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What is varicose veins?

What is varicose veins?

Chronic venous insufficiency, also known as varicose veins or varicose veins are swollen veins caused by an abnormal accumulation of blood because of the weakness, often inherited, on the walls and valves of the superficial veins. This causes the veins to widen and dilate, so that blood is readily accumulated when a person stands for long.

When the vein dilates does not fulfill its function. They are in charge of blood return to the heart and that means that the flow has to go against gravity: from the foot to the heart, the veins have valves that prevent the return of the blood flow to the foot and facilitate the rise . However, if the vein is dilated, the valves do not function and flow is reversed, which causes increase dilation and problems such as edema, swelling of the leg or in more advanced stages, ulcers or phlebitis occur ( a varicose vein thrombosis), among others.

Among the main causes of varicose veins are three.

First, they are congenitally defective valves. The valves are responsible for circulating blood to the heart, so do not work properly if blood pools in the vein causing its swelling.

Second, it is thrombophlebitis. In this case, thrombi or clots are, which hinder the flow. This situation can occur, for example, after prolonged periods of bed rest.

The third most likely to cause varicose veins is pregnancy. Luckily, varicose veins that appear during the gestation period are secondary and tend to disappear between two and three weeks after delivery.

The most common clinical manifestations are:

Heavy legs.
Varicose veins with visible veins.
Onset of pain.
Feeling of numbness.
In more advanced stages of the disease venous ulcers, ocher dermatitis (skin darkening), or bleeding varices may appear complicated.
At present there is no measure to help prevent the appearance of varicose veins.

However a healthy lifestyle, physical exercise, avoid sedentary lifestyle and eating moderately contribute to that if a person is at risk for varicose veins, they are more controlled.

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