Symptoms of chronic vein insufficiency

There are some signs that, even if you haven't noticed them till today, they might tell you that you suffer from chronic vein insufficiency.

Spider veins are very small veins, of a diameter of about 1-3 millimeter, that are apparent through the skin surface, the epidermis. They have a tendency to increase in size and density in relation to time.

Varicose veins are bigger veins than the ones of the spider veins and are situated under the skin. In a supine position they might not be as apparent but, if the patient stands for a brief period of time the veins “fill up” with blood and become visible.

Both cases are literally the same problem, the pathological blood flow in the veins that suffer. However, varicose veins are more serious than spider veins. The symptoms that accompany both varicose veins and spider veins do not necessarily depict the severity of the problem. There are cases with patients that have extremely apparent varicose veins that report nearly no symptoms, whereas it is not uncommon for patients with spider veins to suffer almost daily from them. It is also noted that in the vast majority of the cases, patients have both varicose veins and spider veins.

The warning signs or symptoms of chronic vein insufficiency are:

  1. The presence of varicose veins or spider veins. Both varicose veins and spider veins are almost always visible to the naked eye. Therefore, when someone can see varicose veins or/and spider veins on his/her legs, the answer to the question whether he/she suffers from vein insufficiency is quite simple: YES!
  2. Pain or discomfort on the legs. If you feel pain, burning sensation, itchiness, heaviness, cramping or numbness on your legs frequently, especially after a long period or standing or sitting in the same spot, it is very likely that you suffer from vein insufficiency.
  3. Κουρασμένα ή βαριά πόδια. Εάν αισθάνεστε εύκολη κόπωση στα πόδια μετά από μέτρια δραστηριότητα ή μετά από σύντομη ορθοστασία, είναι πιθανό να πάσχετε από φλεβική ανεπάρκεια.
  4. Oedema on the legs or the ankles. Having oedema on the legs, especially when it gets worse during the afternoon hours and after standing for a long period of time, it can be a result of vein insufficiency. It usually starts from the ankles and later advances upwards. We have to note that there are a lot of situations that can cause oedema, such as conditions of the heart, the kidneys, the liver or hormonal abnormalities. In most cases the oedema involves both legs and to the same degree, contrary to the oedema from vein insufficiency, where in most cases, one leg suffer more than the other.
  5. Tired or heavy legs. If you feel your legs tired after just a few feet of activity or after a short time standing, it is possible you suffer from vein insufficiency.
  6. Changes of the color of your skin on the legs. The appearance of irritation, redness or inflammation on the skin around the ankles or the gastrocnemious might be linked with vein insufficiency. Vein insufficiency when is not treated for many years can lead to the appearance of spots that have a brown color. These spots can be small or large in size, or they can be in flocks. This condition is called hyper-pigmentation. In advanced cases of vein insufficiency the skin can be notably hard and brittle. These changes are linked with a condition known as lipodermatosclerosis.
  7. The appearance of wounds on the legs. The wounds (ulcers) appear almost exclusively on the ankles, or the lower part of the gastrocnemious. Their characteristic is that they do not heal easily and can appear again and again in the same area. They are results of chronic vein insufficiency that has not been dealt correctly and for a long period of time. Even though their treatment can be time consuming, the treatment of their causality (vein insufficiency) aids in the healing process while protects the patient from relapsing. In some extreme cases, the appearance of ulcers is linked with arterial insufficiency or vasculitis.
  8. Night cramping or burning sensation on the legs. There are patients that feel an unwelcome burning sensation or even pain on their legs, particularly but the end of the day or during their sleep. These symptoms are known as Restless Legs Syndrome “RLS”, which is linked in studies more frequently than not with the co-existence of vein insufficiency. The successful treatment of vein insufficiency in these patients.