For some patients developing varicose veins, it’s easy to think the only issue at hand is a cosmetic issue. And, while it’s true that varicose veins may not look all too flattering, there’s much more to the picture. I frequently have to inform patients that varicose veins are a serious medical issue associated with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).
What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)?
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a common cause of swelling and pain in the legs, which is frequently associated with varicose veins. This medical condition may affect up to 20 percent of adults, according to a clinical investigation and report shared by the American Heart Association.
In most patients, CVI is caused by blocked veins or damaged valves, conditions which may be caused by deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – blood clots deep in the legs of the vein. In normal, healthy veins, valves help pump blood back up through the legs to the heart. When these valves fail to function properly, the flow of blood reverses (venous reflux), allowing blood to pool in the legs and feet, resulting in enlarged veins.
Understanding CVI Symptoms
It’s important to recognize CVI symptoms early on in order to reduce the risk of damage to the vascular system and the body as a whole. CVI symptoms include:
- Aching or fatigue in the legs
- Leg pain
- Swelling in the lower legs and ankles (especially after prolonged standing)
- New varicose veins
- Stasis Ulcers / Venous Stasis Ulcers
- Rough and leathery skin on legs
- Flaky and itchy skin on legs and feet
- Patients with advanced CVI may notice discoloration in the skin, burst capillaries, internal tissue damage, and additional open sores.
Reversing CVI Symptoms
The symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency may be partly reversed with physical activity, weight loss, and the use of compression stockings and antibiotics. However, advanced clinical treatment is often needed to combat CVI and varicose vein symptoms.
Learn more about how we’re treating varicose veins and symptoms with Venefit in the Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa areas.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.