Venous Insufficiency Symptoms

Venous insufficiency is a condition in which the blood in your legs has begun to flow backward. Your veins have a valve containing two flaps, and these flaps prevent blood from flowing in the wrong direction. After your oxygenated blood has been pumped from your heart to your legs, the veins should take the deoxygenated blood back to the heart.

If you have venous insufficiency, the blood begins to pool in your legs instead. Read on to learn more about venous insufficiency symptoms, causes, types and treatment.

Main Symptoms

Your symptoms may vary from someone else with the same condition, though there are some signs many patients have in common. Patients with venous insufficiency symptoms may experience one or more of the following:

  • Varicose veins
  • Swollen ankles and legs
  • Dull, heavy aching in the legs
  • Dark brown patches of skin
  • Cramped legs

Someone with venous insufficiency could also begin to notice open sores on the legs or have issues with blood clots. The skin could also become thick or hard on the ankles and legs, almost resembling leather. Restless leg syndrome and Charley horses could also indicate you are suffering from venous insufficiency.

This condition can affect a variety of people, with an estimated 40% of individuals already dealing with it in the United States. Women seem to be diagnosed more often than men, and it is a more frequent condition found in those over 50 years of age.

Common Causes

There are a handful of causes that could lead one to believe he or she is suffering from venous insufficiency. Some common causes include being overweight, pregnant, having previous leg damage, and having a family history of the condition. Other causes include:

  • Phlebitis, or inflammation of the veins close to the skin
  • A lack of exercise
  • Sitting or standing for extended periods of time, leading to high blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Deep vein thrombosis, or a deep vein blood clot

Venous Insufficiency Types

Though there is only one type of venous insufficiency, there are three stages your condition could fall into. The severity of your symptoms would determine which stage you are at. Keep in mind, the more advanced the situation, the more serious your condition.

Stage one is characterized by swollen legs and ankles, as well as a change in the pigmentation of your skin. Stage two would include all of stage one, with the addition of dermatitis.

Stage three adds ulcers and varicose veins to the symptom list. No matter which stage you feel you’re at, it is important you are treated immediately for the best results.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Every patient will require a different avenue for diagnosis, though some common procedures may include duplex ultrasounds, a visual examination and a look at your medical history. Treatment is also given on a patient-by-patient basis. Some treatments are more invasive than others, with compression stockings being on the conservative end of the list. Exercise is common in both prevention and treatment.

An examination and treatment are essential the moment you realize what you may be dealing with. Though venous insufficiency is not a life-threatening condition, it typically becomes chronic, especially when not treated right away. Without treatment, you could end up with chronic venous hypertension, dermatitis, and venous ulcerations.

 

Finding Answers to Your Questions

To learn more about venous insufficiency, including what it is and how to prevent it, contact Northern Illinois Vein Clinic. With the right diagnosis and the right professionals, you can live an active, pain-free life without the constant worry this condition can create. Call Northern Illinois Vein Clinic today at 779-696-8346 to discuss your concerns or to schedule an appointment for your free screening.

 

Image Credit: Getty ImagesMarina113

5 Natural Cures for Varicose Veins

If you are bothered by the appearance of your legs due to dark, protruding veins, you may want a varicose vein treatment so you can show those gams off again in confidence.

At Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, we can offer you different options for managing these unpleasant veins. Here are five ideas for natural cures for varicose veins.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are veins, primarily in your leg, that have become bulging or twisted just under the surface of the skin. They are quite visible in appearance and are often dark blue or purple. While for some people they are merely a cosmetic nuisance, for others varicose veins may cause:

  • Itching surrounding the vein
  • Aches and pains in the leg, including a heavy feeling
  • Cramping, burning or throbbing in the leg
  • Skin tenderness or swelling

There are different reasons why certain people develop varicose veins, such as family history, excess weight, the aging process, smoking, and prolonged sitting or standing.

Many with this condition seek a varicose vein treatment to give relief from this unsightly medical issue. Luckily, various options exist, including natural cures for varicose veins.

Implement Dietary Changes

First, you want to be sure to reduce water retention in your body. While decreasing the intake of salty foods, do eat foods that are rich in potassium, such as lentils, white beans, bananas, almonds, pistachios, leafy vegetables, and potatoes.

Also, be sure to eat plenty of fiber so you can have smooth bowel movements. This avoids the straining that can occur with constipation, which can exacerbate the protrusion of the veins. Fiber can be found in whole-grain foods, oats, seeds, and nuts.

Wear Compression Stockings

When you wear compression stockings, blood is pushed towards the heart due to the pressure from the stockings. These specialty socks can be purchased from either your local pharmacy or ordered online.

