Restless legs and open sores – a sign of varicose veins?

Varicose veins are often associated as more of a cosmetic issue than a health issue. However, did you know they could potentially cause a wide range of symptoms?

Often, the symptoms of varicose veins appear before they even become visible. Along with aches and pains, sufferers may experience other more surprising symptoms such as open sores and restless legs.

Up to 600,000 working days are lost each year due to varicose vein symptoms

According to a recent study, as many as 600,000 working days are lost due to varicose vein symptoms. When left untreated, the symptoms of the condition can worsen, affecting your everyday life. Even walking up and down the stairs can become painful and tiring.

What happens is as the symptoms worsen, you start to automatically slow down. If left for a significantly long period of time, this could lead to serious issues with mobility. There are a lot of nasty symptoms which can crop up due to varicose veins and they can make life and work, unbearable.

Treating open sores won’t eliminate the problem

Open sores aren’t overly common, but they can be a symptom of varicose veins. Obviously, getting them treated is important, but it’s also important to remember that treating them won’t eliminate the varicose veins.

Without treatment, those open sores are also likely to return. So, if you want to fully eliminate them, getting them treated is essential.

Why proper treatment is crucial

You’ll find a lot of natural remedies on the internet claiming to eliminate varicose veins. However, it’s crucial to ensure you’re seeking proper medical treatment. While natural remedies can help to ease the symptoms, they don’t actually treat the condition.

When varicose veins are left untreated, over time they’ll start to get worse. So, the only way to prevent this is to have them professionally treated at a vein clinic. There are so many different treatment options available and many of which are minimally invasive. Book a consultation today to find out which treatment option is best to eliminate your varicose veins.

Common varicose vein myths that prevent people from seeking treatment

Over the years, there’s been a lot of varicose vein myths circulating the internet. Perhaps one of the biggest is that they don’t necessarily need to be treated.

Varicose veins are commonly seen as a cosmetic-only issue, especially if they don’t cause any nasty side effects. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Here, we’ll look at some of the most common varicose vein myths that prevent people from seeking treatment.

Varicose Veins Myths #1: They aren’t harmful

By far the most worrying misconception which prevents people from seeking treatment for varicose veins is that they aren’t harmful. For years, it has been widely believed that varicose veins simply look unsightly, but they aren’t actually a medical issue.

Venous disease often worsens over time. So, without treatment, blood clots could start to form, which could travel up towards the heart. While there is a very low chance of this happening, it is important to be aware of all potential risks.

Varicose Veins Myths #2: You can’t get treatment if you’re on blood thinning medication

Years ago, patients were advised against seeking varicose vein treatment if they were on blood thinning medication. However, the treatment methods have been greatly improved, meaning the risks which were once prevalent no longer apply.

Studies have shown that those who are on blood thinning medication have the same complication risk as those who aren’t on the medication.

Varicose Veins Myths #3: Compression stockings help you to avoid needing treatment

Typically, compression stockings are the first treatment option offered to patients by doctors. However, while these stockings can certainly help to prevent varicose veins and reduce the discomfort felt when you have the condition, they aren’t actually a treatment.

Therefore, if you’re suffering from varicose veins, you’ll need to seek a more permanent treatment option, rather than just wearing compression stockings.

These are just three varicose veins myths which can prevent patients seeking varicose vein treatment. It’s important to remember that times have changed and the range of treatments we can offer at Cornwall Vein Clinic is extensive. Eliminating varicose veins has never been easier and it can prevent you from potentially developing serious complications.

Could your height be a risk factor for varicose veins?

height and varicose veins riskA new study has revealed that the likelihood of developing varicose veins can be significantly impacted by a person’s height. Researchers claim this is the largest genetic study ever carried out on venous disease and varicose veins and its results have certainly proven interesting.

So, how could your height impact your chances of developing varicose veins?

What the study found

The study, carried out by the Stanford University School of Medicine, used genetic data from the UK Biobank, which contains information on a staggering 502,619 people. Their ages ranged from 40 to 69 and the researchers were able to identify 30 genetic regions linked to varicose veins.

An artificial intelligence machine was used to search for any previously unknown risk factors. It was then that the link between height and varicose veins was discovered. To be sure they’d read it correctly, the researchers then used Mendelian randomisation to confirm the findings, which it did.

This isn’t the first study to link the risk of varicose veins with height. A small number of studies carried out between 20 and 30 years ago also revealed a link. However, this is the most significant study to confirm the association.

According to the study, the taller you are, the more likely you are to develop varicose veins. Experts aren’t quite sure why this is, but they are hoping the study results can reveal more about the biological changes which occur in those at risk of varicose veins. This, in turn, could help with the development of new treatments.

