Varicose veins are veins that have become enlarged and tortuous (twisted). Veins have valves (leaflets) to prevent the impure blood from flowing backwards (retrograde flow or reflux) into the organ. Leg muscles pump the veins to return blood to the heart through a mechanism called the skeletal muscle pump, against the effects of gravity. When veins become varicose, the leaflets of the valves no longer meet properly, and the valves do not work (valvular incompetence). This allows blood to flow backwards and the veins enlarge even further. Varicose veins are most common in the superficial veins of the legs, which are subject to high pressure when standing.
Signs & symptoms
- Aching, heavy legs (often worse at night and after exercise).
- Appearance of spider veins (telangiectasia) in the affected leg.
- Ankle swelling, especially in evening.
- Brownish-yellow shiny discoloration of skin near the affected veins.
- Redness, dryness, and itchiness of skin over affected areas, termed stasis dermatitis or venous eczema, because of waste products building up in the leg.
- Cramps especially when making a sudden move like standing up.
- Excessive bleeding from minor injuries and delayed healing.
- In some people the skin above the ankle may shrink (lipdermatosclerosis) as the fat underneath the skin becomes hard.
- Restlessness of legs.
- Whitened, irregular scar-like patches known as atrophie blanche can appear at the ankles.
A 38 year old male was consulted by Dr. Pratik Desai on the 2nd of June, 2012 at ‘the other song’. He complained of pain and swelling over the feet and ankles which went worse in the evening, accompanied by intense pain in the lower limbs, especially the calf muscles which was aggravated by walking and standing for a long duration.
The Doppler study showed varicosity of the Great Saphenous vein with incompetent valves at various levels and the patient was advised emergency surgery by the surgeon for the same.
During his case examination, it became apparent that the main issue for this patient was the responsibility of his family. Since he was the only earning member, his main concern was welfare of his family in his absence. He perceived his illness as a punishment for a probable crime he has committed. He failed to understand why he developed this illness as he has not indulged in any vice ever. He is superstitious by nature. The patient was very conscientious and would always be careful to avoid false accusation or the guilt feeling from not performing well at his work. He has this constant struggle within him to be moralistic, honest and had a righteous sense of duty and responsibility.
In Homoeopathy, these aspects play an important, the understanding of the overall nature and the innermost issues of any individual as they help individualize and help find a specific medicine for the patient. On the basis, of the diagnosis and the peculiar state and experience understood, the patient was prescribed a remedy which matched his symptoms.
After a year, the pain and swelling over the feet disappeared. Patient felt 80% better. He did well not only physically, but also emotionally. He was much more relaxed and calm. His ability to cope up with stress greatly improved. He was not anxious anymore. He could express his views much better and this improved his relations at work and at home. His confidence improved and the struggle within him to be honest and bound to duty also ceased to exist. He felt secure in terms of future and health. The medicine brought about a radical change in him at all levels.
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