4 Tips to Baby Your Veins this Holiday Season

While the holidays are filled with family, friends, and fun, they can also be a very stressful time, especially for your legs and varicose veins. All the long hours of shopping for gifts can take their toll, leaving your legs swelling and in pain.

It is important that, during the holiday season, you take time for yourself and give your veins the care and support they need. Following these three tips will make your holidays a little easier and your veins much happier.

1. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Following a healthy diet during the holidays is never easy. While you don’t need to say no to every holiday treat, making sure you eat healthily and drink plenty of water is essential for good vein health.

Foods rich in bioflavonoids, such as spinach and broccoli, help to strengthen the walls of your veins and are beneficial when you have varicose veins. Avoid foods high in salt as this contributes to swelling.

2. Watch What You Wear

When it comes to varicose veins, wearing compression stockings are often advised. These stockings constrict the veins and promote proper blood flow. While this restriction is designed in a specific way to promote good blood flow, wearing tight and restricting clothing, especially around the waist and stomach, can make the pain from varicose veins worse.

When choosing your outfit for the big holiday party, choose comfort over fashion and pick something that is non-restricting.

3. Take Care of Your Legs

With varicose veins, the holiday season means you need to take the time to pamper your legs. Sitting or standing for long periods at a time can contribute to leg pain and swelling, so it is important to adjust what you are doing often.

Giving your legs a change of pace and a little pampering during your holiday shopping can offer relief to varicose veins.

Take time to sit and relax while shopping. If traveling long distances, make sure that you get up and walk during long periods of sitting. If you are traveling on a plane and can’t get up to walk, you can still stretch out your legs with simple exercises like flexing and pointing your feet or rotating your ankles.

In addition, take time throughout the day to elevate your feet. Raising your feet level slightly above your heart reduces the force of gravity and helps the blood flow easier through the veins.

4. Seek Treatment

Don’t let the stress of the holidays take its toll on your legs. The holidays are a time of giving and receiving gifts and the biggest gift you can give this holiday season is to yourself and your legs.

If the holidays do take a toll, the cooler months after the holidays are a good time to consider treatment for varicose veins and get you ready to show off your legs by summer.

Contact us online or call us today at one of our three locations in Sevierville, Johnson City, and Knoxville, Tennessee to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

 

3 Easy Tricks to Help Prevent Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are those bulging, bluish cords that you can see just under the surface of the skin. Typically, they can be found on the legs and cause more than 30 million Americans to hide behind long pants each summer.

Varicose veins are the result of dysfunctional valves inside the vein that allow blood to pool and flow backward, expanding the vein. While varicose veins are usually painless, they can be painful and, if left untreated, can progress to a disease called Chronic Venous Insufficiency. While you can’t control risk factors like age and genetics, there are some things you can to help prevent varicose vein problems from developing or getting worse.

Get Moving

When it comes to your risk of varicose veins, gravity is not your friend. Standing or sitting for prolonged periods can make it harder for blood to travel in your legs as it fights against gravity. Maybe you notice swelling in your ankles or calves at the end of the day? Getting up and moving, even if it is a short walk around the living room, gets your blood circulating. Elevating your feet above your heart at least three times a day helps reduce the force of gravity and makes it easier for the blood to flow.

Follow a Healthy Lifestyle

While you can’t change risk factors like your age or traits passed down from your mom, you can make an active choice to live a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercising helps to keep your muscles toned, your weight under control, and your blood flowing properly. Excess weight can cause pressure to build-up on the veins and restrict blood flow. Smoking, as well as alcohol use, is likely to increase your risk of developing varicose veins.

Watch What You Wear

What you wear on a regular basis can increase your risk of developing varicose veins. Instead of fancy high-heeled shoes, reach for flats. These shows help work the calf muscles more, help increase muscle tone, and are better for circulation.

Keep the clothes you wear around your waist, groin, and legs as loose as possible. Tight clothes in these areas can restrict your blood flow and increase your risk of developing or worsening varicose veins.

 

How A Standing Desk Can Save You From Spider Veins

With recent health studies finding concerns over excessive time sitting in a car or at a desk, standing desks have become a new trend in many workplaces.

Recent studies have linked too much time in a chair with everything from coronary disease to liver disease, and health experts are in agreement that too much sitting is not healthy.

But too much standing might also be a problem.

Finding a Balance Between Sitting and Standing

Excessive periods of standing have long been known to be a contributing factor to the severity of varicose veins.

So how is a person supposed to deal with studies that show sitting is bad for your health in some areas while standing might cause its own share of health troubles?

Find a Good Balance

As with many health-related issues, the key is in avoiding the excessive and striking a good balance.

Stand-up desks are great for a lot of reasons, but standing all day is not the solution to the problems caused by sitting all day. Finding a happy medium is the right answer.

Many stand-up desks on the market can be raised or lowered. This allows people to avoid a situation where they stand or sit all day but can find a good balance. If you have a stand-up desk, you should take time during the day to find a place where you can have a seat.

The opposite is true, too. If you sit at a desk all day, it’s good to get and walk around or stand in place for a while.

Regular exercise, drinking plenty of water, and eating healthy are just as important as your choice to sit or stand. But you should realize that excess is often the problem. Regardless of your work environment, you should never sit all day or stand all day. Varying your routine is important and will make you more productive and healthier in the long run.

