If you regularly read the paper or watch the morning news on TV, chances are you might have heard the topic of varicose veins mentioned a couple of times. Perhaps the reason why this topic is so popular amongst the media is that many people are unaware of the symptoms or treatment options available.
So what exactly is a varicose vein? Well, unlike the opinion of many, it’s not merely a cosmetic issue. A varicose vein is an enlarged or twisted vein which occurs when the valves within it either fail or become weaker — blood ‘backflows’ in the vein, which can cause it to enlarge.
Because legs are the part of our body that tend to be under the most strain, it’s no surprise that this is where most varicose veins form. However, they can also develop on our ankles, feet, calves and thighs.
How Can You Tell if You Have Varicose Veins?
The symptoms of varicose veins can be difficult to spot, and many people suffering from them don’t realise. Symptoms such as tired legs, swelling or throbbing may be dismissed as wear and tear. However, there are more telltale signs like leg cramps, skin ulcers and discolouration, which may prompt people to visit their doctor.
What Causes Varicose Veins?
Certain groups are more prone to varicose veins. The condition tends to be more prominent in women due to hormonal changes, or pregnancy, which puts the legs under more pressure. Additionally, those entering old age can be more susceptible too.
People who are overweight or have a sedentary lifestyle are at risk, as well as those who have a family history of suffering from varicose veins. Trauma to the leg area can also result in developing this condition.
How are Varicose Veins Diagnosed and Treated?
If you suspect you’re suffering from varicose veins, visit your doctor who will conduct a thorough examination. They usually start by checking for swelling, but may also do an ultrasound scan to check vein function and to see if any clots exist.
Elevation is one of the most effective ways to treat varicose veins. Legs should be raised above the heart a few times a day which can help lower the swelling. For more severe cases, ablation may be an option. Ablation is a procedure where the veins are treated with heat, breaking down the vein lining and causing it to scar over, preventing any more blood flow.
How to Prevent Varicose Veins
Your doctor may suggest several lifestyle changes that can help prevent varicose veins from re-occurring. An improved diet and taking more exercise are two highly effective ways of preventing varicose veins. If you have a long family history of varicose veins, your doctor may recommend you to wear compression stockings. They may also suggest you take grape seed extract, which can help reduce symptoms.
A good varicose veins cream can help reduce symptoms of this common condition. These creams contain clinically proven ingredients that help reduce the symptoms of varicose veins like swelling, tension and fatigue in legs. They quickly remove soreness or discomfort, thanks to the miracle ingredients of Arnica, grapeseed extract and horse chestnut.