Varicose veins are characterized by an uneven expansion of the lumen of the veins of the legs, the appearance of nodes 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 representatives of the stronger sex, people who love sports with the maximum distribution of the load on their legs are prone to this disease: football, tennis, basketball.
Why do varicose veins occur
There are three types of veins in the tissues of the legs: superficial, deep veins, connecting 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 blood upwards. This task is performed by the skeletal muscles of the legs. And the valves are located inside the veins - they close their valves when the skeletal muscles contract, preventing backflow of blood. Each muscle contraction "pushes" the blood higher.
When the valve flaps do not close tightly, some 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 start of varicose veins.
Disease trigger factors:
- Heredity - with a congenital lack of collagen fibers, the venous wall is less elastic and prone to stretching.
- Stagnation of blood in the veins of overweight and obese legs, wearing shoes with heels more than 3-4 centimeters, with prolonged standing in a place of people of certain professions - hairdressers and salesmen, cooks, lecturersor prolonged sitting with office workers.
- Changes in hormone levels: The increase in the content of progesterone in the blood of a pregnant woman makes the walls soft and stretchy, so that the risk of varicose veins during the gestation period increases significantly.
The first signs of varicose veins - how not to miss
The moment when spider veins or reticular varicose veins - appear on the skin of the legs is considered a red flag about incipient varicose veins. This is not a cosmetic defect, but the onset of the disease!
Simultaneously or after a while, the second group of signs join - a feeling of heaviness in the legs, spreading in the legs after a long standing or sitting in a chair. When a person begins to walk, the feeling of heaviness decreases: the skeletal muscles push the stagnant blood higher, and the stretching of the venous walls decreases.
Further development of the disease is manifested by edema on the legs - these are sock marks, thickening of one leg in relation to the other on visual examination.
Later, pain in the calf muscles of the legs, rapid fatigue when walking, join with the dry skin of the legs and its pigmentation, the protrusion of varicose veins and the formation of trophic ulcers.
When to see a vascular surgeon?
When the first spider veins and asterisks appear, you should consult a specialist and, if necessary, perform an ultrasound of the veins of the lower extremities and perform surgery for varicose veins. The earlier the diagnosis of varicose veins is made, the more likely it is to stop it at an early stage.