What are varicose veins?
Varicose veins are dilated branches of the great saphenous and small saphenous vein. In general words, the dilation of a large venous blood vessel that runs near the leg’s inside surface from one’s ankle to the groin is called varicose veins.
Varicose veins may look like a minor cosmetic issue to many of us, but it is more complicated than that. Mostly, older people are at risk of varicose veins, but exceptionally, some young adults have also developed the condition.
Symptoms of varicose veins: varicose veins can be completely asymptomatic in some individuals
- Heavy and swollen legs
- Eczema and itchy skin
- Discomfort and cramps in calf muscles at night
- Large and bulky veins
- Deep vein thrombosis
Now, the intensity of the trouble that varicose veins might cause is not at all dependent on how bulky they look. In fact, the bulkiest of the varicose veins might not cause any trouble as much as some tiny ones do.
Causes of varicose veins in young adults:
As you might know, all of our body parts have veins. These can be classified into two types, namely deep and superficial veins. Out of these, the deep veins carry blood from organs to the heart, whereas the superficial veins transport blood from the skin, fat tissue and muscles to the deep veins. Here, our muscles help the deep veins in carrying the blood from the legs to heart, i.e. they squeeze up the deep veins to push the blood to the heart. But, only this is not enough for the veins to transfer the blood to the heart. There are valves located at a regular distance on the interior of the veins, that stop the blood from flowing backwards.
Now varicose veins occur when blood starts accumulating. It is evident that the cause of varicose veins is closely related to the dysfunctionality of the valves. In the older population, the weakening of the valves causes varicose veins. In young adults, it is majorly due to a highly sedentary lifestyle. And here, by sedentary we don’t mean that the person is sitting at one place for long periods. Sedentary life also refers to prolonged periods of standing without moving the leg muscles.
There are a multitude of reasons behind it, but when it comes to young adults, most of them can be classified into genetic and lifestyle-based factors. Genetic predisposition to varicose veins is something that can cause the disease at a very early age. Apart from that, your profession plays a huge role here. If you’re in a profession that requires you to stand for hours at one place without moving your leg muscles, you hold a high risk of developing varicose veins.
Overall, varicose veins are more common in women than in men. Women also hold a risk of developing varicose veins during pregnancy as weight gain is also a risk factor of the condition. Anyone in the obese category is more likely to develop the disease faster than the other people of their age.
Some other causes of varicose veins in young adults also include the use of birth control pills, any previous history of hormone replacement treatments, hormonal imbalances mainly during puberty or pregnancy, and a history of blood clots.
Wearing tight garments or having irregular and unhealthy food habits can also predispose you to the possibility of varicose veins as constipation and other gut disorders are one of the risk factors of the disease.
Effect of varicose veins in young adults:
If varicose veins are not treated at the right time, they might bring in severe consequences, some of which can be as follows:
- Open wounds and ulcers mostly near the ankles
- Swelling and reddened blood vessels
- Bleeding from the open wounds
- Rash and constant itchiness
Management of varicose veins: Knowing that you are prone to develop this condition despite your young age, one needs to be extremely careful and take appropriate precautions. If you are someone who has already developed the disease, there are medical options available for you. Following generic guidelines can be provided as precautions to be taken against varicose veins:
- Avoid standing for prolonged periods
- Exercise as much as possible
- Keep a watch on your weight
- Compression stockings can be used
Apart from this, If the symptoms of varicose veins are too severe or are very distressing because of their appearance, then a medical procedure may help. Varicose veins can be surgically removed, sealed using heat or destroyed using chemicals. Vein stripping and phlebectomy are the two most common procedures used nowadays.
However, high ligation and stripping are the traditional approaches for treating varicose veins. Apart from that, a variety of alternative options are being used recently. Endovenous laser ablation (EVLA), endovenous radiofrequency ablation (RFA), foam sclerotherapy (FS) and TriVex are some of the examples.
Patients undergoing radiofrequency ablation and endovenous laser ablation are most likely to have more rapid recovery time and earlier return to work in comparison with those undergoing conventional high ligation and stripping.
There are a few other options available in the market, but their effectiveness or authenticity isn’t proved yet, and hence it’s good not to rely on them. If you are a young adult who is living a sedentary life, you need to be extremely careful about your vein health and gut health. Varicose veins can be extremely troublesome to individuals, and hence it is good to take proper care and avoid the condition already!
Dr. Abhilash Sandhyala is a well-known specialist and one of the top vascular surgeons in Hyderabad. He has successfully treated varicose veins for 5,000+ patients. Dr. Abhilash has 4+ years of experience in performing the EVLT procedure.
You can visit him at Flow Vascular clinic at H.No: 2-22-298/2/A, Sree Krishna Diagnostic Center Building, 2nd Floor, Beside Kalamandir, KPHB Main Road, Kukatpally, Hyderabad. You can also book an appointment on https://drabhilash.com/book-an-appointment/ or call on (+91) 99896 49498, 99590 33037.
Visit this website to know more about varicose veins and treatment options.