The first symptoms of varicose veins on the legs
Varicose veins are a serious disease that entails a large number of unpleasant consequences: itching and discomfort, fatigue and unpleasant appearance of the legs, thrombophlebitis. About 20% of the population of our planet face this disease. The disease requires careful and long-term treatment, therefore, therapy should be started immediately after the patient has discovered the first signs of varicose veins on the legs. This will help to avoid surgery and painlessly return the legs to their previous appearance.
The causes of varicose veins
Varicose veins are classified as genetic diseases. But in some cases, the disease may not progress. A person's lifestyle and professional activity leads to an aggravation of the condition of the veins. The risk group includes people whose activities involve regular lifting of weights and prolonged standing or sitting. Persons suffering from excess weight and pregnant women are also susceptible to varicose veins. Other common reasons:
- disruption of the endocrine system, hormonal disruptions (puberty, pregnancy, menopause);
- mechanical obstructions in the blood outflow (blood clots and tumors);
- stress and regular nervous tension, bad habits;
- the formation of arterial-venous fistulas;
- regular wearing of uncomfortable shoes, tight stockings and socks, which slows down the process of blood flow;
- regular constipation and excessive pushing during the bowel movement;
- sedentary lifestyle.
If you do not want to miss the first symptoms of varicose veins, visit a phlebologist annually. During pregnancy, women are required to be examined by a specialist at least twice.
Symptoms of the disease
The disease is dangerous because it is difficult to diagnose in the early stages. The first signs of varicose veins of the legs resemble the usual fatigue, which is often found in residents of large cities. They are accompanied by the following symptoms:
- pain and burning sensation in the veins;
- a feeling of heaviness and swelling of the legs;
- night cramps;
- the appearance of dilated and translucent veins through the skin, which are felt during palpation (most often in the popliteal fossa and on the back of the legs);
- darkening and thickening of the skin of the lower leg.
All of the above signs may worsen over time, therefore, require immediate treatment. In case of neglect, varicose veins can spread to the entire surface of the legs, and even to the feet. At the same time, the skin acquires a bluish tint and becomes dry, red spots and trophic ulcers are observed. With a complicated stage, the body temperature rises. At night, bleeding is possible due to rupture of nodes.
Stages of development
The division of varicose veins into stages is rather arbitrary and is based on specific symptoms. The following stages of varicose veins are distinguished:
- Initial stage. Varicose veins on the legs begins slowly and without visible signs. It is possible to determine the presence of a disease at this stage only during a consultation with a phlebologist. The patient is worried about the rapid fatigability of the legs, swelling, itching and a feeling of fullness in the calf area. A regular urge to massage your feet at the end of the day can also be an alarming symptom.
- First degree. The signs of varicose veins become more intense, but with timely treatment, you can get rid of them. The patient begins to notice that the evening feeling of fatigue and itching does not go away even in the morning, discomfort appears when wearing shoes due to swelling of the legs, the burning sensation spreads above the calf area. It is often difficult for a person to fall asleep and the first thoughts about taking painkillers appear.
- Second degree. Often, varicose veins in the legs are diagnosed at this stage. Visible symptoms of the disease appear: the veins are deformed and they become dense and bulging, their color becomes darker, nodes and a venous mesh appear. All this is accompanied by incessant pain and fatigue. Requires seeking help from a specialist.
- Third degree. The skin on the legs becomes denser, acquires a bluish tint, stripes of veins are clearly visible. It seems to the patient that the venous nodes can burst at the slightest pressure on them. The formation of varicose ulcers is possible. The patient has difficulty walking and every movement gives him a lot of pain.
If you have any suspicious symptoms, see a phlebologist right away. Ignoring treatment leads to serious consequences.
Complications if untreated
These are very painful diseases that require serious and long-term treatment. They are characterized by the following signs:
- acute thrombophlebitis of superficial veins;
- trophic ulcers;
Bleeding during the expansion of the veins of the lower extremities also indicates the development of complications.
