Chronic Venous Disease and Varicose Veins: Understanding the Connection

Chronic Venous

and Health

Millions of individuals around the world suffer from chronic venous disease (CVD) and/or varicose veins. Though the terms are often used interchangeably, CVD and varicose veins are two distinct conditions. It is important to understand the underlying connection between the two and ways you can stay healthy even if you have a vascular disorder.

What is Chronic Venous Disease (CVD)?

CVD involves damage to the valves and walls of the veins in your legs, mainly due to an underlying condition called Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). The symptoms of CVI and CVD can range from mild to severe swelling, pain and skin discoloration.

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What are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are swollen and twisted veins that are visible through the skin. As they are often caused by CVD, they are a major symptom of this condition. They can be painful and cause aching, throbbing, and heaviness in your lower legs.

What is the Connection Between CVD and Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are essentially the visible, most obvious symptom of CVD. They develop due to weak valves in the veins caused by CVI. As the blood flow pressure increases, it causes the veins to swell and become visible. This can lead to further problems such as skin discoloration, ulcers and even permanent venous insufficiency.

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Understanding the Health Risks

CVD and varicose veins can both lead to several health risks, such as Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism, and Leg Ulcers. Without adequate medical attention and symptom management, which can include lifestyle changes and medical procedures, the risks can continue to increase.

Treatment Options

Depending on the severity of CVD and Varicose Veins, there are a number of treatment options available, including:

  • Compression Stockings
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Laser Treatment
  • Endovenous Laser Ablation
  • Vein Stripping
  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy

The United States has approved a number of treatments and treatments are constantly improving as technology advances. Work with a healthcare provider to discuss the best options for you.

Staying Healthy

Though CVD and varicose veins can increase your health risks, there are lifestyle modifications that can help you stay healthy. Make sure to:

  • Be Active: Exercise regularly to promote healthy circulation.
  • Eat Healthy: Stay away from processed and high-sodium foods and include plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet.
  • Wear Compression Socks: They can help reduce swelling and pain.
  • Manage Stress: Regularly practice stress-relieving activities like mediation and yoga.
  • Limit Alcohol and Caffeine Intake: Both can contribute to swelling in your legs.

By understanding the connection between CVD and varicose veins and taking action to control your symptoms and practice healthy habits, you can help reduce the risk of developing additional complications.