Condition


CVI EXPLAINED (CHRONIC VENOUS INSUFFICIENCY)

Healthy leg veins have valves that keep blood flowing to the heart. Chronic venous insufficiency develops when the valves stop working properly and allow blood to flow backward (i.e. reflux) and pool in the lower leg veins. If chronic venous insufficiency is left untreated, symptoms can worsen over time.

Chronic venous insufficiency may cause the following symptoms in your legs¹:
Varicose veins Aching
Swelling
Cramping
Heaviness or tiredness
Itching
Open skin sores
Restlessness


CHRONIC VENOUS INSUFFICIENCY

CVI, one of the underlying causes of venous ulcers, is a potentially serious and progressive medical condition. Symptoms can worsen over time if left untreated.

Chronic venous insufficiency is 2 times more prevalent than coronary heart disease (CHD) and 5 times more prevalent than peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
Varicose veins may be more than just a cosmetic issue
Varicose veins are not the same as spider veins (visit our Glossary of Terms page here to find out more about spider veins)
Varicose veins affect BOTH men and women
To locate a vein specialist in your area, please visit our Find a Doctor Physician Locator.


WHO IS AT RISK FOR CVI

CVI can affect anyone; gender and age are factors that may increase your risk.³ For example, women older than 50 are more likely than others to develop CVI. Other factors that may increase your risk, include:

Family history
Sedentary lifestyle
Trauma
Prolonged Standing
Obesity or excess weight
Current or previous pregnancies
Smoking


PREVENTION

For mild forms of CVI, lifestyle changes may be recommended to control existing symptoms and prevent others. The following measures may help prevent varicose veins and CVI:4

Manage body weight
Exercise regularly, focusing on exercises that work your legs (run or walk)
Elevate your legs whenever possible
Avoid prolonged standing or sitting
Avoid clothes that are tight around the waist, groin or legs
Avoid shoes that limit use of calf muscles (i.e., high heels)
Eat a diet low in salt and rich in high-fiber foods


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