Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins: Pertaining to an unnatural swelling, as in varix or varicose veins; (Veins: a vessel in which blood flows toward the heart.

Varicose veins is a condition in which the superficial veins have become swollen, tortuous and ineffective. It is frequently a problem in the esophagus, the rectum, the spermatic cord in the male and in the broad ligament of the uterus in the female. The veins which are most commonly found to be abnormally enlarged are those that involve the saphenous veins of the lower extremities, and this condition is found frequently in people who spend a great deal of time standing, for instance, sales people. Also pregnancy, with the accompanying pressure on the veins in the pelvis, may be a predisposing cause. Varicose veins in the rectum are commonly referred to as piles, or more properly, hemorrhoids (hem.o-roids). The general term for these enlarged veins is varices (var'i-sez), the singular form being varix (var'iks).

Varicosity results from a chronic increase in blood pressure which dilates the vein. When the vein walls are pushed apart, the valves no longer seal properly, making it difficult for the muscles to push the blood upwards. Instead of flowing from one valve to the next, the blood begins to pool in the vein increasing venous pressure, causing congestion, and the vein begins to bulge and twist. Because superficial veins have less muscular support than the deeper veins, they are more likely to become varicose.

Varicose veins is usually bulging, bluish cords running just beneath the surface of your skin. Most common is the legs and feet, but can appear anywhere in the body. Sometimes varicose veins is surrounded by patches of flooded capillaries known as; spider-veins, and are considered superficial varicose veins. Although they can be painful and disfiguring, they are usually harmless. When they become inflamed, they become tender to touch and can hinder circulation to the point of causing swollen ankles, itchy skin and aching in the affected area (limb).

Deep varicose veins may be sites where blood clots can form. Deep vein inflammation, or thrombophlebitis, in the thighs and pelvis may lead to pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal condition.

Women are twice as likely to develop varicose veins than men.

Symptoms:

* Prominent swollen dark blue blood vessels
* Bulging, rope-like, bluish veins indicate superficial varicose veins.
* Affected area may be painful to touch
* Discolored, peeling skin; skin ulcers; and constant rather than intermittent pain are sings of severe varicose veins.
* Pregnancy, obesity and standing for long period of time can lead to excessive pressure, which in turns lead to varicosity.
* Chronic constipation can lead to varicose veins (hemorrhoids)
* Muscles that are out of condition offer poor blood-pumping action
* Increase in age; and weak veins

Treatment:

Mild case of varicose veins does not normally require a doctor's care

If there is pain and swelling to the affected area, see your doctor

Using support stocking for your legs and elevating your feet can help with the discomfort

Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory medication if there's swelling and pain (with all medication, use as prescribed by your doctor).

If your skin around a varicose vein becomes ulcerous or discolored, or if you have pain with no obvious outward signs, call your doctor ASAP -may have deep varicose veins.

Varicose veins can be eliminated by several methods:

* Spider veins can be removed by laser treatment.
* Mild case of superficial varicose veins can be treated by sclerotherapy ( a chemical known as a sclerosing agent is injected into the vein to collapse its walls so it can no longer transport blood).
* Severe cases: may need surgical removal, or stripping.
* Discuss all options with your doctor, dermatologist, or vascular surgeon.

*** Staying fit is the best way to keep your leg muscles toned and your blood flowing - exercise regularly.
*** Low salt diet and plenty of water (at least 8 glasses of water/day) -see your doctor about any change in diet
*** Smoking may contribute to elevated blood pressure, which can aggravate varicosity
*** If pregnant: sleeping on your left side rather than on your your back can minimize pressure from the uterus on the veins in your pelvic area and improve blood flow to the fetus.

Call your doctor if you have red varicose veins, this may be a sign of phlebitis, a serious circulatory condition.

Call your doctor if the skin over your varicose veins becomes ulcerous and discolored.

Call your doctor if you cut a varicose vein, seek emergency care promptly.

Latest Article: Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins : Pertaining to an unnatural swelling, as in varix or varicose veins; (Veins: a vessel in which blood flows toward the heart. Varicose veins is a condition in which the superficial veins have become swollen, tortuous and ineffective. It is frequently a problem in the esophagus, the rectum, the spermatic cord in the male and in the broad ligament of the uterus in the...

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