Varicose veins
Varicose Veins

Varicose Veins: Definition, 6 Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Complications, and Food To Avoid

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When you find a blood vessel that protrudes clearly beneath the surface of the skin, it could be varicose veins. This condition apparently should not be underestimated because it can lead to various health problems. To find out more about varicose veins, see the explanation below.

Varicose Veins Definition

Varicose veins are swollen and enlarged veins that usually occur in the legs and feet.

Venous vessels carry low-oxygen blood from cells and tissues back to the heart. There, blood will be “exchanged” for oxygen-filled blood. Problems in veins can occur in any part of your body, such as the esophagus, stomach, and liver.

In fact, this condition can also occur in the pubic sac known as varicocele. However, this condition most often occurs in the feet, which gives rise to a prominent vein-like appearance on the surface of the skin.

Generally, mild varicose veins do not cause harm. However, sometimes this can also hamper your daily activities because the symptoms are getting worse. In these cases, a doctor’s treatment is necessary so that further complications do not occur.

The presence of varicose veins can also be a sign of certain health problems, one of which is chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), which is a disruption of blood flow from the venous veins of the legs to the heart.

Varicose Veins Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of varicose veins that are commonly experienced are:

  • The appearance of fibers or purplish blue lines on the surface of the skin. In other types of varicose veins, namely spider veins, fibers will be smaller in size and similar to spider net.
  • In mild cases of varicose veins, it may not cause pain. However, some people can also feel pain or heaviness in the legs, especially after standing or sitting for a long time.
  • Veins appear to bulge and swell along the thighs, ankles, or knees.
  • The skin itches, especially in the lower limbs and ankles. In addition, the surface of the affected area of skin has been often bluish-red or brownish, a sign of static dermatitis.
  • Skin discoloration occurs, the skin becomes thinner, and sores or soft tissue infections form near the ankles.
  • The legs or areas that occur venous swelling feel throbbing or cramping.

There may be signs and symptoms not mentioned above. If you have concerns about certain symptoms, consult your doctor.

Varicose Veins Causes

Common Causes of Varicose Veins

The following are the most common causes of Varicose Veins:

  • Aging
  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Family history
  • Standing for a long time
  • Foot injury
  • Stomach strain

Other Causes of Varicose Veins

The following are the less common causes of Varicose Veins:

  • Post obstruction
  • Incontinence
  • Venous and arteriovenous malformations.

Varicose Veins Risk Factors

The following factors can increase the tendency of the Varicose Veins:

  • Getting older
  • Family history
  • Woman
  • Obesity
  • Standing or sitting for a long time

Read more: 7 Easy Tips – How To Prevent Varicose Veins Naturally

Varicose Veins Complications

Yes, Varicose Veins cause complications if not treated. Below is a list of complications and problems that can arise if the Varicose Veins are not treated:

  • Very painful ulcers
  • Thrombophlebitis: Blood clots in the veins in the legs that can cause venous inflammation.
  • Bleed
  • Chronic venous insufficiency: The skin does not allow proper turnover of oxygen, nutrients, and waste products, because blood flow is too weak.

People with chronic venous insufficiency may develop varicose vein eczema, lipodermatosclerosis (hard and tight skin), as well as venous ulcers.

If serious complications have arisen, you should immediately contact your doctor to get treatment quickly so that complications do not get worse.

Read more: How To Cure Varicose Veins

Food to avoid for varicose veins

In addition to seeking medical help to treat this swelling of blood vessels, it is also important to maintain a healthy diet. Some of the foods that should be avoided by people with varicose veins, among others:

Refined carbohydrates

Refined carbohydrates or simple carbohydrates should be avoided as much as possible. Foods that contain refined carbohydrates also contribute to poor blood vessel health.

Canned food

Canned foods are usually coated with a chemical called bisphenol. Bisphenol mimics estrogen where it can affect hormones in the body so that it can worsen varicose veins.

Salty food

Foods that have a high sodium content should be limited at all costs. This is because the high concentration of sodium in the blood can also cause an increase in pressure in venous veins.


Last Updated on November 10, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team


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