Varicose veins are characterized by uneven expansion of the lumen of the leg veins, the appearance of nodules in them, and an increase in their length. The disease develops gradually, characterized by a chronic course.
Women suffer from varicose veins three times more than men. And among the representatives of the stronger sex, people who love sports with the maximum distribution of load on their legs are prone to this ailment: football, tennis, basketball.
Why do varicose veins occur?
There are three types of veins in the tissues of the legs: superficial, deep veins, which connect the superficial and deep veins. Each vein is a hollow tube through which blood flows from the tissues of the legs to the heart. There are no muscle cells in the walls of the veins, so the vein cannot contract to push the blood upward. This task is performed by the skeletal muscles of the legs. And the valves are located inside the veins - they close their valves at the time of contraction of skeletal muscles, preventing backflow of blood. Each muscle contraction "pushes" the blood upward.
When the flaps of the valve do not close hermetically, some of the blood flows backward, stagnates in the vein, presses on its walls and gradually stretches them. The lumen of the vein expands, its wall stretches. This is the beginning of varicose veins.
- Heredity: With a congenital lack of collagen fibers, the vein wall is less elastic and prone to stretching.
- Stagnation of blood in the veins of the legs with overweight and obesity, wearing shoes with a heel of more than 3-4 centimeters, with prolonged stay in a place of people of certain professions: hairdressers and salesmen, cooks, teachersor with sitting for a long time in office workers.
- Changes in hormonal levels: the increased content of progesterone in the blood of a pregnant woman makes the walls soft and extensible, so the risk of varicose veins during the gestation period increases dramatically.
The first signs of varicose veins: how not to miss
The moment when spider veins or spider veins (reticular varicose veins) appear on the skin of the legs, it is considered an alarm signal about the appearance of incipient varicose veins. This is not a cosmetic defect, but the beginning of the disease!
Simultaneously or after a while, the second group of signs joins - a feeling of heaviness in the legs, spreading in the legs after long standing or sitting on a chair. When a person begins to walk, the feeling of heaviness decreases: the skeletal muscles push the stagnant blood upward, and the stretching of the vein walls decreases.
The later development of the disease is manifested by edema in the legs: they are marks of socks, thickening of one leg in relation to the other during visual examination.
Subsequently, pain in the calf muscles of the legs, rapid fatigue when walking, joins the dry skin of the legs and its pigmentation, protrusion of varicose veins and formation of trophic ulcers.
When to visit a vascular surgeon?
When the first spider veins and asterisks appear, you should consult a specialist and, if necessary, conduct an ultrasound examination of the veins of the lower extremities and perform varicose vein surgery. The earlier a diagnosis of varicose veins is made, the more likely it is to stop at an early stage.