In this modern era, where all our focus is on work, we need to focus non our health as well. Regular medical check-up, leading a healthy life style, eating the right food at the stipulated time, not taking too much stress and tension are some of the simple secrets for good health.
This programme is small steps in providing relief to those suffer from various illnesses and throwing light on the symptoms, long term effects and medications of various ailments. In this episode we will tell you about the now commonly found ailment known as ‘Varicose Veins’. Varicose veins are gnarled, enlarged veins. Any vein may become varicose, but the veins most commonly affected are those in your legs and feet. That’s because standing and walking upright increases the pressure in the veins of your lower body. Varicose Veins affects people whose profession demands them to stand all day.
Anchor: What is Varicose Veins?
Dr.Neelambika: Varicose veins are veins under the skin of the legs, which have become widened, bulging, and twisted. They are very common and do not cause medical problems in most people.
There are two main systems of veins in the legs:
- Deep veins: The leg muscles squeeze the deep veins during walking, carrying most of the blood back up the legs to the heart.
- Superficial veins: These occur under the skin which are less important and can form varicose veins.
All of these veins contain one-way valves to ensure that the blood flows towards the heart. Failure of these valves allows blood to flow backwards down the veins and results in an overload of pressure when standing. This excess pressure leads to widening of the veins so that they do not close properly. Blood then flows back into the leg along these veins and causes varicose veins to develop. Raised pressure in these veins also encourages the development of spider veins and discoloured areas which look like bruises. People are misconstrued that Varicose Veins are seen only in the legs; however, this is untrue.
There are various veins in the body which are afflicted by Varicose Veins. Varicose Veins may also affect Ovaries. Oesophageal varices can also be affected by varicose veins if the surrounding pressure varies. Varicose Veins commonly affects in the legs. As, the work of pumping blood from the legs to the heart gets more harder as the gravitation force will be high with people who are Upright position is the culprit for developing Varicose veins in the legs, as the blood has to be pumped against the Gravitational force, this strains the veins and calf muscles, thus, when the capacity to pump the blood to the heart reduces, the blood remains stagnant in the same position. When the quantity of blood increases in the same position exceeding the capacity of veins it causes bulging of veins.
Anchor: Why is Varicose Veins seen in pregnant women?
Dr.Neelambika: There are two reasons for Varicose Veins in pregnant women. Pregnancy itself is a cause for Varicose Veins, because the baby in the uterus itself adds more than 10 to 12 KGS of weight which gives tremendous pressure to the veins. The additional factor of a woman’s progesterone level during pregnancy primarily contributes to varicose veins. A woman’s progesterone levels are significantly higher during pregnancy than they are when she is not pregnant; it stands to reason that many women who didn’t have varicose veins prior to pregnancy suddenly develop them during pregnancy.
Because the baby in the uterus itself adds more than 10 to 12 KGS of weight which gives tremendous pressure to the veins. The additional factor of a woman’s progesterone level during pregnancy primarily contributes to varicose veins. A woman’s progesterone levels are significantly higher during pregnancy than they are when she is not pregnant; it stands to reason that many women who didn’t have varicose veins prior to pregnancy suddenly develop them during pregnancy. Women with repeated pregnancies will have be afflicted with Varicose Veins permanently.
Anchor: How does Crepe Bandage help for those suffering from Varicose Veins?
Dr.Neelambika: Crepe Bandage is the first and foremost solution recommended to those suffering from Varicose Veins. Foot and elevation at the crepe bandaging. The Elasticity of the bandage exerts pressure; the patient has to elevate his/her foot when done so the veins sachets pump blood towards the heart. The crepe bandaging has to be done after veins collapse. When correct pressure is exerted, the veins collapse. Although, this is a temporary solution, this can be used by those suffering from Varicose Veins. Crepe bandaging is only a temporary solution for Varicose Veins.
Anchor: Does sitting continuously in a criss-crossed leg position cause Varicose Veins?
Dr.Neelambika: Such are instances are very rare. Sitting in cris-crossed position might aggravate the popliteal vein which is found inside the knee joint, thereby hindering blood circulation. If the work-style and lifestyle is such that they have are used to sit in cris crossed leg position, they might have vein stasis leading to varicose veins over a period of time.
