Chronic Venous Insufficiency and Vericose Vein Remedies

Chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) is a leg vein problem that causes many years of increasing pain and disability for many thousands of people, the majority of them women. Arteries bring oxygenated blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Veins return oxygen-deficient blood back to your heart. CVI occurs when the veins are unable to pump enough blood back to your heart. CVI is commonly referred to as chronic venous disease, or CVD.

What causes CVI?

Long-term blood pressure that is higher than normal inside your leg veins is the most common cause of CVI. The blood flowing through your leg veins must work against gravity to return to your heart. Your leg muscles squeeze the deep veins in your legs and lower extremities to help move blood back up to your heart. One-way valves in your deep veins ensure that blood keeps flowing in the right direction. When you relax your leg muscle valves close whereby preventing the blood from flowing backward.

When you walk or exercise your leg muscles squeeze assisting the flow of blood back to the heart. However, when you sit, stand or relax for long periods of time, the blood in your leg veins can pool and increase blood pressure. The veins in your legs can usually withstand short periods of increased pressure but long periods of pressure can stretch vein walls. Over time, in susceptible individuals, this can seriously weaken leg vein walls and valves, causing chronic venous insufficiency.

Other causes of CVI include deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and phlebitis. Both of these conditions elevate blood pressure in leg veins that can lead to CVI.

DVT occurs when a thrombus (blood clot) stops blood from flowing freely through deep veins in the legs. Blood that builds up behind a thrombus increases pressure on the vein walls and may stretch vein values, whereby rendering them ineffective. Damaged vein valves that no longer work efficiently may contribute to CVI.

Phlebitis is a condition where the superficial veins in the legs becoming inflamed or swollen. This inflammation and swelling causes blood clotting, which in a similar manner to DVT, can lead to CVI.

CVI can also results from a simple failure of the leg vein values to hold blood against gravity, leading to slow movement of blood out of the veins, resulting in thick, swollen legs.

Although CVI can affect anyone, individuals with a family history of varicose veins are most susceptible. Other factors that can increase the risk of CVI include pregnancy, obesity, smoking, standing or sitting for long periods of time and not getting enough exercise. Both age and sex are also factors that can increase your risk of CVI.