Chronic Venous Disease

Chronic Venous Insufficiency

Causes of Chronic Venous Disease

Signs & Symptoms of Chronic Venous Disease

Heavy, Painful & Swollen Legs

Varicose Veins

8/17/2023

Deep Vein Thrombosis vs Venous Disease

Although they are interrelated, deep vein thrombosis, for example, can be a cause of venous insufficiency, it doesn’t mean that venous insufficiency will automatically lead to deep vein thrombosis.1

In this article we explore the differences between deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), to understand how venous diseases such as varicose veins can also play an important role in the formation of deep vein thrombosis.

What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

A deep vein thrombosis, also known as DVT, is a blood clot within the deep veins, usually of the leg (such as the femoral, popliteal, fibular and tibial veins), but that can also form in the arms or cerebral veins. Among the most likely causes of DVT are the following:

  • Venous stasis. This is the most consequential of the three factors, but stasis alone appears to be insufficient to cause thrombus formation.
  • Vascular injury. Understood as the serious damage to an artery or vein due to a trauma or a blow.
  • A condition which increases the likelihood of blood clot formation.2

Deep vein thrombosis requires immediate medical care and anticoagulation therapy.2

deep vein thrombosis clotIs deep vein thrombosis connected to venous insufficiency?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) are strongly correlated.1 DVT can weaken or damage the valves in the lower extremities which can cause them to malfunction, leading to heavy and painful legs with poor blood circulation. A very recent study found that all the patients they examined with CVI also had high triglyceride and cholesterol levels, which could be contributing factors which impair the thickness of the blood and rate of coagulation.3

Although there are plenty of different possible causes for the formation of a DVT, the most common ones are listed below.

  • Surgery or trauma
  • Prolonged immobility
  • Pregnancy
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Obesity
  • Advancing age4

According to research, more than 50% of patients who suffer a DVT have more than one acquired risk factor, and the presence of an underlying inherited risk together with acquired risk factors can increase the risk for developing a DVT at some point in their lives by up to more than 80%.5

Can venous insufficiency cause blood clots?

If chronic venous disease is left untreated, the damaged veins can continue to deteriorate, leading to serious health complications such as leg ulcers, blood clots and deep vein thrombosis.6

Blood clots tend to happen when the blood ends up pooling in the legs for some time, unable to be pumped efficiently back towards the heart, which causes the cells to clump together. These clots can block the vein and therefore cause further damage to the leg but can be potentially even more dangerous if they break free and travel through the body towards the lungs or brain.7

Lifestyle changes are essential to avoid the further weakening and deterioration of the valves of the veins, while also helping us to enable and restore a better blood circulation around the legs and rest of the body.

Chronic venous insufficiency is a serious degenerating condition that needs to be treated quickly in order to avoid the formation of clotting within the superficial and deep veins, which could then lead to other more serious issues.

varicose veinsWhat are the signs and symptoms of poor blood flow in the legs?

There are several ways that our body might be alerting us to a possible increased risk of suffering from Chronic Venous Insufficiency: a range of visual signs and physical sensations that can point to poor blood flow in the legs. If you have been experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms in your legs or ankles, you should seek treatment immediately as these conditions can worsen rapidly if unheeded.

  • Heavy, painful, or swollen legs
  • Spider or Varicose veins
  • Changes in the coloration of the skin

In contrast, the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis tend to include the following.

  • A cramping pain in one of the legs, typically in the calf or thigh (which could in some ways compare, and be mistaken for a “pulled muscle”)
  • A swelling in one of the legs
  • Red or warm (possibly itchy) skin around the painful area
  • Swollen veins that can feel very sore when touched

 

It is important to take chronic venous disease very seriously and to take action as soon as possible to avoid the likelihood of suffering from a deep vein thrombosis. Do not make the mistake of thinking that these issues are only found amongst the elderly: you can suffer from chronic venous disease as a young adult or at any other point of your life.

Fast absorbing venotonic medications can be very effective in treating tired legs. These venotonic solutions play an essential role in strengthening the tone of the veins, which typically continues to weaken due to the progressive nature of chronic venous insufficiency. As such, they can efficiently reduce leg pain and swelling and improve vein health.8

REFERENCES

  1. DVT and venous insufficiency - Vascular Society. (n.d.). Retrieved September 27, 2022, from https://www.vascularsociety.org.uk/patients/conditions/13/dvt_and_venous_insufficiency
  2. Stone, Jonathan; Hangge, Patrick; Albadawi, Hassan; Wallace, Alex; Shamoun, Fadi; Knuttien, M. Grace; Naidu, Sailendra; Oklu, Rahmi (2017). Deep vein thrombosis: pathogenesis, diagnosis, and medical management. Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy, 7(S3), S276–S284, FROM https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5778510/
  3. Malkani RH, Karia R, Thadani S. A Study of Risk Factors of Chronic Venous Insufficiency and its Association with Features Suggestive of Preceding or Present Deep Venous Thrombosis. Indian J Dermatol. 2019 Sep-Oct;64(5):366-371.
  4. Stone J, Hangge P, Albadawi H, Wallace A, Shamoun F, Knuttien MG, Naidu S, Oklu R. Deep vein thrombosis: pathogenesis, diagnosis, and medical management. Cardiovasc Diagn Ther. 2017 Dec;7(Suppl 3):S276-S284, FROM https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6749769/
  5. NCBI - Deep Venous Thrombosis Risk Factors. Retrieved September 27, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470215/
  6. Shaydakov ME, Comerota AJ, Lurie F. Primary venous insufficiency increases risk of deep vein thrombosis. J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord. 2016 Apr;4(2):161-6, FROM https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26993861/
  7. Blood Clots. (n.d.). Hypercoagulability | MedlinePlus. Retrieved September 27, 2022, from https://medlineplus.gov/bloodclots.html
  8. Adapted from Nicolaides A, Kakkos S, Baekgaard N, et al. Management of chronic venous disorders of the lower limbs. Guidelines according to scientific evidence. Part I. Int Angiol. 2018;37(3):181-254.1

2024