Approximately twenty million Americans have misdiagnosed and unmanaged varicose veins. Now is the best time to act if you are one of them. The slowness and silence of varicose veins are one of their most significant risks.

Even if the Upper East Side varicose veins get compromised and damage the surrounding tissues and cells, most individuals with the problem exhibit no symptoms.

In this post, Dr. Satjit Bhusri will look closely at some of the potential health risks of unmanaged varicose veins. Read on to learn more.

What is meant by varicose veins

Varicose veins are swollen, twisted veins that typically appear blue or dark purple and are visible just beneath the surface of the skin. They most commonly occur in the legs and feet but can also develop in other parts of the body. Varicose veins occur when the valves within the veins weaken or become damaged, causing blood to pool or accumulate in the veins rather than flowing efficiently back to the heart.

As a result, the veins become enlarged, bulging, and twisted, often causing discomfort, pain, and cosmetic concerns. Varicose veins are a common condition, affecting millions of people worldwide, and can range from mild to severe in severity.

While they are generally not considered a serious medical problem, severe cases of varicose veins may require medical intervention or treatment to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications such as ulcers, blood clots, or skin changes.

Treatment options for varicose veins may include lifestyle modifications, compression therapy, minimally invasive procedures such as sclerotherapy or endovenous ablation, or surgical interventions in more severe cases.

Swelling

Varicose veins could generate significantly more complications than you might think. Do not assume that they are merely noticeable veins; there is a reason they are observable.

Once damaged valves in the vein walls prevent blood from adequately leaving the legs, blood starts to pool. This pool enlarged portions of the veins where blood has become stagnant.

Whereas most individuals might not experience any discomfort due to the varicose veins’ formation, most suffer from leg cramping, swelling, burning sensations, and restlessness.

Bleeding

Some individuals bleed whenever veins near the skin rupture. Even though this bleeding is typically not a major health danger, it is necessary to have veins examined and managed so that it does not recur. Occasionally, bleeding could be quite heavy, resulting in other concerns such as anemia and blood clotting.

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Blood Clots

If you have varicose veins, your blood cannot return to your heart properly and collects in your lower body, typically your legs. This pooling promotes ‘blood flow stagnation.’ There are two kinds of blood clots: deep vein thrombosis and phlebitis.

Clots that develop in deep veins could migrate via the bloodstream to your lungs, resulting in possibly catastrophic conditions such as pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism is one of the most severe health hazards linked to untreated varicose veins, as it is a life-threatening condition.

Leg Ulcers

Vein issues, notably venous insufficiency, account for around 70% of all leg ulcers. Common symptoms in the affected regions include rashes, discoloration, and swelling.

Moreover, this daunting concern could cause disruptions in your career life and other life aspects. Picture living with chronic drainage, constant dressing adjustments, and an offensive odor due to a leg ulcer. Sadly, most people experience leg ulcers form long before consulting a physician.

Lipodermatosclerosis

Varicose veins are a prominent sign of Lipodermatosclerosis, also known as leathery skin. Common concerns associated with Lipodermatosclerosis include skin hardness, edema, discomfort, and thinning of legs near the ankles.

LDS is a health disorder that translates to ‘skin and fat scarring.’ Lipodermatosclerosis is often known as a disease of the skin and connective tissues. If not corrected, this condition could result in hard-to-treat chronic venous leg ulcers.

Additionally, LDS greatly restricts an individual’s capacity to run or walk and can negatively impact their general health.

When to worry about varicose veins

Varicose veins are generally not a cause for immediate concern, but there are certain circumstances in which you should seek medical attention or consider treatment for unmanaged varicose veins.

Ultimately, if you have varicose veins and experience symptoms or complications that interfere with your daily activities or quality of life, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper evaluation, diagnosis, and management. Early intervention and appropriate treatment can help alleviate symptoms, prevent complications, and improve overall vascular health.

Varicose veins self-care

Self-care strategies can help alleviate symptoms and manage those unmanaged varicose veins effectively. Here are some tips for varicose veins self-care:

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight can put added pressure on the veins in your legs, exacerbating varicose veins. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise to reduce strain on your veins.
  • Stay Active: Regular physical activity, such as walking, cycling, or swimming, can help improve circulation and strengthen the muscles in your legs. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
  • Elevate Your Legs: Elevating your legs above heart level can help reduce swelling and improve circulation. Prop up your legs with pillows or a footstool while sitting or lying down, especially after long periods of standing or sitting.
  • Avoid Prolonged Standing or Sitting: Prolonged periods of standing or sitting can worsen varicose veins. Take breaks to move around and stretch your legs regularly, especially if you have a job that requires prolonged sitting or standing.
  • Wear Compression Stockings: Compression stockings provide gentle pressure to the legs, helping to improve circulation and reduce swelling. Wear compression stockings as recommended by your healthcare provider, especially during long periods of standing or sitting, and remove them before bed.
  • Practice Good Leg Care: Avoid crossing your legs while sitting, as it can restrict blood flow. Also, avoid wearing tight clothing or high-heeled shoes that can restrict circulation and contribute to varicose veins.
  • Follow a Healthy Diet: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to support overall vascular health. Limit your intake of salt and processed foods, as excess sodium can contribute to fluid retention and swelling.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support healthy blood circulation. Aim for at least eight glasses of water daily, or more if you’re physically active or in hot weather.
  • Manage Symptoms: If you experience discomfort or pain associated with varicose veins, use over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen as directed by your healthcare provider. Avoid prolonged use of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) without medical supervision.
  • Consider Herbal Remedies: Some herbal supplements, such as horse chestnut extract or grape seed extract, may help improve symptoms of varicose veins by supporting vein health and circulation. However, consult with your healthcare provider before starting any herbal supplements, as they may interact with other medications or conditions.

While self-care measures can help alleviate symptoms and manage varicose veins, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider for proper evaluation and guidance, especially if you experience severe symptoms or complications. Your healthcare provider can recommend appropriate treatment options based on your individual needs and medical history.

Do not overlook unsightly veins. While most ugly veins are superficial, there are risks associated with neglecting them.

Therefore, it’s essential to have visible veins examined and, if appropriate, treated by a specialist to prevent future complications that might trigger pain, swelling, and other health difficulties.

Schedule a consultation at Upper East Side Cardiology by mobile or request online to discuss your concerns and explore available treatment solutions.