Are your legs or feet swollen? If this happens at the end of the day and at the beginning of summer, it could be a symptom of venous insufficiency. Doctor Elisa Casabianca, vascular surgeon at Humanitas, told us that the cause is blood pooling in the veins of the legs. This causes the release of liquids and inflammatory substances in those places where the lymphatic system is most fragile.
Venous insufficiency affects mostly women. In fact, 50% of women over 50years old and 30% of young women suffer from it. The main risk factors are presence in the family, prolonged standing during the day, bad lifestyle, pregnancy, overweight.
When should you go to a specialist?
If you are experiencing the typical symptoms, especially if there are cases in your family, you should go to a specialist and have them perform a screening. The visit and the Echo Color Doppler (a non-invasive test) will immediately locate the venous insufficiency, and help stop its chronic course.
Prevention may not be enough for ascertained cases of twisty, protruding superficial veins. In these cases, a radical minimally-invasive surgery will solve the problem for people of every age, without the need for hospitalization.
What to do in case of venous insufficiency?
Surgery is only a solution for the most severe cases. In general, this problem is manageable with some physical activity, in particularly swimming or doing water aerobics 2-3 times per week. These activities activate the muscles in the legs and make the walls of veins stronger, thus helping the blood go back to the heart.
You may also benefit from walking, on the flat or uphill, provided you use the right shoes. The rhythmic movement of feet on the ground and the activation of leg muscles are the “engine” of our veins.
Those who stand for hours on end should wear graduated compression stockings, in order to help blood go back to the heart. There are many types of them. Your doctor will advise you and help you choose the right ones.
Once you go home, you may benefit from sitting down and keeping your legs slightly lifted. You may also do so while sleeping, if you suffer from severe venous insufficiency.