of the affected blood vessels. Unlike surgery, there isn't a long recovery period with laser therapy. That is, after the procedure, you can immediately return to your usual lifestyle.
With timely treatment, as a rule, the predictions are positive. That is, if you do not squeeze the varicose veins, the disease is not so terrible. Otherwise, complications could arise.
In addition to the fact that varicose veins will develop and can turn into a trophic ulcer, it disrupts many vital processes due to the fact that it completely disrupts blood circulation in the body.