Are the veins in your leg causing pain? Have you observed a change in their colours? Then you should immediately seek medical help. You might be suffering from varicose veins.
Varicose veins can be a painful experience for patients. There are many risk factors involved in varicose veins. So, If not treated well, it can cause serious health issues.According to a recent study, over 40% of women and 27% of men in India suffer from varicose veins. The rate is projected to increase in the coming years.A proper understanding of varicose veins will be helpful in early diagnosis and effective treatment.
What is a varicose vein?
A varicose vein is a class 2 type of venous insufficiency, which basically hampers the functioning of veins. Varicose veins can appear anywhere in the body, but they are mostly found in the veins in the leg.
What causes varicose veins?
The arteries carry blood from the heart to other parts of the body, while veins return the blood from body tissues to the heart, facilitating circulation of blood.The veins in your leg must work against gravity to carry blood to the heart. The one-way valves in veins prevent the backward flow of blood.If these valves are damaged or weakened, it causes the backward flow of the blood. As a result, the blood pools in the veins, causing veins to stretch, swell or twist.
If the varicose veins in your leg become worse, it may lead to varicose ulcer, a much more serious condition, which can even form wounds in the leg.
Symptoms of varicose veins
Ever seen bluish or purple colour veins in your leg?It is one of the earliest symptoms of varicose veins.
Let’s have a look at the other major symptoms of varicose veins.
- Twisted, cord-like and bulging veins in legs that appear in either dark blue or purple colour
- Pain or heavy feeling in legs
- Swelling on lower legs with a throbbing pain
- Intensifying pain after prolonged sitting or standing
- Skin discolouration
Risk factors for Varicose Vein
At the early stages of varicose veins, there won’t be much pain. However, at a later stage, it can cause a lot of complications.In severe cases of varicose vein, the patient may not be able to walk properly.
Let’s have a look at the factors that increase the risk of developing varicose vein.
Has anyone in your family ever had a history of varicose veins? If both of your parents have varicose vein, you have a 90% chance of having it as well!
Women are more likely to develop varicose veins than men because of the hormonal changes in their body.There will be variation in the levels of hormones during pregnancy or menopause and the hormones tend to relax vein walls.
The relaxed vein walls may not be able to return blood to heart, which results in blood clogging. Moreover, the use of birth control pills significantly increases the risk of varicose veins.
When you’re pregnant, the blood flow in your body increases. It will nourish the fetus. However, it may result in enlarged veins and cause varicose veins.
Do you stand for a long time? If yes, you’re at an increased risk of developing varicose veins. When you keep your body idle for a very long time, the blood flow decreases and it can stretch or twist your veins.
The risk of having varicose veins goes higher with age. As you get older, the valves in your veins are likely to get damaged due to wear and tear. It significantly affects blood flow and eventually results in blood clogging.
Have you put on some weight? Because when your body carries some extra pounds in the form of fats, there will be more pressure in veins. Varicose veins may become serious for obese people since they won’t be able to see the veins due to the fat content in their body. If left untreated, it may lead to other serious health problems.
How to diagnose varicose vein?
There are many methods to diagnose varicose vein. Some of the most commonly used methods are as follows:
- Medical examination
- Ultrasound test
Treatment for varicose vein in Ayurveda
Ayurvedic treatment has proven to be effective for varicose veins. There are many treatment methods for varicose veins and varicose ulcer in Ayurveda.
Let’s have a look at the most efficient treatments for varicose veins.
Did you know?
Leech therapy is a treatment that helps heal varicose veins through bloodletting.It is not as scary as it sounds. It is a painless treatment that cures you from varicose veins.The purpose of leech therapy is to detoxify blood using leeches. The bloodletting is carried out by placing leeches on the affected area.The impure content in the blood is sucked by leeches.
Leech therapy is a highly effective treatment for varicose veins and varicose ulcer.
According to Ayurveda, Siravedha (venepuncture) is one of the methods used for raktamokshana (bloodletting). It is the surgical procedure of puncturing veins for therapeutic purposes.It is an effective treatment for varicose veins and varicose ulcer with greater therapeutic value.In some extreme cases of varicose ulcer, Siravedha has an edge over other treatments.
Lepam involves applying the herbal paste on the affected area to ease the pain. It increases blood circulation and reduces swelling.
Vasti is a treatment in Ayurveda that helps cure rheumatic diseases. It can detoxify the blood and ease blood circulation. Vasti uses medicated oils to treat the patient. Anuvasana Vasti and Asthapana Vasti are administered for patients with varicose veins.
Anuvasana Vasti can be administered through the vaginal canal, anus or it can be applied directly to the affected area. Asthana Vasti is administered on an empty stomach through the anal route.
Watch your diet to prevent varicose veins
Following a proper and nutritious diet reduces your chances of developing varicose veins.
Your diet should include:
- Vegetables and fruits: They provide vitamin C
- Food like milk, meat, egg, etc: They contain a good amount of proteins needed for your body.
- Garlic and ginger: They facilitate proper protein distribution
- Water: Drinking an adequate amount of water helps detoxify the blood.
Varicose veins prevention – A small change in lifestyle can make a big difference
Did you know?
Some small changes in your habits or lifestyle can help prevent varicose veins.
Wondering what they are? Here you go:
- Exercise regularly: Exercise keeps your body healthy and relaxed. It increases blood circulation and reduces the chance of blood clogging.
- Do not sit or stand for a long time: As we discussed, prolonged sitting or standing interrupts your blood circulation, and may lead to varicose vein.
- Keep your body weight under control: Control your diet and maintain your body weight. Increased body weight causes pressure on your legs.
At SSANH, we provide best-in-class treatment for varicose veins and varicose ulcer. See how we treated and healed Mr. K Janardhanan who had come to us with chronic varicose vein problems.
Want to get effective treatment for varicose veins? Book an appointment with us today