Developing Varicose Veins and Poor Blood Circulation

Varicose Veins Development

Varicose veins are often thought of primarily as a cosmetic concern. The bulging and discoloration of the veins in the legs can be unsightly and unpleasant. Sometimes, they can be accompanied by mild pain or discomfort as well. But, aside from being merely an eyesore, long term complications can result from veins that have started to become varicose, and this is due to their effects on the circulation efforts of the body.

Circulation problems are not uncommon. Many times, they are merely the result of a sedentary lifestyle or from an occupation that involves long periods of sitting. Other times, they can be an indirect result of lifestyle factors that can contribute to poor circulation such as being overweight and smoking. Other times, they can be related to family history and genetics. Still, some circulation problems are a result of health conditions such as atherosclerosis, diabetes or peripheral artery disease. These conditions can contribute to poor blood circulation in legs and feet.  In the long term, varicose veins can also impact the circulatory system negatively.

The way in which veins that have become varicose affects the circulatory system has a lot to do with the most common location for the bulging veins to appear, the legs. This area already has an uphill battle on the road to healthy circulation. As gravity fights against blood working its way back up to the heart, it is essential for healthy circulation to be present in the legs. Bad circulation in the legs as a result of veins that have become varicose is due to the malfunction of the leaflet valves that are contained in this area whose purpose is to prevent the backwards flow of blood, according to Wikipedia. In short, the incompetence of these valves causes an even further enlargement of the varicose veins, especially during long periods of standing, further compounding the bad circulation occurring therein.

Typically, there are no symptoms present in cases of veins that have become varicose aside from an obvious appearance that can be bothersome to some sufferers. But, when symptoms are present, they are most often associated with the poor circulation in legs that can result from the condition. These symptoms include a sensation of heaviness or achiness that may be worse following exercise or at night. And, it is not uncommon for ankle swelling as a result of poor circulation to appear in people with advances cases of varicose veins. Spider veins may also appear as a result of poor circulation, and these are easily distinguishable from the bulging and discolored veins that have become varicose. Cramping and restless leg syndrome may also appear in people who have veins that are varicose. Interestingly enough, changes to the skin may also be present. Redness, itchiness and color changes around the affected veins may be present and eczema may also occur. Wikipedia explains that this may be attributed to the buildup of wastes within the leg. This can be related to poor blood circulation as the body’s blood pumping system works in two ways, first to distribute oxygen rich blood throughout the body and second, to remove wastes from within, explaining how in some cases poor circulation causes external symptoms.

There are many treatment options for varicose veins, and most of them are geared at improving leg circulation, which in turn can relieve many of the symptoms that present from the condition. Elevating the legs, which obviously is beneficial to reduce the gravity battling tasks of upward heading blood back to the heart can be helpful. And, cardiovascular exercises are also thought to be helpful in combating some of the circulatory related symptoms of the condition. As nutritional deficiencies may be related to a decrease in circulatory function, considering dietary changes that include foods known to help support healthy blood flow as well as supplements to improve circulation that contain healthy amounts of B vitamins may also be beneficial. And, anti inflammatory medication as well as the use of circulation boosting devices like foot and leg massagers, compression garments and circulation socks for leg circulation may also prove helpful if used regularly or to relieve temporary symptoms. But, because long term complications of serious cases of varicose veins can lead to health hazards like blood clots, it is important that medical care be employed, especially when bothersome symptoms are present or worsening. There may be other treatment options aside from home care that may be useful to prevent long term complications of varicose veins like medications and even surgery.