The problem of varicose veins follows a person all the way through his evolutionary development. Numerous archaeological excavations testify to this. In Egypt, for example, a mummy was discovered whose burial lasted until the 16th century BC. Goes back to BC. Traces of varicose veins and attempts to remove them have been found on her lower limbs. The great scientists of antiquity - Hippocrates and Avicenna - worked on the solution of this problem and described it in their works.
In medical terminology, varicose veins mean a deep pathology of the vessels of the body. The disease is characterized by a disruption of the work of veins and blood vessels due to their physiological changes. The term "varicose veins" in humans is often associated only with the defeat of the veins of the lower extremities.
This is explained by the fact that the main clinical picture of the disease is observed in the form of venous nodes and capillary networks on the thighs, legs or feet. However, the disease often develops in the internal organs.
It is a big misconception that varicose veins are an exclusively female disease. Various sources indicate that every second inhabitant of our planet suffers from different degrees of illness. According to studies conducted in Scotland in the late 1990s, pathology was found in almost 40% of women and one in three men.
Similar studies, carried out in our country in the early 2000s, showed the presence of the disease in 67% of women and in every second man. Even today, doctors note an increase in morbidity among adolescent children.
Causes of Varicose Veins
Doctors call a malfunction of the venous valves as the main factor behind the development of the disease. This is due to a decrease in the tone of the veins due to an imbalance of collagen in the cells.
Collagen is a protein that forms the main basis of connective tissue: cartilage, tendons, blood vessels. This component is responsible for its strength and elasticity. A disruption of the synthesis of this protein in the body leads to a dysfunction of the intercellular structures in tissues and their physiological changes.
As you know, the blood in our body moves in two cycles - large and small. It gets into the limbs through the veins and blood vessels due to heart contractions. Usually there is no problem with blood flow to the extremities, but gravity disrupts the flow of blood from the extremities to the heart.
So that the blood flow back to the heart can flow unhindered, there are valves in the vessels that allow blood to flow in one direction. The algorithm for the normal functioning of this process should look like this:
- the heart pumps blood;
- Lifting from the limb along the vessels;
- Blood rises to a certain level and is held in place by a venous valve that prevents it from falling back
This happens until the next heartbeat, after which the cycle repeats itself again. The muscle dynamics also contribute to normal blood flow. Due to the rhythmic work of the muscles, the vessels are squeezed during the contraction, which contributes to a natural blood flow.
With varicose veins, this process is disturbed. Venous valves lose their ability to fix blood and a "reflux" of blood flow occurs - a reflux. This leads to an increase in intravascular pressure, as a result of which the vessel walls lose their elasticity, stretch and lead to chronic venous insufficiency. The main factors in the development of the disease include:
- genetic predisposition;
- great physical activity;
- sedentary lifestyle;
- Smoking, alcohol.
Excessive physical exertion - prolonged static standing on your feet leads to an increase in intravascular pressure. The risk group includes people who, because of their activity, are forced to stand on their feet for long periods of time:
- Hairdressers etc.
A sedentary lifestyle leads to muscle wasting and a decrease in the tone of the entire vascular system. And bad habits like smoking or alcohol abuse are negative additional factors in the development of venous insufficiency.
In addition to genetic predisposition, doctors consider pregnancy to be the main trigger for the formation of varicose veins in women. In this sensitive phase, women experience a restructuring of the hormonal background.
Due to a disruption of the endocrine system, there is a decrease in immunity and general weakening of the body. Often times, the disease begins to manifest itself after childbirth. Also, the cause of varicose veins in women is a passion for following fashion trends - wearing high heels.
30% of male deaths are due to cardiovascular disease. This is initially associated with thicker blood than in women. Because of this, men are more prone to the formation of vascular plaques, which are common causes of strokes and heart attacks. Thick blood increases intravascular pressure, which is one of the main factors in the formation of varicose veins.
