I have always been in pretty good health, so I was surprised one day when my doctor told me my blood pressure was a bit high. She told me to begin watching my salt intake, start exercising, and to try to relax. Well, I intended to follow her advice when I left her office, but the next day I was back to my same habits. I kept using the salt shaker and didn't begin an exercise routine like I had planned. When I went for my next check-up, she told me that my blood pressure was even higher and approaching a dangerous level. I had to begin a blood pressure medication to manage it. I wanted to create a blog to share my story and remind people to listen to their doctors' advice. If a few lifestyle changes can improve your health, then you should make them.
You may think that varicose veins are only an issue for older patients, but this assumption is not strictly true. While relatively uncommon in children and teens, varicose veins can still affect young people. What's more, this symptom can point to another underlying medical problem for your son or daughter, so it's important to ask a doctor to check out any problem veins. Find out why children get varicose and spider veins, and learn more about the treatment options available.
Causes of varicose veins
The veins in your body all have one-way valves that stop blood flowing backwards. Over time, the walls of a vein may stretch and lose their elasticity, which, in turn, causes these valves to fail. When the valves don't work properly, blood can leak backwards and collect in the veins. Slowly, this problem will cause enlarged, swollen veins, which doctors refer to as varicose veins. Spider veins occur for the same reason as varicose veins, but they're smaller and redder in color.
The condition is common in people over the age of 50, as the aging process can accelerate the problem with the valves in your veins. In fact, experts estimate that around 50 percent of American people over the age of 50 have the condition.
Why children get varicose veins
Varicose and spider veins occur in children and teens as a result of the same problem with the one-way valves. Nonetheless, the underlying cause of the problem is often different in this younger age group. For example, aside from age, older people tend to suffer from varicose veins because they stand or sit still for long periods, while younger people are generally more active than older adults.
Varicose and spider veins in children can point to other underlying medical conditions and complications. For example, these problematic veins may occur because the child had faulty or absent valves in his or her veins from birth. Scleroderma is a degenerative disease that causes blood vessel abnormalities, and varicose veins could suggest that your child has this condition.
Of course, children and adults also share some of the same causes behind this condition. For example, obesity can increase the risk of problem veins in adults and children alike, while excessively tight clothing can also bring on the condition. Clothing that's too tight around the waist or upper thighs may lead to varicose or spider veins.
Serious complications from varicose veins are rare, but kids and teens will often feel self-conscious about the lumpiness the condition can cause. Over time, fluid can also build up in the tissue near the ankles, which may eventually cause painful ulcers. Some varicose veins may also bleed, especially if the child suffers trauma to the affected part of the body. More seriously, children with varicose veins may also experience swelling in their leg. In this case, you should seek urgent medical attention, as this symptom may indicate that your son or daughter has a dangerous blood clot.
Your child's doctor will normally suggest an ultrasound examination to confirm that your son or daughter has varicose veins. In older patients, doctors may not always recommend treatment, especially if the problem veins are relatively minor, but endovenous (vein) surgery is normally the only option available to help rid children of varicose or spider veins.
There are various surgical options available, and your doctor will discuss the right option according to how serious the problem is. Surgical options include:
Sclerotherapy, where the doctor injects the child with a solution that scars and closes the veins.
Foam sclerotherapy, which involves a foam injection into larger varicose veins.
Laser surgery, which sends a burst of light onto the vein, causing the problem to fade and disappear.
A doctor will probably only suggest certain solutions in more serious cases. For example, endoscopic vein surgery (where a surgeon removes problem veins through small incisions) is normally only necessary if the vein causes leg ulcers.
Varicose veins are uncommon in children, but parents should still remain vigilant for the possible signs of this condition. Talk to your doctor or contact a clinic like Premier Surgical Associates for more advice and information.Share
2 February 2016