THE VENOUS SYSTEM
Blood vessels can be distinguished in two types: arteries and veins. The venous and arterial system runs from the heart through the arterial trunks that ramify several times. As the ramification extends, the dimensions of the arteries gradually decrease to become arterioles and finally capillaries. Blood flowing from the capillary network first reaches the venules and then the small veins; from there to medium and large calibre veins before reaching the venae cavae (circulatory system) or the pulmonary veins (pulmonary circulation).
As for their structure, veins consist in a thin, smooth wall that is relatively inelastic. Their calibre is generally slightly higher than that of corresponding arteries. Because of their ample lumen and thin walls, veins can contain large quantities of blood (“venous compliance” is referred to in this respect, vs. “venous resistance” for arteries).
Because the vein wall is deformable, the most frequent pathologies are varicosities and dilatations; according to the anatomical district involved, different symptoms can arise. Among the most frequent varicose dilatations is a haemorroidal varicose dilatation, triggered by factors mainly connected to vessel fragility, but also to diet and lifestyle adopted.
In subjects that are susceptible to hemorrhoids, the vessel walls and connective tissues supporting the rectum are fragile and easily stretch, shrinking to the point where they start bleeding. For the same reasons, these people generally also suffer from varicose veins in the lower limbs as well as from capillary fragility. Prolonged standing or sitting as well as undue efforts increase pressure on vessels of the rectum and hinder venous outflow, thereby increasing the risk of hemorrhoids.
Adopting a correct diet also plays a key role. First of all, dietary excesses and certain foodstuffs in particular (chocolate, coffee, pork, etc.), cause overwork for the intestine and other organs in charge of digestive and purifying processes (spleen, liver and gallbladder), therefore limiting the efficiency of the circulatory system: as a result, the blood flows with difficulty and tends to “stagnate”. Refined and preserved foods, typical of our modern world, as well as the lack of fibres make intestinal functions difficult and in the long run cause dysbiosis, characterized by symptoms ranging from constipation to colitis.
If we add to these the frequent use and abuse of medicines, in particular laxatives and antibiotics, that deplete the beneficial physiological flora, and widespread, often undiagnosed food intolerances, the intestine becomes a “sick” area, fertile ground for the insurgence of hemorrhoids. The increasingly widespread sedentary lifestyle worsens the situation, making venous return difficult.
On these grounds, for those suffering from weakness of venous walls, evident from varicosities and dilatation with frequent episodes of hemorrhoids, it is fundamental not only to follow a correct diet and lifestyle so as to avoid exacerbating the situation; it is equally important to use the right remedies aimed at reinforcing the blood vessel walls and at the same time capable of definitely solving acute episodes of hemorrhoids.