What To Look For
Varicose veins are damaged veins that have become twisted and enlarged as weakened valves slow or prevent blood flow from circulating from the extremities back towards the heart.
Do You Feel
Legs that feel fatigued or achy, especially at the end of the day, can often be the first signs of venous disease. These symptoms often get dismissed as the result of a busy day on one’s feet, and therefore go unchecked. Weakened or damaged veins greatly reduce oxygen flow to the legs, causing leg fatigue as the condition worsens. If left untreated, this can result in complete blockage.
Varicose veins can cause legs to feel heavy and weighted down due to the pooling of blood that occurs as the veins work harder through closing valves to keep blood circulating to and from the heart. Combined with the force of gravity, legs can continue to feel heavy throughout the day until they are elevated.
The increased pressure in legs may be a result of poor blood circulation that originates in swollen, visibly enlarged veins that cause blood to pool in the legs. This can cause legs to feel tight and uncomfortable. Varicose veins also prevent an excess of nutrients, waste, and liquid from escaping the body, leading to water retention in some cases that are another reason for the pressure experienced in the legs.
Restlessness experienced in the legs or the urge to constantly move them can be symptomatic of venous insufficiency. While sometimes accompanied by additional tingling, itching, or burning, this symptom is mainly characterized by an unstoppable restlessness that occurs while sitting or lying down. The blockage often caused by the damaged veins lends itself to this type of discomfort, which persists until the blood flow in the legs can be improved.