What is Varicose Veins?

Veins are thin-walled vessels through which the impure blood is carried back to the heart.  They usually have valves which regulate the flow of blood towards the heart. Varicose veins are a condition in which veins become enlarged, dilated or thickened. Varicose veins can occur in any part of the body but generally appear on the legs. The veins of the legs are the largest in the body and they carry the blood from the lower extremities upwards towards the heart. The direction of circulation in these vessels is largely determined by gravity. Though there are no mechanical obstacles to blood-flow, it is usually the incompetence of  the valve which leads to an increase in intervenous pressure.

Varicose veins have an unsightly appearance and can be dangerous. A blood clot within a large, greatly dilated vein may break away and move toward the heart and lungs, causing serious complications. Varicose veins are about thrice as common as occurrence in women as in men.

The first sign of varicose veins is a swelling along the course of the veins. This may be followed by muscular cramps and a feeling of tiredness in the legs behind the knees. In some cases, the normal flow of blood towards the heart may be reversed when the patient is in an upright position. This results in venous blood collecting in the lower part of the legs and the skin becomes purplish and pigmented, leading to what is known as varicose eczema or varicose ulcers. Both conditions cause severe pain.

You might also be interested in

The 3 Week Diet