By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Published July 14, 2014, Last updated October 21, 2016
Veins are those blood vessels that perform the function of returning deoxygenated blood to the heart as opposed to the arteries which supply oxygenated blood from the heart to the various body parts. Varicose veins are swollen veins that are visible under the skin. Such varicose veins are commonly present in the legs, ankles and feet. The word varicose is a derivative of the Latin word ‘varix’, which means a dilated and a tortuous vein. Such varicose veins are commonly visible just under the skin and are bluish in colour as they are full of deoxygenated blood. Due to this condition, there may be an uncomfortable feeling as well as heaviness in the legs. Some people may describe this as aching of the legs. In some cases, itching may also be present in the affected parts. In severe cases, ulcers can also form along these veins.
The development of varicose veins
To understand the genesis of varicose veins, it is important to understand in brief the function of veins and how they perform these functions. As mentioned earlier, veins are the blood vessels that return deoxygenated blood from various body parts to the heart, so that it can again be oxygenated and then recirculated. While performing this function, the veins are working against the force of gravity as in the vertical position, the heart is at a higher level than the legs and the feet. To overcome this handicap, nature has provided human body sophisticated and sufficient mechanisms. When we walk, the muscles of the legs act like a pump pushing the blood upwards. At the same time, the veins have been provided with valves to prevent the blood from flowing back. In case, this whole mechanism loses its efficiency, blood is likely to stagnate in the veins of the dependent body parts like legs, ankles and feet. This causes the blood vessels or the veins to swell and become prominent.
Such a condition may happen due to various reasons. The blood vessels are naturally elastic which allows them to dilate when more blood supply is needed and constrict when the blood supply is to be restricted. This happens very quickly and that too in a very efficient manner. The blood vessels may lose their natural elasticity with age and remain permanently dilated. In some cases, long hours of standing can trigger this problem. In such cases, the valves becomes inefficient and may remain partially open all the time, which causes blood to flow back and stagnate in the veins. Varicose veins are frequently seen in the pregnant women. During pregnancy, the blood volume increases as the mother’s body has to cater to the nutrition of the child also. This increases the workload of the veins. Also, the increasing weight puts more pressure on the lower legs and feet. Usually, this sees a reversal a couple of months later but in other condtions, there is no such reversal.
Do’s and Don’t’s
- Avoid standing for long hours or hanging your legs while sitting. In case, one has to stand for some while, one should keep moving a bit here and there and also keep shifting one’s weight from one leg to the other.
- Improving one’s blood circulation by exercising or by walks helps and also builds up the strength of the muscles.
- Stockings are available that can provide some support to the legs but avoid wearing any tight clothing.
- Keeping one’s weight at the optimum level is advisable. Obesity or being overweight will tend to aggravate the problem.
- Avoid wearing long heels.
Treating Varicose veins with Homoeopathy
Homeopathic medicines give wonderful results in the treatment of varicose veins and are able to cure them completely. Some of the commonly used homeopathic medicines in the treatment of varicose veins are Hamamelis, Pulsatilla, Carbo Veg and Flouric Acid.