Varicose veins is the evil that attacks some people in their adult life. This is the condition of your veins becoming enlarged, dilated, and overfilled with blood. The condition is common and quite painful.
Women end up with varicose women more than men. In most cases, it happens on the lower legs.
The reason why this condition happens in the first place is because your veins aren’t functioning properly i.e the one-way valves that veins have prevent blood from flowing backward. Namely, the veins fail and blood begins to collect in the veins rather than continuing toward your heart.
Pregnancy, menopause, old age, obesity and standing for extended periods of time can all lead to varicose veins.
Even though they are usually harmless, they can cause physical discomfort.
Dr. Kathleen Gibson, a surgeon at Lake Washington Vascular in Bellevue, Washington talked to health.com on possible treatments or relief when the symptoms are severe.
Just to put it in context, Dr. Gibson was the first woman physician to complete a Vascular Fellowship at the University of Washington in 2001.
She has been named one of Seattle’s Best Doctors by Seattle Magazine in 2007.
Debunking the Myths
“One of the most common misconceptions I hear about varicose veins is that they’re only a cosmetic problem,” says Dr. Gibson. “They can also impact an individual’s quality of life by causing aching, throbbing, heaviness, itching, and cramps.”
Even though many people believe they are exempt from varicose veins if they are not overweight or women, Dr. Gibson explains that men too, as well as fit people, are qualified to have the condition.
They can be genetically predisposed and women can develop them during their pregnancy as well.
Many feel that varicose veins require invasive surgery to treat, but that’s just not so: “Most patients with varicose veins can have a minimally-invasive procedure to close them,” says Dr. Gibson.
How It Might Affect You
Every body type and constitution is different so if you happen to develop or see the early signs of varicose veins, make sure to set an appointment with the doctor. They will tell you whether to worry or not.
“Your clinical evaluation will determine whether your vein problems are a health issue, a cosmetic issue, or both,” says Dr. Gibson.
“The old days, when patients were treated with vein stripping, a procedure that required lengthy recovery time, are in the past,” says Dr. Gibson.
“In the past several years, a few new procedures using sclerotherapy have emerged,” Dr. Gibson adds.
There is also the endothermal ablation; a technique that uses a laser or high-frequency radio waves to seal off the vein. Another one is microphlebectomy a minimally invasive surgery, or compression stockings, which can ease discomfort and are often used in conjunction with other treatments.
“Each of these treatments has advantages, and every varicose vein patient is different,” says Dr. Gibson. “The best treatment for anyone is the treatment that you discuss and agree upon with your healthcare provider.”
Can I Avoid Hospitals?
Dr. Gibson says that there aren’t any reliable natural or home remedies. However, since the symptoms are now known, you can avoid varicose veins in most cases, excluding genetic predisposition.
Getting regular exercise and avoiding rapid weight gain as well as standing for longer periods of time is a way to altogether avoid vascular problems in the first place!