You already know how painful varicose veins can be. Your legs swell, discolor, and feel like bags of sand by the end of the day.
You may even have painful knots that feel like marbles running up and down your legs. It’s unlikely that this is the first time you have seen varicose veins.
You may have heard that they are signs of old age.
You heard wrong. More than one-third of the population suffers from varicose veins at some point in their lives and most don’t even know it’s caused by a treatable disease. Just like diabetes or high blood pressure, bulging veins that you see are only a symptom of an underlying disease called venous insufficiency.
In fact, venous insufficiency is more serious than the visible varicose veins on your legs.
If left untreated, varicose veins can cause bleeding, skin infections, and various other complications. In some situations, blood clots may form in your veins and travel to your lungs, which can be fatal.
In this article, we discuss the causes of varicose veins, their symptoms, and how to treat varicose veins with minimally-invasive procedures.
What Are Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted, bulging veins in the legs that appear just under the skin. They can also appear on the feet and ankles, making your feet appear bluish.
Varicose veins are a symptom of an underlying vein disease called chronic venous insufficiency.
A vein’s primary function is to bring blood back up to the heart. In healthy non-diseased veins, there are small flaps — called valves — that keep the blood from flowing down to the feet. In diseased veins, veins’ valves aren’t strong enough and they allow the blood to flow back down to accumulate in the legs.
Eventually, the accumulated blood increases the pressure and causes the vein to swell up, leading to the formation of bulging varicose veins.
The restricted blood flow also leads to the skin discoloration of your legs and feet. Over time, the accumulated blood clots in the veins. These clots increase your risk of deep vein thrombosis, which can have serious health consequences. Most notably, if the clotted blood breaks away, it may travel to the lungs, leading to a potentially fatal condition called pulmonary embolism.
What Are The Symptoms of Varicose Veins?
Varicose veins prevent proper blood circulation and lead to blood clot formation in the veins. Most of the symptoms of varicose veins are related to these factors.
- The accumulated blood and the lack of blood circulation lead to swelling of feet and ankles, especially at the end of the day.
- You may also experience a tingling sensation in your legs, calves, or feet when you go to bed at night.
- The lack of blood circulation also leads to skin discoloration.
- Varicose veins can also cause excruciating pain and heaviness in the legs.
- The blood clots in your veins feel hard like marbles and can be agonizing.
Vein disease is extremely under-diagnosed because patients often attribute the symptoms of varicose veins to aging.
It is possible for one or two of these symptoms to be a sign of aging. However, if you experience several of these symptoms, consult a reputable vein doctor because it is extremely likely that you’re suffering from vein disease.
Risk Factors For Varicose Veins
The highest risk factor for varicose veins is family history. Unfortunately, if your mother suffers from varicose veins, chances are high that you will too.
Other risk factors for varicose veins include pregnancy, obesity, age, and occupation.
If you’re predisposed to varicose veins because of the aforementioned risk factors, then you should also be careful about your posture. Standing or sitting still for long periods of time applies pressure on your veins, leading to an increased likelihood of vein disease.
As such, individuals in professions like office jobs, teaching, driving, etc, are more likely to develop varicose veins.
Varicose Veins During Pregnancy
Pregnancy causes drastic changes in your body.
Most notably, you experience a sudden increase in blood volume, estrogen, and progesterone. As the uterus grows, it applies pressure on the veins and slows down the rate of blood flow from the legs and pelvis.
The increased blood volume and the slow return lead to increased pressure inside the veins of the legs and pelvis, which can lead to varicose veins.
What Is The Treatment For Varicose Veins?
People often ask, “How can I get rid of these varicose veins?”
There are many treatments for varicose veins, both surgical and non-surgical.
However, the best treatments for varicose veins are the non-surgical minimally-invasive kind that carry negligible risk and are a lot more effective.
Best Minimally-Invasive Treatments For Varicose Veins
These treatments are minimally-invasive and maximally-effective. Not only do they treat the surface varicose veins, but they also address the underlying vein disease. This makes them permanent treatments, ensuring that the varicose veins don’t return.
These minimally-invasive varicose vein treatments cause only mild discomfort as you may need injections of local anesthetic. There is no significant pain or discomfort.
The general procedure for these treatments follows a similar path. First, the affected saphenous vein must be closed down using a variety of methods such as medical adhesives, thermal energy, or laser energy. Next, the accumulated blood reroutes to healthier veins. Over time, the diseased vein hardens and reabsorbs into body.
Only a vein doctor can tell you which varicose veins treatment is most suitable for your specific condition. In order to determine a treatment path, the vein doctor has to study your condition and consider your medical and family history.
If you have varicose veins, book a consultation with a vein doctor today.
Are Varicose Vein Natural Treatments Useful?
If you go online, you’ll find a number of “varicose vein natural treatments” such as apple cider vinegar, essential oils, etc. These treatments are completely ineffective and cannot treat varicose veins or the underlying venous insufficiency.
There are some mildly effective home remedies, such as compression stockings that apply pressure on the veins to facilitate blood flow. This provides temporary relief from the pain and discomfort but cannot treat varicose veins.
If you’re likely to develop varicose veins based on previously mentioned risk factors, you can keep vein disease at bay by incorporating a few lifestyle changes. Exercises like running, yoga, swimming, and cycling encourage blood flow, thereby reducing your likelihood of developing vein disease.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Varicose Veins
Is there a foot varicose veins treatment?
Radiofrequency ablation, venaseal, or endovenous laser ablation treat varicose veins in the feet. Consult your vein doctor to determine the best treatment.
Can sore varicose veins during pregnancy be treated?
Sore varicose veins during pregnancy are treatable. However, please consult a reputable vein doctor to discuss your options as different treatments work for different people, especially during pregnancy.
What is the deep varicose veins treatment?
Generally speaking, superficial veins of the legs are the most commonly affected veins. If you have deep varicose veins, then consult your vein doctor. Our highly-trained vein doctors curate a treatment plan for your specific needs.
What is the varicose veins ulcers on legs treatment?
Varicose veins reduce circulation in the legs, making them prone to ulcers. Unfortunately, ulcers are difficult to heal due to the decreased circulatory function. If you have ulcers on your legs, see your physician. The best way to treat ulcers caused by vein disease is to address and treat the underlying venous insufficiency.
Is the foam procedure varicose veins safe?
The foam procedure for treating varicose veins is called sclerotherapy. It is a completely safe procedure with a negligible risk of infection and nerve damage. However, sclerotherapy only treats the surface veins and spider veins; it cannot treat the underlying vein disease. If you want to treat varicose veins permanently, the best treatments are radiofrequency ablation, venaseal, or endovenous laser ablation.
Schedule a Varicose Veins Physical Exam
At Vein Treatment Clinic, we have highly-qualified vein doctors who study your condition and medical history to curate a minimally-invasive vein treatment plan specific to your needs.
As previously stated, varicose veins are caused by a dangerous vein disease called venous insufficiency. If left untreated, it can have terrible consequences, including deep vein thrombosis or the potentially-fatal pulmonary embolism.
If you see any signs of varicose veins, schedule a varicose vein physical exam right now. Vein disease progresses rapidly so you need to be proactive with the treatment.
Regain your Self-Confidence
We treat all our patients like they’re our only patients. Our vein doctors listen to your problems and examine your medical history to diagnose a treatment plan that’s meant just for you. They actively seek minimally-invasive treatments that conclude within an hour.
Regain your self-confidence and say goodbye to those welts and marks on your skin! Book a consultation at our vein treatment clinic in Houston today!