Seeking treatment for varicose veins

If you are suffering from varicose veins, it’s crucial to seek treatment as soon as possible. Varicose veins don’t just look unpleasant, they can also pose a serious health risk if left untreated.

The good news is, there’s plenty of treatments available today. Many treatment options are also minimally invasive, giving you the option to have them carried out in your lunch hour if you wanted to. Book a consultation today with a specialist at Cornwall Vein Clinic and see what options are available to you.

Could your birth control be putting you at risk of varicose veins?

birth control and varicose vein riskBirth control has many great benefits for women. Not only can it prevent you from getting pregnant, but it can also be used to treat painful conditions such as endometriosis, as well as help to regulate your cycle. However, like any drugs, birth control pills also come with a number of potential nasty side effects.

A couple of side effect you may not be aware of, are the development of varicose veins and blood clots. While it isn’t guaranteed you’ll develop either of these conditions, you still need to be aware of the risks involved. Here, you’ll discover more about the link between varicose veins and birth control.

How can birth control impact your risk of varicose veins?

Although varicose veins are a largely hereditary condition or caused by occupational hazards, there is a chance they can be triggered by birth control pills. This is because the pills contain oestrogen and progesterone hormones. These are the same hormones which are produced by the body during pregnancy.

The hormones can cause the blood flow throughout the body to slow down, in turn causing the veins to work harder to push blood back up to the heart. It is this which increases the risk of varicose veins developing.

What about blood clots?

Research has shown that blood clots aren’t caused by birth control pills. However, they can increase your risk of developing them. This again is down to the same hormones which cause the blood flow to slow down. They also increase the blood clotting factors within the body.

So, if you have a family history of deep vein thrombosis, you’ll need to talk through your birth control options with a doctor. They’ll be able to assess your risk and decide which pills would be better suited.

Can you take birth control if you already have varicose veins?

It’s typically absolutely fine to take birth control alongside varicose veins. However, it is recommended you get your varicose veins treated anyway. This is because, if you don’t the condition could worsen over time. This would lead to further complications and could prove to be extremely uncomfortable.

The earlier you seek treatment for varicose veins, the less invasive the treatment will be. So, why not book a consultation with a vein specialist today to eliminate those varicose veins once and for all?

Young women encouraged to get their varicose veins treated

young women should seek early varicose vein treatmentWhen you think of varicose veins, it’s common to associate them with older age. However, the truth is, varicose veins can develop at any time in your life.

Young women are just as susceptible at developing varicose veins as older women, but up until recently, treatment may have been discouraged. This is because some experts preferred to treat varicose veins once a woman had stopped having children. Now, however, the guidelines are changing, recommending treatment be carried out before pregnancy.

Here, you’ll discover why it’s important for young women to seek treatment for their varicose veins as soon as possible.

Why seeking treatment prior to pregnancy is recommended

If you do plan on getting pregnant, you’ll want to get your varicose veins treated before you do. This is because, during pregnancy, you have an increased risk of developing clots. There’s also the chance the condition could worsen due to the additional pressure placed onto the legs during pregnancy. If this happens, they could become a lot more complex to treat.

The risks of leaving varicose veins untreated

A lot of young women don’t realise they actually need to seek treatment for varicose veins. They’re mistakenly viewed as a cosmetic-only issue, so spending money on treatment seems more like a luxury than a necessity. However, when left untreated, varicose veins can actually become pretty serious.

There’s a risk that blood clots could develop as the veins don’t function properly. If left for a long period of time, these blood clots can travel up towards the heart, potentially leading to a stroke or heart attack.

Benefits of seeking early varicose vein treatment

There’s always a risk the condition could worsen over time if it isn’t treated. This wouldn’t just make the varicose veins uncomfortable, but it would also make treatment more difficult. The more complex the treatment is, the more expensive it will be and the longer recovery time you’ll need.

Seeking early varicose vein treatment could help you to prevent so many unpleasant side effects of your varicose veins. It also increases the chance you’ll be suitable for less invasive treatments. So, if you’re a young woman concerned about varicose veins, book a consultation with a vein specialist today to find out your treatment options.

Are your varicose veins holding you back?

varicose veins and physical performanceAn avid runner has recently revealed how having her varicose veins treated has helped to boost her physical performance. Initially, 60-year old Wendy Hookway, thought her performance issues were down to her simply being unfit. However, after having her veins treated, she discovered she could easily run further.

Like Wendy, many people are unaware of the physical impact that varicose veins can have on their health. Here, you’ll discover how your varicose veins could currently be holding you back.

