How Varicose Veins Form
Varicose veins are enlarged, bulging veins. They are mostly found in the leg’s Great Saphenous Vein system. Affected veins cause a visible bulging on the outside of the leg. The term itself comes from the Latin word “varix”, meaning “twisted”. Many people who suffer from this condition experience unpleasant physical symptoms such as:
- Heavy sensation
In addition to these symptoms, restless leg syndrome seems to be a common comorbidity. For those who might wonder what is restless leg syndrome is, also known as Willis-Ekbom Disease, it is a condition that can cause sleep problems, daytime sleepiness, and fatigue, which in turn may lead to other health issues.
How does a blood vessel become varicose? Normally, veins function as a one-way valve. However, if the valve becomes too weak, the blood within may flow backward. When this happens, blood gets backed up, causing the vein to swell. Varicosity occurs mostly in the legs rather than in other body parts because the blood vessels in the legs have to work especially hard to make blood flow upward, against the pull of gravity, back to the heart.
Varicose blood vessels are a very common problem. They are observed mostly in people over the age of 50. Women experience them more often than men. However, a sizable percentage of people suffer from this condition. Some research estimates that about 25% of women and 15% of men will experience varicose blood vessels within their lifetime.
There are certain factors that make some people more prone to varicosity than others. The condition seems to have a strong genetic component, so people with a family history of this disorder are more likely to develop it themselves. Some medical research efforts may include genotyping techniques that can pinpoint genetic variations which could make people with such gene sequences more prone to the disease. Being able to recognize this may help prevent potential problems. Being overweight or obese, working a job that requires prolonged standing, smoking, and suffering from chronic constipation also seem to increase a person’s risk.
This condition can greatly affect a patient’s quality of life. The physical discomfort can affect your ability to walk or stand for prolonged periods, which in turn can affect your ability to work and enjoy recreation. Fortunately, there are many different ways to treat and alleviate vein varicosity. However, one of the most recent, and effective, developments in the field of varicose treatment is the injectable foam Varithena.
The Advantages of Varithena
Varithena is a polidocanol injectable foam treatment for varicose veins. It works by changing your veins to direct blood flow to other, healthier veins. The solution is simply injected into affected blood vessels, where the active ingredient does its work.
Getting Varithena is much less invasive than many other treatments for this condition.
The procedure is nonsurgical, does not require any anesthesia, and often takes less than an hour. Another advantage is that it is highly effective for reducing both the appearance and physical discomfort of veins affected by varicosity, drastically reducing and often eliminating the problem. Clinical trials have shown that 80% of people who receive Varithena only need one treatment session; which I find impressive. Additionally, this treatment is perfectly safe for older adults.
If you suffer from varicose veins, you should consider asking your doctor about Varithena. If you’re considering this treatment, be sure to tell your doctor if you:
- Are allergic to polidocanol
- Are pregnant or have been pregnant recently
- Have a history of blood clots
- Have acute thromboembolic disease
- Have arterial disease
- Have had major surgery in the past 3 months
- Have recently had a long hospital stay
- Have reduced mobility
If any of the above things are true, Varithena may not be suitable for you. Additionally, although Varithena treats most forms of varicosity, it does not treat all forms. I stress that a proper consultation with your doctor is necessary in order to be sure.
I must also inform you of potential side effects of Varithena. You could experience pain, discomfort, or bruising in the leg, especially at the injection site. After receiving this foam treatment, your doctor will instruct you to abstain from heavy exercise for one week afterward.
Many patients increasingly prefer to test out natural, non-pharmaceutical methods of treating their conditions before turning to conventional medicine. This preference for natural treatment may be for many different reasons, ranging from spiritual beliefs to a desire to avoid the side effects of pharmaceuticals.
Indeed, there are many ways to relieve the symptoms of blood vessel varicosity without even needing to visit your doctor. Elevating your legs whenever you are at rest will provide temporary symptomatic relief. It may also be helpful to avoid crossing your legs and to eschew high-heeled shoes. Though not supported by concrete scientific evidence, regular exercise is said to help prevent and relieve this condition.
Special clothing can also relieve symptoms. Depending on the severity of your condition, you could see an improvement by wearing support pantyhose, compression stockings, or prescription-strength compression hose on a regular basis. These garments work by creating strategic pressure up the leg, preventing blood from pooling.
Proponents of naturopathic and herbal medicine point to several botanical extracts for relieving varicose symptoms. Supplements indicated for varicosity include:
- Butcher’s broom
- Grape seed extract
- Horse chestnut extract
- Pine bark extract
These supplements generally have little scientific evidence for the use of relieving varicosity. Horse chestnut is among the best studied of these herbs, and research shows it is more effective than placebo. Since these traditional plants are not proven effective, one should not rely on them alone to treat varicose blood vessels. Instead, they can play an adjunctive role in a holistic treatment plan.
Depending on the severity of your varicosity, these practical and herbal treatments may not be enough to relieve symptoms completely, and are unlikely to totally reverse the condition. If the condition does not improve within a few months of using natural methods, then it is appropriate to resort to the Varithena foam treatment for varicose veins.