For varicose veins, patients should lose weight and do physical activity
• It is common for varicose veins to develop in the legs; however, this is not the only zone.
• When complications arise, venous insufficiency can evolve into thrombosis, warns the IMSS.
Simply losing weight and doing physical activity in a periodical manner, with even a simple daily walk to combat a sedentary lifestyle can decrease the risk of developing venous insufficiency. These factors reduce risks by 50%, indicated Rubén Santoyo Ayala, the Assistant Medical Director of the night shift at the Specialty Hospital of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) in Jalisco.
He also indicated that in addition to genetic factors, the appearance of varicose veins is also associated with factors such as obesity and being overweight, and with illnesses such as diabetes and hypercholesterolemia and, of course, pregnancy, due to the extra body weight gained by women during this period, informed the IMSS in a press release. It was even stated that the use of some birth control pills may cause venous insufficiency, which is produced when the veins become deformed and hinder the flow of blood.
Although he indicated that varicose veins most frequently affect women, up to 30% of men also have them. Generally patients with this venous alteration are over 40 years of age; however, there are cases of occurences at earlier ages, even for those who are 20 years old. It is common for varicose veins to develop in the legs but they can also appear in other areas of the body such as arms, and even internally in the esophagus and anus, where they are called hemorrhoids.
The doctor in internal medicine indicated that some symptoms that can alert us to the appearance of varicose veins and they include burning, itching or stinging. In addition to the esthetic question, venous insufficiency can evolve into venous thrombosis, due to the fact that poor blood circulation favors the formation of clots.
“There is an important risk, which is that these clots or one of them can lodge themselves in zones such as the lung, causing pulmonary embolisms which is a great risk to a patient’s life”, explained the Social Security doctor. When varicose veins evolve into venous thrombosis, acute pain can appear in one leg or there can be an increase in the temperature of that zone; however, in up to 50% of cases, the formation of clots can be asymptomatic, which is an even greater risk.
In these cases, emergency management is offered the patient by stabilizing him with anti-coagulants; however, phlebitis and rheumatoid arthritis can later result as a consequence. As far as treatment of varicose veins is concerned, he indicated that conservative methods are normally used, such as management with medications, the use of compressive stockings and some measures such as avoiding too much time standing or sitting, taking daily walks, ingesting abundant liquids and keeping down body weight.