One of the key symptoms of varicose veins is obvious: It’s an unsightly condition and those enlarged and swollen veins will make themselves known beyond any reasonable doubt in many cases. Many sufferers choose to have the condition addressed for those cosmetic reasons and that’s very understandable.
But it would be wrong to assume that the visual side to varicose veins appears overnight. There are many other symptoms and some of these can act as an early warning system, allowing sufferers to get the condition treated before it moves to an advanced stage.
The Pain Factor
Varicose veins can affect around one in four adults and some symptoms can be mild in those early stages. That also means that they can be easily overlooked so it is important to look for the warnings.
The first potential to look for relates to simple pain in the legs. Clearly this can appear for a multitude of reasons but those who find increased discomfort after sitting or standing for long periods may just have a precursor to varicose veins. If those increased levels are being added to general pain at any time of the day, it’s a sign that you should investigate the possibility of having developed the condition.
Giving the Signals
The legs and feet are the key indicators in terms of varicose veins symptoms. We have already mentioned the issues of general pain but we can be far more specific in this respect. Burning and throbbing sensations should be looked for while cramp in the legs, especially at night, is another strong sign.
If you are suffering with general pain and aren’t sure whether to associate the feelings with varicose veins, you can quickly check with your GP but, if you add in any of those burning, throbbing or cramping sensations, those are additional warnings that should be taken seriously.
Now, move from your legs and look down towards your ankles and feet. Is there any swelling that can’t be put down to any other condition? This is a tough question for pregnant women but it’s one that’s important to consider. Swelling can simply be down to water retention and this is a common issue for women, particularly in advanced stages of pregnancy.
Swollen ankles and feet can, therefore, be attributed to other causes but it’s important to remember that pregnant women can be at greater risk of developing varicose veins. This is generally due to the extra pressure on the lower body and, it can be a particular problem for those who remain inactive for much of their term. In summary, it may well be nothing to worry about but swollen feet and ankles should always be checked out by a podiatrist.
With varicose veins, there can be some early visual indicators before the condition starts to deteriorate. Advice indicates that there may be some discolouration around a vein which otherwise appears normal. Once again, there could be other factors involved but this could be an initial sign of the onset of varicose veins.
Itching can also form part of your early warning system. This is likely to happen directly over the affected vein and when that itching is accompanied by dry and thin skin, varicose veins can be a likely diagnosis.
That summarises the key symptoms relating to varicose veins but what should you do if you suspect you may be developing the condition?
When to Seek Advice
If any of those symptoms develops then you have choices: You can arrange an appointment with your GP but in these days of long waiting times it may be preferable to speak to a specialist centre for the treatment of varicose veins.
In the modern era, there are several ways to address the condition and while surgery is still available, it is possible for many patients to be treated with other, non-invasive techniques.
As mentioned, some of the symptoms may relate to other conditions but varicose veins shouldn’t be ruled out. In addition, if you are in any of the at-risk groups then you should pay particular attention to the onset of any of these factors. Pregnant women, those who work in sedentary occupations and those who are overweight fall into that category but for anyone who is concerned; these symptoms can easily be checked out by a qualified professional.