How to determine the stage of varicose veins?

A light gait, long walks without fatigue even in heels, beautiful ankles and hips that you don't want to hide from others - these are the benefits of healthy legs without signs of venous disease. Gradually, the way and pace of life changes if the person neglects to prevent varicose veins.

This is true for both women and men. The disease develops in different ways and the stages of varicose veins in medicine on the issue of identification in a patient always generate debate. But it is necessary to understand the classification so as not to miss the moment when varicose veins are treated without surgery.

The essence of the problem

Varicose veins are disorders of blood flow in the saphenous veins. Due to problems with the venous valves, which need to hold the blood portions to go further to the heart, the plasma flows in the opposite direction and is stagnant.

Pressure cannot push blood through the veins of the lower extremities, causing the walls to stretch. On the legs, a pattern of blue-colored stripes and zigzags appears gradually, complemented with swelling and lump in an advanced stage.

But varicose veins are not immediately noticeable. The problem can progress without visual symptoms and, therefore, people who feel discomfort in their legs, but do not find protruding veins, attribute the discomfort to fatigue.

Varicose veins do not occur in isolation as a separate disease. This is just a symptom of dysfunction of the circulatory system as a whole, which appears even at a young age. It is wrong to consider varicose veins in the lower limbs as a sign of old age. Many girls in their 20s hide their legs under pants and long skirts due to varicose veins.

There are several reasons for the circulatory system to malfunction:

  • Genetic inheritance from parents. If the mother (most of the time) or the father has problems with the blood flow from the legs to the heart, the children should have an examination and prevention of the vascular and venous system. But genetics does not work in all cases, if there is no motivating factor - sedentary or standing lifestyle due to the peculiarities of the profession, unbalanced diet, diseases with complications;
  • Non-compliance with the technical break rules when used in certain work areas, where there is a heavy load on the legs, but no movement (hairdresser, specialist in the sales department, accountant, programmer, driver). Warming the legs every 30 minutes prevents blood from stagnating;
  • Some health problems affect blood vessels and veins - diabetes mellitus, heart disease, injuries to the legs, spine, obesity;
  • Pregnancy for many women is the impetus for the first symptoms of varicose veins. The embryo not only increases the weight of the pregnant woman, which presses the legs, but also presses the internal organs and the vital systems of the pregnant woman.

Varicose veins are a serious sign of internal problems that have not manifested, but require at least a standard examination by a therapist.

Different stages of development of venous insufficiency

Although human veins are located not only in the legs, but throughout the body, varicose veins in the lower extremities are more common. Both women and men suffer from the disease, but a greater percentage of the beautiful half of the population.

There are several stages of varicose veins, which are classified according to their severity.The division is conditional, so that the attending physician makes a diagnosis and knows which treatment regime to prescribe to the patient for specific complaints.

Among specialist doctors, there are a number of classifications of the stages of varicose veins. The international community distinguishes seven stages of varicose veins, drawing a line within the structure of narrow symptoms. But in practice, varicose veins are diagnosed at 3 stages of the disease's gradation:

  • First degree (compensation stage) - the deterioration of blood flow from the legs to the heart is predetermined by lifestyle or genetically, but the patient has time to return the venous valves to normal functionality. Symptoms of varicose veins in the early stage are mild and are not taken seriously;
  • Second degree (undercompensation) - there are visual signs of venous insufficiency, which are difficult to confuse with other changes. The discomfort in the legs disappears after a long rest or accompanies the person constantly. At this stage, patients often seek help from a doctor. Vascular and venous changes are significant, but it is possible to relieve tension and pain in the lower extremities;
  • The third degree (decompensation) is the last stage of varicose veins, when the narrow walls of the circulatory system begin to burst with excess blood. Skin tissues are not nourished and die. The development of skin ulcers is difficult to treat. In some cases, in grade 3 of the varicose veins, the bacteria join the ulcerative foci. Stabilizing the patient's condition requires time, effort and complex therapy.

The listed stages of varicose veins are a conditional division. Within each group of venous insufficiency, there is a mild, moderate and severe degree of the disease, which is determined by the symptoms described by patients at reception. Because the pathology of the veins is individual in each case, the line of transition from one stage to the next is insignificant, especially in cases of 1 and 2 degrees.

Characteristics of the initial stage of pathology

1 degree of varicose veins is diagnosed by a doctor in rare cases, because people do not go to the clinic when short-term edema or heaviness in the legs appears. Folk remedies help to relieve tiredness, the swelling goes away after sleeping or changing from high heels to slippers. Varicose veins of 1 degree in many people do not pass to another stage until old age, if there is no provoking factor.