Chronic venous insufficiency
The development of varicose veins goes through four main stages (from minimal changes in hemodynamics to inflammation of the anastomosis of the deepest veins):
- Stage zero: no clinical symptoms. Mild leg swelling may occur.
- The first stage: the vessels are noticeably dilated, but there are no trophic disturbances.
- Second stage: veins swell and form nodes, skin pigmentation, eczema, ulcers. When conducting an echographic examination, vascular valvular insufficiency is diagnosed.
- The third stage: persistent trophic disorders are added to all of the above symptoms. This stage requires surgery.
Inflammation of a vein in the leg has the following symptoms: itching and pain, cramps at night, swelling, ulcers. The painful sensations increase with the use of elastic compressions and while walking at a slow pace. A person experiences discomfort, anxiety, emotional stress while playing sports. The level of efficiency decreases.
This disease is the result of venous outflow decompensation. He is characterized by the following symptoms:
- slow pace of development;
- vascular walls become more penetrating, which leads to darkening of the dermis and hyperpigmentation;
- lacquered pale seals are formed, which indicates the beginning of the process of ulceration.
The slightest injury can cause ulcers to form. Bruises with varicose veins on the legs are easily absorbed, provided timely treatment is provided. But in the absence of therapy, they become the cause of soft tissue inflammation, which further leads to secondary infection and purulent complications.
Treatment is carried out with antibacterial drugs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The patient is assigned a 2-week bed rest. The lesion is washed with antiseptics and covered with a gauze bandage. For compresses, a water-soluble osmotic active ointment is used.
When forming granulation tissue, laser and ultraviolet irradiation is prescribed. At the stage of formation of connective tissue elements, it is recommended to wear compression hosiery. After the ulcer is completely closed, a complex operation is performed.
The manifestations of varicose veins can cause blood clots. This disease is dangerous because it often leads to unexpected death. The thrombus clogs the arterial bed. As a result, the blood supply to the lung tissue is interrupted. The main symptoms of thromboembolism include:
- painful sensations in the sternum;
- significant increase in body temperature;
- collapse attacks;
- coughing up blood;
- severe cough with moist wheezing;
Treatment is carried out using medication (thrombolytic anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents) and surgery (pulmonary embolectomy).
First steps towards recovery
The symptoms of varicose veins cannot be masked and ignored. But before starting treatment, you need to seek help from a doctor. The course of therapy depends on the results of the examination. In the early stages of varicose veins, it is recommended:
- conducting sessions of therapeutic massage;
- the use of creams to increase the elasticity of the skin of the legs and pain-relieving ointments;
- applying compresses;
- exercise therapy;
- frequent walking.
Conservative therapy against varicose veins includes the use of venotonics, anti-inflammatory drugs, fortifying drugs, analgesics, cardiological and anticonvulsants.
For the treatment of late stages of varicose veins, sclerotherapy, ozone therapy and compression therapy are used. In the most advanced cases, doctors resort to surgical intervention (laser coagulation, phlebectomy, sclerotherapy, radiofrequency coagulation).
A new approach to life
In order to increase the level of effectiveness of treatment, it is necessary to adjust the lifestyle. The beginning of a new healthy life should be accompanied by:
- a decrease in the amount of physical activity;
- swimming lessons;
- wearing compression stockings;
- rational nutrition and control of body weight;
- refusal from drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking.
Women prone to varicose veins should refuse high-heeled shoes. The optimal heel height is 4 cm. Shoes should be wide enough and comfortable.
Preventive measures against varicose veins implies compliance with a whole set of rules. People who are at risk and are prone to developing an ailment need:
- Observe a rational mode of activity: work and rest should alternate throughout the day.
- Regularly change the position of the body during prolonged sitting and abandon the cross-legged position.
- Do not wear tight shoes and high heels, tight-fitting pants and stockings.
- Adhere to the rules of a healthy diet, avoid constipation.
- To refuse from bad habits.
- Do physical education and gymnastics, cycling.
- Do not abuse hot baths, baths and sunbathing.
At the next examination, a phlebologist may prescribe medications that strengthen the walls of the veins.