Anchor: What are the symptoms of Varicose Veins?
Dr.Neelambika: The symptoms include swelling of nerves in the legs and severe leg pain when they stand up for long periods of time, occurence of pain when walking, sudden feeling of pain during sleep, ulcers, itching, thickening of skin are one of the symptoms.
Anchor: What happens when Varicose Veins is ignored continuously over a period of time? What are the other ailments caused due to such negligence?
Dr.Neelambika: When Varicose Veins is ignored over a period of time there is a very high possibility of the patient to suffer from non healing ulcers. This happens as the vein stasis or the impure blood stagnates in the same part of the leg for a long period of time causing which iron and protein divide causing pigmentation, dividing the collagen tissue causing severe itching. It also changes the skin colour. It might also cause small wounds in the legs and this does not cure for a long period of time.
Anchor: How is Varicose Vein diagnosed and detected at an early stage?
Dr.Neelambika: Persons suffering from congenital valve issues; continuously sitting/standing in same position might contract Varicose Veins. Confirmative diagnosis is when we subject the patient to ‘Venous Doppler’: This test gives accurate results on whether the person suffering has any clot in the vessels, thrombosis; valve perforations can be determined by this test.
Anchor: When is surgery needed for Varicose Veins, could you please throw light on the same?
Dr.Neelambika: There are different kinds of treatment in Ayurveda to treat Varicose Veins depending upon the patient’s stage. Depending upon the stages of the patient we divide it into conservative treatment and invasive treatment. Conservative measures are foot elevation, wearing crepe bandages; avoiding standing for long time is some of the conservative measures. Surgery is needed when there is occurrence of ulcer and causing severe problem to the patient.
There are three methods of surgery: Ligation, Stripping and Injection of sclerosol agent. We can treat Varicose Veins through conservative treatment in Ayurveda. In this there is Para Surgical methods, in which veins section we have treatments such as bloodletting treatment: through which the bad blood is removed from the legs, leech application which reduces the discolouration of the skin, ulcers and itching. Our internal medications also help in blood purification overcoming skin discoloration, blood clotting, ulcers and itching.
To an extent we can also treat ‘Vein Valve Incompetence’ caused due to weakness can be treated under this method in Ayurveda. Surgery is done only when patient comes to us with a request to remove it surgically due to the unbearable pain. In certain advanced cases where there is bleeding in patients, surgery is the only alternative. In most cases, we can avoid the surgery and keep Varicose Veins in control by intake of Ayurveda medicines. In certain advanced cases where there is bleeding in patients, surgery is the only alternative. In most cases, we can avoid the surgery and keep Varicose Veins in control by intake of Ayurveda medicines.
Anchor: Does an aggravated situation result in bleeding to those suffering from Varicose Veins?
Dr.Neelambika: Spontaneous bleeding is found in those who suffer from Varicose Veins at an advanced stage.
Anchor: Does Varicose Vein, if untreated cause heart problems?
Dr.Neelambika: If the clot occurs in a superficial vein, this can cause inflammation of the adjacent skin and fat, red tender lumps develop and often the whole limb will become swollen. This is called superficial thrombophlebitis (STP). If the clot occurs in a deep vein the clot can break off and travel to the lungs leading to a very serious condition called pulmonary embolism (PE), which may be life-threatening. DVT can also inhibit the return of blood to the heart, and result in swelling, pain and inflammation of the affected limb.
Anchor: What food/lifestyle needed to avoid Varicose Veins?
Dr.Neelambika: We need to reduce Obesity and control our weight. We should also reduce standing or sitting for long periods of time. We should also avoid non-vegetarian food which causes blood clotting. We should change our lifestyle and exercise regularly. Avoid foods which are too sour, too spicy leading to Thrombosis. Varicose Veins is commonly seen with Traffic policemen, Drivers and Conductors whose job demand them to sit/stand for long periods of time thus it results in pumping of the blood to the heart against the gravity resulting in Varicose Veins.
Anchor: What are the types of exercises do you advice for those suffering from Varicose Veins?
Dr.Neelambika: You should always squeeze your fingers in the legs; such training/exercise regimen is usually taught during training of police and military personnel. It gives mobility to your feet and fingers which results in good blood circulation. This is a preventive procedure to avoid Varicose Veins.