It is best to wear compression stockings that come up to your knees. Be sure to put the stockings on first thing in the morning, while you are still horizontal in bed, for best results.

Elevate Your Legs

Whenever you can, elevate your legs to redirect blood flow to the heart. Optimally, legs should be at or above heart level for maximum effectiveness.

Placing pillows on a coffee table or sofa arm and then propping your legs atop is one comfortable varicose vein treatment using items currently found in your house. This remedy is especially important if your job requires you to be on your feet all day.

Watch Your Health

Maintaining a healthy body is one of the best ways to avoid varicose veins or to keep them from getting worse. Exercise is vital to keep your blood circulating throughout your body and also helps to reduce inflammation.

Whether you walk, swim, or play tennis, keeping your blood flowing is good not only for your vein health but also for your overall health. Supplement low or high-impact cardio with strength, stretching and flexibility exercises, too.

Try Essential Oils and Plant Extracts

It turns out that not only do essential oils and other plant extracts smell good, but they may also have beneficial medical properties, too. One main cause of varicose veins is chronic venous insufficiency, and one study found that horse chestnut seed extract to alleviate the symptoms of this medical condition.

Other promising natural cures for varicose veins include yarrow, grapevine and sea pine essential oils. You should talk to your doctor about these options to confirm that there will not be an interaction with any medication you are taking.

If you are tired of looking at your varicose veins, contact Northern Illinois Vein Clinic to request an appointment today. Our experienced, professional staff can discuss these natural treatments along with ultrasound vein mapping, sclerotherapy, and endovenous laser ablation to find the best varicose vein treatment for you.

 

Image Credit: Shutterstock/vasara

Northern Illinois Vein Clinic Earns Vein Center Accreditation

Northern Illinois Vein Clinic (NIVC), a leading local provider of leading-edge, nonsurgical treatments for leg vein issues, including varicose and spider veins, announced today it has earned the “Vein Center” accreditation by the Intersocietal Accreditation Commission(IAC), making it the only vein clinic in the region and one of three in the state of Illinois to be accredited by the IAC. The clinic also was granted a three-year accreditation by the IAC in vascular testing.

More than one half of Americans age 50 and older are affected by varicose veins. Whether to relieve symptoms and/or improve appearance, treating varicose veins can be performed by vein centers that specialize in the evaluation and management of superficial vein disorders.

Accreditation by the IAC indicates that NIVC has undergone an intensive application and review process and is found to be in compliance with the published Standards, thus demonstrating a commitment to quality patient care in vein treatment and management. Comprised of a detailed self-evaluation followed by a thorough review by a panel of medical experts, the IAC accreditation process enables both the critical operational and technical components of the applicant facility to be assessed, including representative case studies and their corresponding final reports.

“These accreditations are especially meaningful because they indicate that Northern Illinois Vein Clinic is making a positive impact in improving the quality of life our patients experience as a result of our minimally invasive treatments,” said Dr. Rimas Gilvydis, medical director and a board-certified vascular and interventional radiologist with NIVC. “Both accreditations are a reflection of our amazing team that is dedicated to helping patients get back to living their lives pain-free and with more self-confidence.”

The IAC accreditation is a “seal of approval” that patients can rely on as an indicator of consistent quality care and a dedication to continuous improvement. For more information about Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, call 779-696-8346 or visit NIVeinClinic.com.

Hallie Konieczki Joins Northern Illinois Vein Clinic

Northern Illinois Vein Clinic (NIVC), a leading local provider of leading-edge, nonsurgical treatments for leg vein issues, including varicose and spider veins, has added Nurse Practitioner Hallie Konieczki to its team.

Hallie joined NIVC in August and is responsible for patient education, free screenings, consultations and follow-up appointments. Prior to joining NIVC, she worked in critical care, family practice and pain management.

Hallie earned both a bachelor of science and master’s degree in nursing from Northern Illinois University. She received the Family Nurse Practitioner certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center and has more than 13 years of experience in the medical field.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Hallie part of the NIVC family,” said Dr. Rimas Gilvydis, a board-certified interventional radiologist with NIVC. “Her expertise will allow us to serve more individuals who are experiencing leg pain issues from varicose veins and other vein diseases.”

For more information about Northern Illinois Vein Clinic, call 779-696-8346 or visit NIVeinClinic.com.

About Northern Illinois Vein Clinic
Northern Illinois Vein Clinic provides innovative, nonsurgical treatments for patients suffering from painful and unsightly leg vein issues. Care is delivered by a team of advanced professionals using state-of-the-art, minimally invasive techniques to help individuals get back to their active lifestyles with minimal discomfort and little downtime. Dr. Rimas Gilvydis has performed more than 20,000 procedures with excellent outcomes since these techniques were first introduced in 2001.