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The arteries are responsible for the transfer of blood from the heart to the other parts of your body.

The veins are responsible for the transfer of blood from the other parts of the body, including the legs back to the heart.

Venous Insufficiency Causes, Symptoms, Treatment.

Venous Insufficiency Causes, Symptoms, Treatment.

The veins have one-way valves that ensure that blood doesn’t flow backward from the heart.

When the valve becomes damaged or malfunctioning, it can’t hold the blood from flowing backward anymore. This causes the blood to flow back to the leg and cause a pool of blood in the veins at the lower leg region.

Venous insufficiency is a condition that causes the valve not to function properly. The veins can get damaged due to different factors such as age, blood clot, smoking, pregnancy, obesity, et al.

Venous insufficiency could lead to pain, swelling, skin discoloration, itching, et al. Severe cases could lead to venous leg ulcer.

Causes of Venous insufficiency

A condition known as deep vein thrombosis which is a blood clot in a deep vein can damage the valve. When the valve is damaged it leads to venous insufficiency and it was treated by Venous Insufficiency Treatment.

Risk factors of developing venous insufficiency

  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Standing or sitting at a position for too long
  • Pregnancy
  • Aging (over 50)
  • Smoking
  • Family history or hereditary
  • A person with a previous leg injury
  • Previous leg surgery
  • Female gender

Symptoms of Venous insufficiency

The symptoms or signs of venous insufficiency include:

  • Hardened or thickened skin around your lower legs or ankle
  • Inflammation or swelling of your lower legs or ankles
  • Feeling of heaviness in your lower legs
  • Aching and itching
  • Feeling of pain
  • Weakness of the legs
  • Leg cramps
  • Skin discoloration at the lower legs or ankles
  • Varicose veins
  • Feeling of tightness around your calves
  • Worse case of leg ulcers

Diagnosis of Venous insufficiency

Diagnosis of Venous insufficiency.

Diagnosis of Venous insufficiency.

When diagnosing for venous insufficiency, your doctor will do a physical examination and ask you questions about your medical history.

Your doctor may examine the pulse rate of your legs and also ask you to undergo imaging scans such as x-ray, MRI or CT scan.

Your doctor may conduct special tests and ultrasound such as Venogram or Duplex ultrasound.

  • Venogram 

    A venogram is a test that allows your doctor to see the veins in your body especially the veins in your legs.

During a venogram, a contrast dye is injected into the veins via a catheter. The contrast dye makes the blood vessels to appear opaque on the x-ray image so that the doctor can see them clearly.

Your doctor will be able to view your veins for any abnormalities and know exactly what is wrong.

  • Duplex ultrasound 

    Duplex ultrasound uses sound waves to detect the speed and direction of the flow of blood in the veins.

During a duplex ultrasound, your doctor will apply some gel on your skin and then presses a transducer against your skin. The transducer uses sound waves that transmit on a computer and produces images of the flow and direction of blood.

Treatment of Venous insufficiency

At the early stage, venous insufficiency treatment can be treated with home remedy or self-care procedures. Self-care procedures can also help prevent venous insufficiency.

Medical care and treatment are recommended for severe cases.
Self-care treatments for early stages include:

  • Regular exercises 

    Engaging in regular exercises helps to enhance the circulation of blood in the body. Exercises prevent blood clot and improve the functionalities of body organs.

  • Avoid standing or sitting in a position for too long 

    Sitting or standing in a position for too long hinders the free flow and circulation of blood in the body. It is recommended to alternate your sitting and standing positions as much as possible. Talk walks and flexes your muscles at intervals.

  • Practice leg elevation 

    At any possible time, try to elevate your legs above your heart. If you are lying down on the bed, try to keep your feet at a higher position above your heart level.

  • Reduce your weight 

    Obesity leads to several health conditions including venous insufficiency. The weight of your body could cause increased pressure on your legs and veins. It is very important that you lose weight to lower the pressure on your legs.

  • Wear compression stockings 

    Compression stockings help to contract the muscles of the leg to enhance the upward flow of blood.

  • Practice good skin hygiene 

    Take good care of your skin and eat foods that contain a high level of essential nutrients.

  • Avoid excess salt intake 

    Excess salt intake can lead to water retention in the body which causes swelling in the legs. Avoid eating foods that contain a high level of salt.

Severe cases of Venous Insufficiency Treatment.

Severe cases of Venous Insufficiency Treatment.

Severe cases of Venous Insufficiency Treatment.

Medical treatments include:

  • Vein repair 

    This is done to fix the valve or the vein. Your doctor will cut open your leg or make small incisions to access the vein or valve.

  • Vein transplant 

    This is the replacement of a damaged vein with a healthy one. Your doctor will take a healthy vein from other parts of your body and replace the damaged vein in your leg with a healthy vein.

  • Sclerotherapy 

    This is injecting a damaged vein with a solution so as to close up the vein. Blood will then flow through healthy veins. The damaged veins will be absorbed into the body over time.

  • Ligation 

    This is a surgical procedure whereby a damaged vein is cut off or tied off so that blood won’t be able to flow through it anymore.

  • Endovenous thermal ablation 

    This uses radiofrequency or laser to heat up or burn up a damaged vein.

  • Medications 

    Antibiotics are used to treat infections from worse cases of venous insufficiency that has led to leg ulcers.

  • Vein bypass 

    This is similar to heart bypass surgery. In this procedure, your doctor will collect a healthy vein from other parts of your body and reroute blood around the damaged vein. The blood will then flow through the new healthy vein. This procedure is, however, used in upper thigh region and for extreme cases.

  • Surgery 

    Surgical procedures may be required for extreme cases of venous insufficiency. However, fewer than 1 in every 10 people with venous insufficiency may require surgery.