It is worth noting that in most professions that require physical strength, it is mainly the male part of the population that is involved. Frequent neglect of a healthy diet, abuse of tobacco products or alcoholic beverages increases the risk of developing varicose veins in men.
In young people
Phlebologists - they study the problems of vascular disease, conduct statistical studies and believe that varicose veins get "younger". In part due to the fact that such statistics simply weren't kept about 20 to 30 years ago. The wide spread of the disease among young people is primarily linked to a genetic predisposition.
The fact is that if one of the parents has varicose veins, then the probability of transmission of the disease by heredity is 70%. It should be noted that it is not the disease itself that is transmitted, but a genetic predisposition for it. This can manifest itself in the formation of defective venous valves, thinner vessel walls or inadequate collagen synthesis, which leads to weak connective tissue. There is a high chance of developing varicose veins in children with a history of:
- Hernia of the abdomen;
- Flat feet;
These factors contribute to a change in posture and a shift in the center of gravity when walking. This leads to an uneven load distribution on the lower extremities and can contribute to the development of varicose veins.
A sedentary lifestyle in modern children is another reason why varicose veins develop. The ubiquitous computerization has successfully replaced physically active games in the real world with games in the virtual world.
Today, in addition to such modern terms as "K - stroke", "K - heart attack", another has appeared - "computer varicose veins". Prolonged squeezing of the veins while sitting at the computer leads to physical inactivity. This problem affects both children and adults.
Other factors in the development of the disease are a person's psychosomatic state. Frequent anxiety states, anxiety states, irritability, depression are all symptoms of the so-called "harmful" state of stress or "distress". This condition is characterized by:
- increased blood pressure;
- Central nervous system depression;
- dysfunction of the exocrine system;
- decreased immunity.
To some extent, the manifestation of emotional stress is normal and even beneficial for a person. A state of stress is a protective reaction of the body to external factors, it helps to quickly mobilize all of the body's resources in order to find the right answers in a certain situation. But systematic stress leads to nervous exhaustion and affects all functions of the body.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
The main symptom of varicose veins of the legs is an increase in subcutaneous vessels. At the initial stage, the disease does not have specific symptoms, which makes it difficult to diagnose the disease in a timely manner. However, in the course of his development, the patient begins to observe a physiological transformation of the veins. The vessels expand, capillary networks appear, the veins receive a "loose" substance in the form of venous nodes. The following symptoms begin to bother the person:
- Swelling of the limbs;
- Numbness of limbs;
- Heaviness or burning sensation;
- in particularly advanced cases, trophic ulcers can develop.
The disease develops over the years. For a timely diagnosis, you need to contact a phlebologist. After a visual examination, the doctor can also order an ultrasound examination of the veins or use a radiopaque examination procedure with the introduction of radiopaque substances into the circulatory system.
If the veins are already "stretched", this problem cannot be cured with creams or ointments. There are two main methods for doing this:
Conservative therapy does not cure the disease. The technique is more of a tool to prepare for an operation, and it is also used for prophylactic purposes, to prevent the development of pathologies or to allow faster postoperative rehabilitation of the patient.
The conservative treatment method includes physiotherapy procedures and drug treatments with drugs from the group of phlebotonics and anticoagulants. These medicines are supposed to strengthen the walls of the blood vessels and thin the blood. In addition, patients are prescribed vitamin therapy and the wearing of compression garments is prescribed. Modern surgical treatments include the following methods:
- Phlebectomy - surgical removal of part of the affected area of the vessels;
- Laser coagulation is a minimally invasive therapy method that does not require incisions or hospitalization;
- Radiofrequency coagulation is a modern therapy method that does not require incisions or hospitalization;
- Sclerotherapy is the most widely used method abroad, which consists of "taping" the affected veins.
Modern technologies for the treatment of varicose veins can free a patient from this disease in a very short time, even without hospitalization. Ignoring this problem and lacking treatment can contribute to the formation of trophic ulcers and the development of thrombophlebitis, which can be fatal.