Varicose vein disease: causes and symptoms

All veins are important components in the body's circulatory system. The number of veins in the human body is very large. More specifically, it is the blood vessels that collect blood from the capillaries and deliver it to the heart.

The venous wall is made up of several layers: endothelium, soft connective tissue, muscle tissue and dense connective tissue. This is its main difference from arteries. In arteries, as blood flows through them, higher pressures are created, so they must have a more stable skeleton. Accordingly, instead of soft connective tissue, its walls contain a fibrous layer. In addition, the vein has a wider lumen and a lower speed of blood flow through it.

All the veins of the human body together form a vast network of veins. In this article, we will discuss in more detail about the structure of veins localized in the lower leg area. They are presented in three groups: shallow vessels, deep vessels and perforated vessels. Perforated vessels get this name due to the fact that they penetrate the facial and muscular structures in the lower part of the leg, connecting the superficial and deep venous networks. The deepest vascular layer contains the largest amount of blood. In addition, it should be noted that almost every vein has a specific valve in its structure. This valve is designed to allow blood to flow in only one direction, that is, from the lower limbs to the heart.

Varicose veins are a pathological process in which there is a thinning of the venous wall, as well as expansion and elongation of these ducts. In addition, with this disease, nodular enlargements such as specific aneurysms are formed. According to statistics, such a pathology occurs in almost every third woman, and often it first forms at a young age.

There are many reasons for varicose veins. First of all, this includes lifestyles or work conditions where excessive load is placed on the lower limbs. Often staying in the same position, for example, standing or sitting, is very important. If a person is overweight, he is at risk of experiencing such a pathological process. An important factor is hereditary predisposition. If a close relative has the same problem, the likelihood of its formation in the next generation increases several times. Other predisposing factors include various hormonal disorders, experience of excessive stress, unbalanced diet, wearing uncomfortable clothing or shoes, as well as various diseases of the cardiovascular or circulatory system.

Varicose veins are formed as a result of the fact that under the influence of one of the above factors, there is damage to the function of the vascular valve apparatus. This leads to the fact that the valve can no longer interfere with the reverse blood flow, as a result of which there is an increase in pressure on the blood vessels in the lower part of the leg. The increased pressure causes the diameter of the veins to expand, and they themselves squirm. In addition, there is a thinning of the muscular layer of the vascular wall, as well as a violation of the neural regulation of vascular tone.

Symptoms of varicose veins

the doctor examines the veins with varicose veins

Varicose veins in their development go through several successive stages of replacing each other. The first rank is called compensation. During this period, there is no subjective sensation in the sick person. Dilated veins in one or both legs are visually identified.

The second stage is subcompensation. This stage is characterized by the occurrence of complaints of rapid fatigue in the lower part of the legs, as well as rupture in them, especially at night. In addition, symptoms such as a creeping sensation, periodic mild leg cramps, and slight swelling at the end of the day may appear.

The third stage of varicose veins is called decompensation. In this case, the swelling that occurs in the evening becomes more pronounced. Pain syndromes occur, which can be of the most varied nature. Some patients complain of pain while walking, while others notice it even at rest. It is characterized by the addition of pruritus, as well as frequent inflammatory diseases of the skin on the lower legs, for example, eczema or dermatitis. The skin itself becomes dry, shiny and often hyperpigmented. The widened vessels protrude above the surface of the skin and are well visible visually.

Varicose veins in the absence of adequate treatment can cause thrombophlebitis in the lower extremities, as well as circulatory failure in them.

Examination of veins with varicose veins

First of all, the diagnosis of varicose veins is based on clinical data. To assess the degree of violation, the following instrumental methods were used:

  • Ultrasound diagnostics;
  • Duplex angioscanning;
  • Rheovasography of the lower leg.

Treatment and prevention of varicose veins

examination of the legs with varicose veins

For the treatment of such pathological processes, conservative and surgical methods can be used. This directly depends on the severity of the disease. Conservative methods include the use of compression gowns or elastic bandages, the use of phlebotonics, and physical therapy.

The method of surgical treatment is selected individually for each patient.

To prevent this disease, you should limit excessive load on the lower legs, maintain a normal level of physical activity, and also monitor the state of your cardiovascular system.