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Varicose Veins

Derived from the Latin word varix, which means twisted, varicose veins indicate a condition where veins swell and raise above the level of the skin. Though they can occur anywhere, varicose veins are most often noticed on the legs and feet. Veins on the lower body are subject to increased pressure while standing and walking and hence they are most likely to succumb to becoming varicose. Varicose veins appear as dark purple or blue cords that are twisted or bulging.

They are easily noticed on the back of calves or insides of the leg. In very severe cases of varicose veins, they rupture and form sores on the skin. If the veins deep within the legs enlarge, it may lead to swelling and pain. Women are more likely to develop varicose veins as compared to men. Birth control pills and HRT can make a woman more susceptible to this condition. People suffering from varicose veins feel throbbing pain and muscle cramping in the lower legs. These symptoms are worsened by prolonged sitting or standing. Venous disease can also cause varicose vein. Varicose veins tend to be more prominent during menstruation and pregnancy. Another condition similar to varicose veins is spider veins. This appears as smaller jagged lines and can be found on the face too.

Varicose veins treatment

Regular exercise can help in building vein strength and improving circulation. Keep weight under control to avoid extra pressure on the legs. Wearing supportive hosiery can help to some extent. Standing for long periods of time can cause varicose veins since the blood flow is impaired due to the stationary position. Shift your weight from time to time if you are standing for long periods of time. If you have to sit for long periods of time, stand up and move around or take a short walk approximately every 30 minutes. Include high-fiber foods to rule out constipation - a contributory factor to developing varicose veins.


Quercetin is not a nutrient but a flavonol, a sub-class of Flavonoids. Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-carcinogenic and cardio-protective properties of Quercetin help in fighting diseases and improve over all well-being. It helps to get rid of damaging free radical molecules. It inhibits the formation of LDL cholesterol and various enzymes that cause inflammation in the body.

Role of Quercetin

The anti-histamine properties of Quercetin play a vital role in fighting allergies, specifically seasonal allergies (pollen, mold or dust). Quercetin inhibits histamine, (the chemical released by the immune system to trigger an allergic reaction) release from immune cells and helps reduce itching red eyes, runny nose and scratchy throat. Quercetin is beneficial to people with interstitial cystitis, high blood pressure, prostatitis. Quercetin also inhibits tumor growth.

Research indicates positive use of Quercetin in treating cellular damage in brain cells. Lesser damage to cellular proteins and DNA cells have been confirmed. By improving the strength of capillaries, Quercetin helps alleviate bruises, edema, varicose veins and fragile capillaries. A study on healthy but un-trained exercisers suggested that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Quercetin help boost endurance capacity as well as maximal oxygen capacity. Headache and stomach ache are common side effects. High dosage can however lead to complications. The most common of the Quercetin side effect is heartburn that occurs soon after taking a large dose. Acid reflux may also occur.

Interventional Radiology

A sub-specialty of radiology, Interventional radiology - IR has contributed significantly to medical developments in recent years. Patients are diagnosed and treated using minimally invasive imaging techniques such as X-ray, MRI and ultrasound for guidance. In addition to diagnosis, new treatment options are offered by techniques in Interventional radiology (also known as Surgical Radiology)- patients are treated with lesser risk and shorter hospital stays.

The advantage of IR procedures is that they can be used in almost every organ system - be it abdomen, central nervous system, chest, heart and vascular, musculoskeletal, genito-urinary and other organs and soft tissues.

Interventional Radiologists

Patient evaluation and management are provided by Interventional radiologists, who are doctors trained in radiology and in minimally invasive procedures, skilled in interpreting X rays, ultrasounds and CT and other imaging techniques. While surgery was the only available option for a number of conditions a few years back, these days the expertise of Interventional radiologists with imaging technique enables them to guide small catheters, that are only a few millimeters in diameter and guide wires through blood vessels or other organ pathways to treat many conditions. Diseases and conditions are diagnosed and treated percutaneously with minimally invasive procedures.

Benefits and uses of Interventional radiology

This is an imaging technique using cutting-edge equipment for accurate diagnosis and treatment, a minimally invasive procedure through a small nick in the skin, minimizing the patient's discomfort and recovery time. These days, there is hardly any area in hospital medicine where IR has not impacted patient management.

These procedures require only local anesthesia, and short stays at the hospital. Sick patients who are unfit to undergo surgery can also undergo these techniques. Recovery post IR procedure is less painful than when the patient undergoes surgical procedures.

These image guided medical procedures use CT, MRI, fluoroscopy and ultrasound to view targeted areas. This makes the vessels clearly visible under imaging. A thin catheter is used to deliver the contrast material into a particular blood vessel and shows the inside of the vessel allowing the radiologist to locate blockages. Some examples of interventional radiology procedures include:

Using Interventional radiology

By minimizing the physical trauma to the patient, non-surgical interventions also reduce infection rates and recovery time and shorten hospital stays.

  • Blood vessel disease such as narrowing of arteries leading to restricted flow of blood
  • Expanded arteries at risk of rupture and bleeding
  • Bleeding or hemorrhage which is the most common vascular emergency treated by IR.
  • Blood clots in the lung
  • Dilated veins or varicose veins that most commonly occur in the legs but can occur in the pelvis and scrotum and can be treated by blocking the vein by heat treatment or using embolization techniques.
  • Tumor therapies in liver intended to shrink or destroy them in their primary site.
  • Kidney and other tumors by destructive therapies
  • Uterine fibroids which cause heavy menstrual bleeding and pain caused by benign tumors called fibroids
  • Kidney stones that can cause pain
  • Infection and blockage in the kidney and gall stones, one of the most common upper abdominal disorders.

Tags: #Varicose Veins #Quercetin #Interventional Radiology
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: July 23, 2024