As a patient or caretaker, it is crucial to stay informed about conditions that may impact you or your loved ones. Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) affects more than 25 million Americans and plays an integral role in developing circulation diseases such as varicose veins, ulcers, pulmonary embolism, and deep-vein thrombosis.
Understanding the causes of CVI is critical in minimizing its symptoms - but what exactly causes this disorder? In this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at CVI and discuss its underlying causes so you can protect yourself and those you love from further complications.
What is Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI) is a disorder in which the veins are unable to adequately return the blood from the lower extremities to the heart. This results in the pooling of blood, swelling, and inflammation in various parts of your legs. Symptoms include: pain, discomfort, or heaviness in the legs; itching or burning sensation in the skin; varicose veins; and swollen legs or ankles.
If left untreated, CVI can lead to more serious conditions such as venous ulcers, blood clots, and deep vein thrombosis. In severe cases, it can even cause pulmonary embolism - a life-threatening condition in which the blood clot travels to the lungs and blocks the airways. So it's important to recognize the signs early and seek appropriate treatment.
What Causes Chronic Venous Insufficiency?
The most common cause of chronic venous insufficiency is a condition known as venous reflux, which occurs when the valves located inside your veins become weakened or damaged. When these valves can no longer keep blood moving up towards the heart, it causes a reverse flow that leads to the pooling of blood in the legs.
Other causes of CVI include: age-related degeneration, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pregnancy, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. In addition, certain medications such as birth control pills and steroids can lead to CVI.
Treatment of Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Fortunately, there are numerous treatments available for CVI, from simple lifestyle changes to medical interventions. Some treatments include compression products, like Aero-Wrap™ that help the vein walls return blood up to the heart; exercise and physical therapy to strengthen your legs and improve circulation; medications to reduce inflammation; laser therapy to close off varicose veins; and surgery to repair damaged veins.
At the end of the day, CVI is a manageable condition, but it's still important to understand what causes it in order to prevent further issues from arising. Knowing the underlying causes of CVI can help you stay proactive in monitoring your health and lead to a healthier, more fulfilling life.
If you have any questions or concerns about CVI and its causes, it's best to consult your doctor for further advice.