Varicose veins

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Submitted by Dr T on August 26, 2011 – 8:32am

Hello doctor, I’ve been having varicose veins since my teen years. the veins are swollen at the back of both knees. Now I’m 30 years old. Though I have consulted several doctors regarding this they all said it’s nothing to worry about. Is there a possibility that it could be related to Vein Thrombosis? I’m concerned as my father is also having cardiac problems.

Varicose veins may indeed lead to thrombosis as well as a host of other problems, including leg swelling (peripheral edema). Edema may also occur as a complication of heart failure. However, while varicose veins occur in 10-20% of all adults, most will have a normal heart function. While it is unlikely that your father’s heart disease has anything to do with your varicose veins, you may be exposed to the hereditary risk of developing heart disease or varicose veins if he has had them all his life as well.

Varicose veins can occur anywhere in the body, but are more commonly found on the legs. Hemorrhoids are special type of varicose veins.

Two main types of veins are present in the legs. Superficial veins are near the surface of the skin, whereas deep veins are located in the muscle tissue. Varicose veins are caused by increased blood pressure inside the superficial leg veins. Most veins in your body contain valves that open and close to help blood flow back to your heart. If the valves in your leg veins become damaged or diseased, it can cause blood to pool in your legs and lead to symptoms such as pain and swelling.

Factors that may lead to the development of varicose veins include

  • Obesity,
  • Aging,
  • Injury,
  • Pregnancy,
  • Smoking,
  • Hormonal changes,
  • Hereditary factors.

Varicose veins can be uncomfortable and lead to more serious problems such as phlebitis (inflammation in the leg) or thrombosis (blood clots). Varicose veins are unsightly and sometimes a cosmetic concern. Symptoms caused by varicose veins that may require treatment include :

  • Leg pain
  • Night cramps
  • Tired heavy legs
  • Itching
  • Eczema
  • Leg swelling
  • Skin discoloration
  • Leg ulcers

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