Varicose veins are characterized by uneven expansion of the lumen of the leg veins, the appearance of nodules on them and an increase in their length. The disease develops gradually, characterized by a chronic course.
Women suffer from varicose veins three times more often than men. And among the stronger sex, people who like sports with a maximum load distribution on their feet are prone to this disease: football, tennis, basketball.
Why varicose veins occur
There are three types of veins in the tissues of the legs: superficial, deep, connecting superficial and deep veins. Each vein is a hollow tube through which blood flows from the leg tissue to the heart. There are no muscle cells in the walls of the veins, so the vein cannot contract to push the blood upwards. This task is performed by the skeletal muscles of the legs. And the valves are located inside the veins - they close the valves at the moment of skeletal muscle contraction, preventing the return flow of blood. Each muscle contraction "pushes" the blood more.
When the valve flaps do not close tightly, part of the blood flows back, stagnates in the vein, presses on its walls, gradually stretching them. The lumen of the vein expands, its wall is stretched. This is the beginning of varicose veins.
Disease initiation factors:
- 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 excess weight and obesity, wearing shoes with a heel larger than 3-4 centimeters, with prolonged standing in one place people of certain professions - hairdressers and salesmen, cooks, lecturers or with prolonged sitting in office workers.
- Changes in the hormonal level: the increased content of progesterone in the blood of a pregnant woman makes the walls softer and more stretchy, so the risk of varicose veins during pregnancy 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 for the initial varicose veins. This is not a cosmetic defect, but the beginning of the disease!
At the same time or after some time, another group of signs joins - a feeling of heaviness in the legs, spreading in the legs after a long standing or sitting on a chair. When a person starts walking, the feeling of heaviness decreases: the skeletal muscles push the stagnant blood more and the stretching of the vein walls decreases.
Further development of the disease is manifested by edema on the legs - these are marks on the socks, thickening of one leg relative to the other during the visual examination.
Later, pain in the lower leg muscles, rapid fatigue when walking, combine dry skin of the legs and its pigmentation, bulging of varicose veins and the 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, ultrasound the veins of the lower extremities and perform surgery on varicose veins. The earlier a diagnosis of varicose veins is made, the more likely it is to stop at an early stage.