Changes in the vascular system occur not only in adults, but also in modern adolescents, who are deprived of mobility and prefer computers, telephones and other devices to active leisure.

Only the arms and brain are trained, and the rest of the body does not change positions for long. Blood circulation slows down, especially at the bottom of the skeleton. Bent knees, crushed muscles, veins and blood vessels in the thighs and buttocks lead to stagnation.

Teenagers often complain about leg pain and cramps. In some cases, edema is visible, especially when overweight. There are no marked symptoms of grade 1 varicose veins, but the initial stage is neglected and its progressiveness depends only on the attention of children or their parents to themselves.

Teenagers choose uncomfortable high-heeled shoes in an effort to attract attention. The pressure in the veins of the lower extremities increases and leads to the initial degree of pathology. The inability to get up and move with high heels deforms the feet, increases the load on the spine and leg bones, on the hip joints. The curvatures negatively affect the vessels because they are compressed.

The initial degree of varicose veins in young people is not alarming, as the symptoms disappear after rest or a little warm-up. The signs of grade 1 varicose veins are as follows:

  1. Heavy legs even without physical activity;
  2. Slight swelling in the second half of the day, when a foot is too small to fit in shoes or when the toes are visibly digging into the skin. The symptom disappears in the morning if the legs are at rest or if a procedure is performed to relieve the swelling and muscle tension - vertical position of the lower limbs, scalding, massage, changing uncomfortable shoes;
  3. Short-term seizures in rare cases.

In rare cases, with grade 1 varicose veins, external signs of venous pathology appear - thin strips of veins or a vascular network, which are stressed due to the reduced blood flow speed.

It is difficult to diagnose the initial stage of the pathology on its own, because the symptoms listed are seen in other diseases, for example, diabetes mellitus, kidney problems. For diagnosis and treatment, you should see your doctor at the first sign of discomfort.

Varicose veins are not only located in the legs, and the initial stage can be ignored if there are no changes in the lower extremities.

2nd grade features

The initial stage of venous pathology, in the absence of prophylaxis or therapy, after some time passes to the subcompensation stage. Symptoms of grade 1 varicose veins appear more often and last longer.

External changes appear on the skin - swollen veins or a large number of spider veins. At night and even during the day cramps occur, the patient feels pain and is unable to move his leg. During the hardware examination of the veins of the lower extremities, changes in the functioning of the valves are observed.

The pressure in the vessels increases, but it is difficult to push the blood without closing the valves. Blood stagnation forms, which appears on the skin as blue nodules.

  1. A symptom of stage 2 venous insufficiency is swelling that does not go away after rest and preventive procedures. Edema occurs due to the blood's inability to climb through the veins, which impairs hemodynamics. The liquid part of the blood (plasma) begins to seep under the skin through the thin walls of the veins and small vessels, because the function of its transport is impaired;
  2. The skin color changes due to poor circulation and nutrient intake. The cells of the epidermis acquire a brown tint, gradually turning to black. Inflammation develops and, as a result, the initial stage of ulcerative formations;
  3. Patients who seek medical attention at stage 2 of the disease have complaints of severe pain, muscle numbness and itchy skin. Symptoms are caused by a lack of adequate nutrition for the cells of the epidermis.

The undercompensation stage for varicose veins is not considered desperate if the therapy is diagnosed and prescribed in a timely manner. If one or more signs of 2nd degree varicose veins are found, one cannot self-medicate and listen to sympathizers. Only a doctor will help to deal with the problem.

3rd grade features

Grade 3 varicose veins on the legs

People reach the 3rd degree of venous insufficiency if they are treated with inattention and without due respect. The first stage of pathology in rare cases causes discomfort and alters the quality of life, but the 2nd degree of venous insufficiency must not go unnoticed in order to neglect the medical consultation and take a rehabilitation course.

3 degree of pathology is the most serious and dangerous, because trophic ulcers are formed, which do not heal even with drug treatment. In the decompensation phase, the body has exhausted its ability to keep the veins functioning.

The walls are stretched and tuned to the limit, there is a risk of rupture in case of injuries. Another problem with grade 3 varicose veins is thrombophlebitis - blockage of the vessel, formation of blood clots, which can come loose and lead to death.

Venous insufficiency reaches its final stage in extreme cases. The reasons for people's attitude towards themselves are not clear. Bearing the pain, feeling aesthetic discomfort and not being able to walk easily seems strange. The timely diagnosis of the problem and compliance with the doctor's recommendations will not allow varicose veins to cross even 1 stage of the pathology.