The physical symptoms of varicose veins

Contrary to popular belief, varicose veins aren’t just a cosmetic issue. They can cause all kinds of physical symptoms which could be holding you back. These include:

  • Aching
  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Cramping
  • Pain

While some exercise can help to ease the symptoms of varicose veins, excessive exercise can actually make them worse. All of the symptoms are caused because of the additional pressure placed upon the veins to pump enough blood back up to the heart. Depending on the severity of the physical symptoms, it can prevent you from leading a more active lifestyle.

Emotional symptoms can be just as limiting as physical ones

It’s not just the physical symptoms of varicose veins which can hold you back, it’s the emotional ones too. Most varicose vein sufferers are embarrassed about the condition. So, they try to hide it by keeping themselves covered up. This may be fine in winter, but in nicer weather, it can cause you to become extremely uncomfortable.

The embarrassment can also prevent you from wearing what you want to wear. It can also limit your enjoyment if you go on holiday and don’t feel confident baring your legs.

What can you do?

Whether your varicose veins are currently holding you back, or whether you’re worried they might do, there’s one thing you can do – get them treated!

Many people don’t realise the sheer number of treatment options available for varicose veins these days. Long gone are the days when surgery was the only treatment on offer. Now, you can benefit from numerous non-invasive techniques; especially if you treat the condition early on.

Varicose veins really don’t need to hold you back. Book a consultation today to learn more about the different treatment options available to you.

Did the 2018 summer heatwave play havoc with your varicose veins?

varicose veins and summer heatThe summer of 2018 saw record-breaking temperatures, with experts predicting the warmer weather will continue throughout the autumn. As many rejoice at this unusual UK weather event, others are struggling to stay comfortable.

If you suffer from varicose veins, you may find the higher temperatures are making them even more uncomfortable than usual. Here, you’ll discover how the heat can impact varicose veins and what you can do about it.

How the summer heat impacts varicose veins

When your body gets too hot, it naturally tries to cool itself down. Part of this natural process is to dilate the veins in order to push more blood up towards the skin’s surface. At the same time, you start to sweat, and this combined with the extra blood flow, cools down the blood on the skin’s surface. This, in turn, cools down the entire body.

Varicose veins are typically found just under the skin, where that extra blood is being pumped to. As they already don’t function correctly, the extra blood volume can place them under additional pressure. It is this which causes the symptoms of varicose veins to worsen.

The symptoms it can cause

The most common symptoms you’ll experience in the summer heat, are swelling, aching and cramps. All can be particularly uncomfortable and unpleasant to deal with.

As the veins need to work harder anyway to pump blood up to the heart when you have varicose veins, aching is a common symptom. However, the extra blood being sent through the veins to cool the body down, puts even further pressure onto them, worsening the aching feeling you experience.

Similarly, the extra pressure placed on the veins to cool the body down, can cause further problems with circulation. It is this which can lead to swelling, especially within the feet and ankles.

Cramping also occurs due to the pressure the veins are under, although it could also be a sign of dehydration or a lack of salt.

What can you do about it?

Unfortunately, the only way to really stop these unpleasant side effects is by seeking treatment for your varicose veins. While there are things you can do to ease the symptoms, such as wearing compression stockings or keeping yourself cooler, these are only temporary solutions.

Left untreated, varicose veins will never disappear by themselves. So, if you want to ensure you don’t experience the same issues next year, you’ll want to seek treatment as soon as possible. Contact us today to find out just how simple and affordable varicose vein treatment can be.

Early Treatment of Varicose Veins Leads to Better Ulcer Healing

New research has shown that the early treatment of varicose veins leads to better, faster ulcer healing. While many people largely associate varicose veins as a mere cosmetic problem, the truth is they have the potential to lead to more severe health conditions.

The longer varicose veins are left untreated, the worse they become. Ulcers are a particular concern, developing due to poor circulation within the lower leg. These can prove challenging to treat, but as the research confirms, treating them early is the key to better ulcer healing.

Treatment within two weeks increases healing by 12%

The new research conducted by the Imperial College, London, revealed that treating ulcers within two weeks by closing off the veins increases healing by 12%.

There were 450 patients with venous ulcers from the UK, involved in the randomised trial. Half of them received treatment within two weeks while the other half received treatment only after the ulcer had healed or after six months if the ulcer still hadn’t healed. They were all required to wear compression stockings too.

Results showed that patients who were treated within two weeks, saw their ulcers healed within 56 days. The patients whose treatment was delayed had a longer healing time of 82 days.

The number of leg ulcer cases is increasing

Part of the reason this new research was conducted is because leg ulcers are on the rise. Obesity rates continue to increase, and our population is ageing, causing concern leg ulcers will continue to be a major problem for our healthcare sector. This means finding ways to treat the ulcers in a cost-effective manner. Identifying that early treatment speeds up ulcer healing is therefore crucial to the industry.

