Blood vessels are veins that carry or return blood to the heart from the entire organ tissues of the body. These veins are essential in the voluntary or involuntary functions of the body. When these blood vessels do not perform well, the functional activities of the venous system are restrained or constrained. When these problems happen, varicose veins or spider veins appear.


The veins primary function is to have a smooth exchange of blood flow in the body. It goes hand in hand with the arteries to promote normal blood flow in the body. Secondly, veins serve as a storeroom for unused and extra blood. Veins become swollen when blood do not circulate properly and sufficiently in the body. And these are commonly called varicose veins and are usually found in the lower limbs, that is, your thighs or legs.


Varicose veins are the manifestation of the obstruction of blood flow in the veins. These varicose veins are usually swollen, bulgy and inflamed blood vessels, and sizes become abnormal depending on the severity of the problem. Apparently, these varicose veins or spider veins usually are prominent in the lower extremities but it can occur anywhere in the body. But, commonly these varicose veins appear the most in the lower legs.


But before that, why do varicose veins develop? What are the primary factors that affect normal blood flow? What causes varicose veins? What do you do to avoid having varicose veins?


Causes of Varicose Veins:

  1. Varicose veins are due mainly because it can be inherited.

  2. Valves within the veins do not function normally because they are damaged or inflamed.

  3. Weak valves stop the flow of blood within the veins.

  4. Abnormalities in the blood vessels that result in the weakening of the veins and become defective and leaky.

  5. Some diseases can cause varicose veins as well such as blood clots, phlebitis or inflamed veins and congenital anomalies of the veins.

Risk Factors:

  1. As people get older, the chances of developing varicose veins are higher;

  2. Pregnant women are more susceptible to develop varicose veins;

  3. Standing continuously over a long period of time;

  4. Obese and overweight people;

  5. Inactivity and stationary lifestyle;

  6. Stress, pressure and fatigue; and

  7. Previous leg trauma or surgery in the lower limbs.

Varicose Veins Symptoms:

  1. Painful, heavy and itchy legs;

  2. Leg cramps at night;

  3. Unrelenting pain when standing;

  4. Bulging and swelling underneath the skin; and

  5. Fatigue.

Diagnosis of Varicose Veins:

  1. Simple tourniquet assessment to discover points of backwards blood flow;

  2. Localization of the problem through the use of Doppler or Duplex ultrasound;

  3. A doctor diagnosis through physical examination to evaluate one’s family history; and

  4. Magnetic Resonance Venography used to detect blood clots in veins.

Treatment of Varicose Veins – there are many choices and treatments for varicose veins which are entirely based on the location and size.

  1. Sclerotherapy is one way to minimize varicose veins. It injects a chemical compound in the affected vein but it leaves a scar. Some do not encourage this procedure as it poses certain risks and chemical reaction or allergy.

  2. Lasers such as endovascular laser therapy can also be used to treat varicose veins but are repeatedly used in smaller veins rather than in large veins.

  3. Surgery in varicose veins is also used as one of the treatments, but not everybody can be subjected to surgery especially the pregnant. It is still the discretion of the doctor whether or not you can be a candidate for operation.

  4. Avulsion is a procedure that involves the removal of the affected veins through small incisions.

  5. Stripping is involve the same process as avulsion but only has two cuts, one in the groin area and one in the knee.

  6. Radiofrequency ablation uses heat to tear down the vein.

  7. Litigation is a former way of surgical procedure to treat varicose veins.

  8. There are also simple treatments such as leg elevation during sleeping or sitting, use of stockings and compression or density dressing.


Varicose veins can be prevented, delayed or blocked. It is up to you on how to take good care of yourself. Some simple ways on how to prevent varicose veins were already mentioned.  To avoid such dilemma, it all boils down to living a healthy lifestyle.


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