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Varicose Veins

Uploaded by mumsa1 on Apr 11, 2012

Varicose veins usually develop on the back of the calf or on the inside of your leg. About 3 in 10 adults develop the condition at some time in their lives.

In this article:

What are varicose veins?

Diagnosis

How Chemist Online can help

Symptoms

Effect on your life

Causes

Treatments

What are varicose veins?
Usually blue or dark purple in colour, varicose veins are unsightly veins which appear bulging and twisted. This makes them easy to see, but they may be less obvious if you are overweight due to them being hidden by fatty tissue under the skin. They can be uncomfortable and make your legs ache, with symptoms feeling worse in warm weather or if you have been standing for long periods of time.

As well as on the legs, varicose veins can also develop in other parts of your body, such as your rectum, womb, vagina and pelvis. Varicose veins in the gullet (oesophagus) can also occur, but this is rare.

Symptoms
Typical symptoms of varicose veins are:

A knobbly appearance to the skin in the affected area (as if the veins are straining to burst through the skin)

Aching legs (which is often accompanied by a tingling sensation)

Swollen feet and ankles

Dry, itchy and thin skin over the affected vein

A burning feeling in your legs (which many sufferers describe as ‘a constant throbbing’).

Also, where varicose veins are particularly severe, ulcers may develop.

Causes
In the human body, blood is pumped from the heart and carried to organs and body tissues through arteries, and back to the heart through veins. Inside your veins there are miniscule valves which open to let the blood through, but then close again to prevent it from going backwards. When these valves weaken (through things like stretching and loss of elasticity), and blood collects or pools in the veins, varicose veins develop.

The condition also often develops in people that:

Are pregnant

Are overweight

Have had a previous blood clot (thrombosis) or an injury in a deep leg vein

Diagnosis
Varicose veins are common and occur more in women than men.

If you have varicose veins and they are causing you discomfort, make an appointment with your GP. He or she will ask you questions to establish whether you have a genetic predisposition to developing the condition, and if you have diabetes – this could impact upon your problems with blood flow.

After examining your legs (particularly the pattern of the veins while you are in a standing position), and any other effected area, your...

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Uploaded by:   mumsa1

Date:   04/11/2012

Category:   Medicine

Length:   3 pages (728 words)

Views:   2572

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