Search for Diseases :
Enlarged, twisted, painful superficial veins resulting from poorly functioning valves.
Persons most commonly affected: Affecting most women.
Organ or part of body involved: Veins
Symptoms and indications: Pain in the legs: fullness, heaviness, aching; Visible, enlarged veins; Mild swelling of ankles; Skin at the ankle discolored brown; and Skin ulcers near the ankle.
Causes and risk factors: In normal veins, valves in the vein keep blood moving forward toward the heart. With varicose veins, the valves do not function properly, allowing blood to remain in the vein. Pooling of blood in a vein causes it to enlarge. This process usually occurs in the veins of the legs, although it may occur elsewhere.
Causes include congenitally defective valves, thrombophlebitis, and pregnancy. Prolonged standing and increased pressure within the abdomen may increase susceptibility to the development of varicose veins or aggravate the condition.
Primary varicose veins occur because of congenitally defective valves, or without a known cause. Secondary varicose veins occur because of another condition, such as occurs when a pregnant woman develops varicose veins.
Prevention: A high-fiber diet is the best weapon against varicose veins. Reduce your risk of constipation by eating plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. Saturated fats, along with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, slow down your circulation and worsen the inflammation of the blood vessels. Avoid them. Dramatically reduce your intake of sweets and refined foods. Caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating, and they worsen varicose veins. Avoid prolonged standing if personal or family history indicates you are at risk of developing varicose veins.