What Causes Venous Insufficiency?

By Ron E Lev MD – Follow me on +

Venous insufficiency is a medical condition where blood cannot travel easily from the lower extremities back to the heart. Blood begins to pools in the veins of the legs, which can result in the formation of varicose veins and venous ulcers. The condition may also be accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms like achiness or swelling in the legs, discoloration of the skin around the affected veins and pain while walking or standing for prolonged periods.

There are many factors that can contribute to the development of venous insufficiency, including:

  • Heredity – If you have a close relative with venous insufficiency or varicose veins, there is a greater chance you will develop the condition as well.
  • Weight Gain – Additional weight puts undue strain on the cardiovascular system, which can cause veins to enlarge and damage valves inside the veins that keep blood pumping in the right direction.
  • Long Periods of Standing – The more you are on your feet during the day, the harder your veins have to work to pump blood back up from your legs to your heart. Over time, the blood may not move as efficiently, which can result in pooling of blood in the veins of your lower legs.
  • Sedentary Lifestyle – Regular exercise leads to a healthier, more efficient cardiovascular system. By the same token, a sedentary lifestyle can lead to venous insufficiency, as vessels have to work harder to pump the blood through the body.
  • Pregnancy – Pregnancy hormones lead to relaxed blood vessels, while the increased pressure of the growing uterus can make it more challenging for blood to pump back up the legs to the heart. Many women find that the appearance of varicose veins and other signs of venous insufficiency during pregnancy persist after their baby is born.
  • Smoking – Nicotine increases blood pressure within the cardiovascular system, making it harder for vessels to pump blood back to the heart. This can lead to venous insufficiency and the formation of varicose veins.

There are many potential causes of venous insufficiency, but the good news is there are also many options in treating the condition. If you are concerned about symptoms of venous insufficiency, including swelling or painful legs, the appearance of varicose veins or pain while walking or standing, contact Advanced Varicose Vein Treatments of Manhattan to learn more about your condition and your options for treatment today.

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