There’s also the fact that leaving ulcers untreated can lead to painful open sores and the development of serious complications. Amputation could eventually be required, which is ultimately much more traumatising to the patient and costlier to the NHS.

What treatment options are available?

There are numerous ways to treat varicose veins and prevent the development of ulcers. Laser treatment does tend to be one of the more effective options. This successfully closes off the faulty vein, leading to faster ulcer healing.

Other treatments are also available, and the type of treatment used on a patient will depend upon numerous factors. Therefore, those who do suspect they have varicose veins should book a consultation with a vein specialist to determine the best course of treatment.

Work in a Sedentary Job? You Might Want to Watch Out for Varicose Veins

can a sedentary job cause varicose veinsIf you work within an office environment, or a job which requires you to sit still for long periods of time, your risk of developing varicose veins is pretty high. When you’re not moving your legs for hours at a time, blood can start to pool within them. This doesn’t just increase your risk of varicose veins, it also increases the risk of developing potentially deadly blood clots.

Here, you’ll discover why sedentary jobs pose a risk of varicose veins and what you can do to reduce your chances of developing the condition.

Why do sedentary jobs pose a risk of varicose veins?

The reason varicose veins develop is largely down to poor circulation within the legs. The calf muscles are responsible for helping to pump the blood back up to the heart. As you walk, the muscles contract, pushing the blood up the legs against gravity.

If you don’t walk around much during the day, the blood isn’t going to be pumped back up effectively. This causes it to start pooling in the veins, placing them under a lot more pressure. Eventually, this can lead to the development of varicose veins, as well as serious blood clots.

What can you do to prevent varicose veins?

If you do work in a sedentary job, there are ways you can attempt to prevent varicose veins from occurring.

If you’re sat at a desk all day, for example, you can carry out desk-based exercises to keep the legs more active. These include pedalling your feet, lifting the legs up and down, stretching the ankles and elevating the feet above the heart. All of these can help boost blood circulation in the legs. You can also wear compression stockings, though these are largely designed for temporary use.

Why early treatment is crucial

If you do develop varicose veins, early treatment is crucial. Not only does this guarantee a less invasive treatment method, but it also comes with many health benefits. Leaving varicose veins untreated can lead to more serious complications, such as deadly blood clots which can travel up to the heart.

The type of treatment you’ll be offered will depend upon how severe the varicose veins are. Book a consultation with a vein specialist to determine which treatment method is right for you.

Could varicose veins affect your career options?

A candidate who applied to join the Army in India has been turned down because they suffer varicose veins. Despite undergoing surgery to eliminate the condition, a court has ruled the patient isn’t fit to join the military due to the symptoms varicose veins produce.

For many, varicose veins are viewed solely as a cosmetic condition and it doesn’t cross their mind it could impact their career choices. So, can having varicose veins really affect your job? Here, we’ll look at how venous disease can impact your career options.

Which careers could varicose veins pose a challenge?

Although varicose veins won’t necessarily affect your chances of getting into the military, as the recent case highlights, there are some careers which can be more challenging for those suffering from this condition.

Any career which requires you to keep the legs in one place for long periods poses a risk of varicose veins. So, office workers, hairdressers, retail workers, pilots and security guards, for example, are considered to be at higher risk of developing varicose veins.

How could varicose veins affect your job?

can your job cause varicose veinsIf you do have varicose veins, there is a possibility they could impact your career if it worsens the symptoms associated with varicose veins.

  • Prolonged periods of standing or walking: for workers who are standing or walking for at least 75% of their time, such as those working in retail or hospitality, or as a hair stylist or security guard, this can pose a serious risk.
  • Limited physical activity or prolonged periods of sitting: we should do everything in moderation, so just as prolonged standing can cause problems, so can sitting for long periods of time as it affects blood circulation. Keeping your legs crossed can make it worse.
  • Heavy lifting: this can increase venous reflux and worsen varicose veins so always use the proper technique whether you’re a personal trainer or factory worker.
  • Low air pressure: not just affecting pilots or cabin crew, this can also be a problem for those who have to fly frequently for their jobs. The pressure in the cabin reduces the amount of oxygen absorbed by the blood, often causing swelling in the legs and feet.

The importance of seeking treatment

Thanks to the huge range of varicose vein treatments available, the condition doesn’t need to affect your career. Whether you’re suffering from mild or severe varicose veins, there’s a treatment to fit you.

Seeking treatment for varicose veins is essential, even if it doesn’t impact your job. When left alone, the condition is only likely to become worse and can lead to more severe health consequences.

If you’d like to seek varicose vein treatment, book a consultation with our vein experts today.