What You Should Know About Chronic Venous Insufficiency
There are two kinds of blood vessels in your body: arteries bring blood rich in oxygen from your heart to the rest of your body and, after that oxygen has been used, veins return the blood to the heart. When the veins in your legs are unable to pump that blood back to the heart, you have chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), also sometimes called chronic vein disease (CVD).
When you are upright, the veins in your legs have to work very hard to return the blood to the heart, as they are fighting against gravity. The leg muscles help this process by squeezing the deep veins of the legs. Flaps called valves, aid in keeping the blood flowing in the proper direction. When you walk, this process, called the venous pump, works well. When you sit or stand for long periods, the blood in the legs can pool and increase venous pressure, making it hard for the venous pump to occur. CVI can result.
CVI symptoms can include:
Swollen ankles or legs
A tight feeling in the skin on your calves
Discomfort when walking, or shortly after stopping
Skin changes on your legs, especially very dry skin, redness, rashes, or sores
Anyone can get CVI, although women over 50 are most at risk.
You are also at increased risk of CVI if you:
Have varicose veins or a family history of varicose veins or CVI
Are overweight or obese
Live a sedentary lifestyle
If you are concerned about CVI, you should go see a board-certified podiatrist like Dr. Boris Abramov and Dr. Tatyana Abramova as soon as possible. With years of specialized training and experience, your podiatrist is the best-qualified professional to diagnose and treat all illnesses and injuries of the feet, ankles, and lower legs.