The venous insufficiency symptoms are noticeable enough to pinpoint where treatment for this problem is imperative. Find out here about the causes, symptoms, and varied treatment options, for the same…
Venous insufficiency is when the veins have trouble redirecting blood from the legs back to one’s heart. Valves, which are openings that allow blood to flow in the right direction, function in a way where they do not allow blood to collect in one place. When you relax your muscles, the valves in one’s veins close, therefore not allowing blood to flow backwards into one’s legs.
The veins in your legs and feet move blood back to the heart, where blood flow has to go against the push of gravity to return to the heart, when you stand upright. There are problems that can arise from vein congestion, that force the blood to collect in one place. Two common conditions that bring on a case of venous insufficiency are deep vein thrombosis and varicose veins. The former condition causes a blockage in the veins due to the presence of a clot, where the latter is when the veins are either twisted or damaged.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency Causes
Venous insufficiency can be brought on by a number of factors that we do unconsciously, or due to underlying problems that the body faces over a span of time.
- Varicose veins
- Old age (those over 50 are likely to experience this)
- Being too tall
- Sitting or standing for too long
- Weak muscles
- Females are more prone to this condition (as a result of fluctuating progesterone levels; like during pregnancy)
- Not being active enough
- Vein thrombosis
- Leg injuries
- Factors linked to one’s genetics
- Is hereditary in nature
- Previously formed blood clots in the legs
Chronic Insufficiency Symptoms
The signs of this condition can be read, since the effects of venous insufficiency are experienced at some point in the day, on an everyday basis. Noticing these symptoms is important to have yourself treated in time, without letting it escalate into something far worse like amputation.
- Legs start to swell (edema) due to fluid collection in the leg tissues (lymph)
- Tightness around the calves area
- Pain subsides when you raise your legs
- Veins when swollen will push against the skin, where they look bluish in color and bulge out
- Tingling or itching sensation
- Ankles, feet, or lower legs will eventually develop ulcers (venous stasis ulcers)
- Skin looks scaly in the leg region
- Varicose veins (superficial; surface area of the skin)
- Cramping in the legs
- Sores and rashes start to form
- Pain increases when you stand upright
- A feeling of heaviness in your legs
- Skin starts to thicken around the ankles and legs
- Discoloration around the skin area of the ankles (brown/red)
Venous Insufficiency Treatment
Based on the severity and the causes of this condition, the treatment options are then presented to the patient.
A doctor will prescribe blood thinners or coagulants to lessen the impact of existing blood clots. It not only helps ease away the clots, but prevents others from forming too.
Two non-surgical options include endovenous thermal ablation and sclerotherapy. The former procedure is an effective method of treatment that doesn’t involve a lot of pain, where patients heal faster too. It is where high-frequency radio waves or a laser, is directed toward the infected vein, where this is closed off to put a stop to any progressive problem. The latter non-surgical method uses a syringe filled with a solution, that is injected into varicose/spider veins, causing them to disappear after they collapse. It can help with problems that would force one to experience pain, or restlessness.
For leg swelling prescription-wear compression stockings will help reduce this, promoting good blood flow. These elastic stockings come in varied sizes and materials, for the sake of convenience and comfort. It is vital for one to choose compression gradient stockings, since high-stretch elastic bandages/non-gradient stockings, can worsen one’s condition in most cases. The level of compression that is meant for your particular problem, should be discussed with a physician, before a purchase is made. Ideally, the 30-40mm Hg gradient compression stockings (thigh-high/calf-high) are the ideal choice. Stay clear from anti-embolism stockings, since these are known to be quite ineffective. Medicated wraps are an option for those experiencing ulcers that do not heal, where these also help in reducing swelling.
Keep your legs in an elevated position, by propping a pillow or cushion under your legs to help blood circulate better. A strict healthy diet plan should be introduced into your routine, to help lessen extra weight around the leg area which can significantly better your condition. Being active (brisk walking 30 minutes everyday) and taking cautionary steps like, limiting the number of times you smoke, avoiding tight-fitting pants/belts/adjustable bands around the waist area, and not standing or sitting for too (get up and take frequent walks, without remaining stationary), will help.
There are three surgical options that are available for patients, vein bypass, ligation and stripping, and ambulatory phlebectomy/microincision. The first procedure involves transferring a healthy vein from another part of the body, to the trouble area using the method of transplantation, to help reroute blood. The second procedure has two different approaches to the problem, where ligation is the process of tying veins after they’ve been snipped. The second procedure (stripping) is where large veins are removed from the leg, through two small incisions. The last procedure also uses an incision method, or the use of a needle to make punctures through the skin barrier, where the veins that cause the condition are removed using a phlebectomy hook.
Venous insufficiency, if taken lightly and not diagnosed by a doctor in time, can result in amputation, like I mentioned earlier. Not ignoring the body’s signs that it is under the effects of this, should be of concern to you, especially if your family has a history of this medical condition. Have a safe tomorrow.