Having considered in detail the classification of varicose veins in the lower extremities, it is important to note that venous insufficiency occurs in other parts of the body and internal organs. This problem is more difficult to perceive, but when discomfort occurs in the legs, disturbances in venous blood flow elsewhere can also be thought of.

How to diagnose pathology

At the first signs of discomfort in the legs, it is necessary to contact a medical institution. The diagnosis and treatment of venous insufficiency is made by a phlebologist, but the initial consultation can be obtained with a therapist.

  1. A visual examination of the condition of the leg integuments, the presence of orthopedic changes and other signs is performed;
  2. Palpation of problem areas not only in the legs, but also in the groin and abdomen;
  3. The patient's complaints are heard;
  4. A detailed medical history is compiled in the form of a research interview. The questions are focused on identifying the cause that has become the starting point in the formation of varicose veins;
  5. Phlebologist consultation
  6. A referral for general blood and urine tests is required to determine the patient's general health;
  7. Functional test to determine the degree of venous dilation (Schwarz, Perthes, sole test);
  8. In case of enlargement of the varicose veins, a physical examination of the patency of the veins and the condition of the venous valves is performed - duplex ultrasound (DUS), plethysmography, phlebography, reovasography.

After all the measures for the diagnosis of venous insufficiency and determination of the degree of varicose veins have been performed, prophylaxis, conservative therapy, treatment with alternative methods and, in extreme cases, surgical intervention, elimination of pathology with laser.

How to deal with varying degrees of venous dysfunction

The sooner the signs of varicose veins are noticed, the easier and faster it will be to deal with the problem. The initial stage of the pathology can be completely canceled without the use of drugs, if you start prevention in a timely manner:

  • Change your pace and lifestyle. Often, the reason for the disturbance of blood flow in the veins is a sedentary or standing lifestyle due to professional activities. It is necessary to add movement to improve hemodynamics and prevent high pressure in some areas. With excess weight, you must deal with your normalization, but gradually;
  • Choose comfortable and correct shoes. In the presence of orthopedic deformities, shoes are selected taking into account this problem. High heels only on special occasions;
  • Abandon bad habits that cause problems in the vascular system;
  • Reduces weight if you are overweight and adds extra load to your legs;
  • Choose the right exercise to help blood flow from your legs to your heart.

In the initial phase, the doctor prescribes venotonics, creams, pills to reduce the load on the venous walls and restore their elasticity. The medical shirt must be individually adjusted to relieve tension in the legs.

When external signs appear that create aesthetic discomfort, a special composition (sclerotherapy) is introduced into a vein, but this is rare at an early stage.

The second stage of venous insufficiency requires more attention so that the problem does not progress to stage 3. The specificity of eliminating 2nd degree pathology is similar to the treatment of varicose veins in the initial phase. The drugs are prescribed to reduce the risk of blood clots, reduce tissue swelling and restore blood flow.

Compression underwear for the treatment of varicose veins

Surgical therapy for 2nd degree varicose veins relies on the presence of evident skin changes - convex veins, venous mesh, vascular pattern. In the treatment room, radio frequency or laser therapy is performed. Shown including sclerotherapy, when the external defect disappears in the eyes after injection at the problem injection site.

Compression garments are essential to improve blood flow and reduce stress on the legs.

How to treat grade 3 varicose veins, when the condition of the veins and tissues is bad and the body cannot correct the situation? Treatment is only surgical to prevent thrombosis, rupture of veins and restore hemodynamics throughout the body.

Usually, a phlebectomy procedure is performed - removal of the affected vessels. The operation is performed with surgical instruments (classic method) or laser without a single incision (modern method of treating 3rd degree varicose veins).

The course of the disease is complicated by the formation of ulcers that do not heal even with drug therapy. Therefore, a surgeon is indispensable at this stage. After a successful operation, an individual course in medicines, dressings and health clothing is selected.

In conclusion

Varicose veins are not a harmless cosmetic defect in the legs and other parts of the body, but a serious pathology that, with collusion, will transform a person's life in torment and constant walking through the clinic's offices.

The initial stage of venous insufficiency is inherent to the majority of the population, but the diagnosis is rarely made due to the lack of knowledge of the possible consequences.

If the professional activity involves a sedentary image or constant standing, there are examples of pathology in relatives, it is necessary to take preventive measures and exclude the progression of the disease in the initial phase. Leaving the problem unattended, you may not realize how the veins will cause other pathologies.