Do you ever wonder how varicose veins develop? It is actually a sign of poor blood circulation which is often brought about by venous statis. Our pulmonary and systemic veins’ primary functions are to carry oxygenated blood away the lungs and carry back deoxygenated blood from the body to the heart.
Efficient blood circulation is important for the properly function of our body tissues and a major disruption in the vein can lead to venous statis. Injuries in the veins can lead to blood clots in both the superficial and deep veins which in return results in heart failure and kidney diseases.
Symptoms of Venous Statis
- Edema – One of the primary indications of venous statis is the gradual enlargement of the legs and ankles or what is medically known as edema. Other manifestation includes varicose that is noticeable in the superficial veins and discoloration around the ankles or legs. The swelling in the legs are attributed to the collection of blood around these areas since it has lesser supportive tissues.
- Ulceration– This usually occurs when one has a long-term, severe case of venous statis. The skin loses elasticity which leads to the development of open sores around the ankles. The skin usually appears thinner almost like tissue and because of its fragile condition; skin lesions and other infections are likely to occur.
Tests to Evaluate Venous Statis
- Appearance – Doctors can usually tell from the leg’s appearance if one is suffering from venous statis. The ankles are usually dark and show signs of infection or red skin spots. The most obvious symptoms are the swelling of the legs and constant pain whenever one is standing for prolonged periods.
- Venous Doppler Testing– To check the gravity of venous statis, doctors use a test called Venous Doppler Test. The sound wave pattern given off by the Doppler radar will tell the doctor if there is an abnormal blood flow in the in the veins.
- Venogram– This medical test uses x-rays to determine the location and size of the blood clots. It is especially important for patients who are suffering from severe venous statis since they need more rigorous treatment or even a varicose vein operation. If doctors could not pinpoint the clot or give proper dosage, the blood clot may travel unnoticed and infect the lungs and the heart, usually with fatal results.
Treatment and Medication
- Leg Elevation – Raising the legs above the heart level promotes better return of blood back to the heart. This can be done on a laying position with your legs resting on propped up a pillows. Make it a point to elevate your legs even while sitting to reduce the pressure in the veins behind your thighs.
- Compressive Stockings– Elastic stockings are used to stop the swelling in the ankles and legs. It comes in various lengths and compression levels. These stockings are usually available over-the-counter however for those who need a compression range above 10 to 20 mm, a prescription stocking is recommended by doctors.
- Unna Boot –This is another common treatment for mild venous statis. The legs are wrapped in a dressing treated with zinc oxide. The dressing not only hels reduce swelling, it also prevents bacterial growth.
- Herbal Medicines– Several herbs can help promote healthy blood circulation in the veins. One of these is the seed from Horse Chestnut. The seeds contain saponin and tannins that tighten and stabilizes the veins. It is also important to note that Horse Chestnut is toxic when consumed raw so careful preparation is required before intake. Another herb cure for venous statis is Calendula. Its flower heads have long been used in treating skin ulceration and bacterial infection because of its potent anti- microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. These healing properties can also be found in the leaves of the aloe vera plant which is well- known for treating wounds and relieving itch brought about by sores or leg ulcers.
- Diuretics – Patients suffering from edema can greatly benefit from diuretic treatment. Doctors usually prescribe hydrochlorothiazide for seven days before the patient fits his/her compressive stockings. Hydrochlorothiazide encourages urination and once fluids are expelled from the body, the swelling in the affected areas usually goes down and the level of fluid stabilizes.
- Medication for Cardiac Failure– The minimal blood flow due to blockage in the veins can seriously affect the heart’s function. The heart will have to pump much harder so that the arteries and veins can distribute oxygenated blood throughout the body. Overworking the heart muscles can often leads to heart failure which can be fatal.