Chronic venous insufficiency develops when a vein becomes incapable of returning the blood to the heart at full capacity. This alteration of venous return causes a backflow of the blood towards the lower limbs. Over time, this stagnating blood will start causing a discomfort in the affected limb which will eventually turn into heavyness and pain in the limb. As the condition evolves, people will suffer from oedema (swelling), then skin changes will start appearing. Stasis dermatitis consists of a red-brownish hyperpigmentation of the skin with venous ectasias is commonly seen in people suffering from venous insufficiency. At more advanced stages, lipodermatosclerosis will become inevitable. This deficient blood circulation will promote the development of wounds, venous ulcers and even some thrombophlebitis (venous blood clots). In general, the symptoms will be aggravated by the standing position or by long walks and will be relieved with rest and elevation.

Prevention and early treatment are key. A good venous health will be achieved through a healthy diet low in sodium and at least 20 minute of moderate physical activity daily. Moving on a regular basis allows to activate the muscle pumps in the feet and in the calves which in turn avoir blood stasis and promotes venous return. This will help keep your veins in better condition, longer.  At the first signs of venous insufficiency, its treatment and compression stockings can help slow down the progression of the disease.

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