7 Common Myths About Varicose Veins

Simply put, varicose veins are enlarged veins that occur when blood stops flowing backward.

Myth: If You Have Them, You Can Tell

It is commonly believed that varicose veins are very obvious, and are easily seen at the surface of your skin. However, these veins go far back into your body, and what you’re seeing may just be a small portion of a big picture. For people who have more muscle or fatty tissue on their legs, these veins can easily be hidden, leaving those suffering in the dark about the source of the associated pain.

However, today doctors commonly perform ultrasounds to check on the blood flow in your legs. This test uses high-frequency sound waves and is non-invasive. The use of this test allows doctors to see how blood is flowing through your veins. Another method that is less commonly used is the angiogram, during which a special dye is injected into your veins so that doctors can perform an x-ray test and see your blood flow.

Myth: Only Women Can Get Them

Yes, they are more common in women. No, they do not solely impact women. Nearly 15% of men will acquire varicose veins in their lifespan. The weight gain that is an onset of pregnancy leads to an increase in pressure on the legs, which can lead to varicose veins in pregnant women. However, some other common causes are heredity and pressure on the legs.

Myth: It Only Occurs at an Older Age

The varicose vein problem is primarily genetic. Patients as young as age 13 can be treated for this issue, and it can come at any age. The onset of varicose veins can also be from an increase in hormones, commonly impacting women in pregnancy and menopause.

The older you get, the greater the impact of varicose veins can be. Your veins degenerate, and if these remain untreated, they will become more painful.

If you are at a risk for varicose veins based on family history, consider visiting a specialist to see your risk and the current condition of your veins.

Myth: The Extent of Their Impact is Purely Cosmetic

If you notice your veins are more prominent, you may not give it much attention. They’re easy to cover up with makeup and seem to be harmless. However, most people with varicose veins will notice a dull pain in the legs, cramping, throbbing, and aching. Dryness of the skin may occur as well, leading to itchiness in the afflicted area.

A percentage of people with varicose veins may incur more serious complications, including ulcer formation, skin discolorations, and bleeding.

However, anyone who suffers from varicose veins is at risk for a severe type of blood clot, deep vein thrombosis. The best way to avoid these complications is to consult a doctor when you first notice signs of varicose veins or if you have a family history of the disease. Awareness of these potential risks can save you from a lot of trouble in the future.

Myth: Surgery is the Only Solution

While more severe cases require more intensive treatment, there are less invasive alternatives that will help reduce your varicose veins. Laser therapy and sclerotherapy can be performed by dermatologists. Some medications can be used to seal the veins, thus eliminating their presence.

The more intensive surgery, endothermal ablation, can be used to deliver heat to veins through a needle, which may be a more painful alternative. However, sedation is typically used for this process to make it less painful. You have an abundance of veins in your body that will continue to function even when the varicose veins are closed.

Myth: It’s Not Covered by Insurance

The reduction of varicose veins is not cosmetic surgery. Varicose veins are a serious medical problem and are addressed by insurance companies. The steps of the procedure are also typically covered, such as the initial consultation and the diagnosis. Because they have the potential to cause blood clots, ulcers, and potential heart failure, treatment is seen as necessary preventative medicine by insurance companies.

Myth: Treatment Causes Further Complications

With modern advancements in technology, varicose veins only resurface about 5% of the time, which should reduce concerns about future issues. The minimally invasive procedure rarely leaves scars, and only impairs you after surgery for a few days.

 

*Author is not a doctor and does not claim to offer medical advice.  Any and all information in the is article should not be treated as such.  Please consult your physician for further information.

The Dangers of Artery Diseases

The carotid arteries are much like the coronary arteries, in that they carry blood to a vital organ. Coronary arteries carry blood to the heart, carotid arteries make sure the brain is getting its adequate blood supply.

The health of your arteries is crucial in all aspects and must always be considered. Very similar to how you don’t want plaque in your coronary arteries, or any blockage for that matter, carotid arteries must be treated the same way. In your coronary arteries, it could lead to a heart attack, in your carotid arteries, it could lead to a stroke, or as some call it, a brain attack. Over time, the fatty substances or cholesterol build up around the walls of the carotid arteries and make them more narrow and harder for blood to travel through freely. If the arteries become blocked and cut off the blood supply to the brain, a stroke can occur.

Strokes and Atherosclerosis

Any time oxygen to any source of the body is cut off is not good. Oxygen travels by way of blood to the brain, and when the veins either constrict or are clogged, this can cause a stroke. If a stroke victim has no blood flowing to the brain for three hours or more, the damage is usually permanent. Atherosclerosis is when the arteries and veins that stem from them have narrowed due to age, cholesterol or another blockage, or plaque. Atherosclerosis is often the culprit of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease. A stroke may occur if any of the following happens:

  • A piece of plaque breaks off of the artery walls
  • The artery becomes severely narrow
  • A blood clot forms an obstruction
  • A vein that has atherosclerosis ruptures

Although these are the typical reasons for strokes, they don’t always occur because of the aforementioned reasons. Sometimes bleeding in the brain can cause a stroke, along with atrial fibrillation, high blood pressure, and cardiomyopathy.

Factors for Carotid Artery Disease

While many factors can contribute to artery diseases, there are few that are more severe and can contribute to stroke-causing diseases and illnesses. The following conditions may lead to stroke or atherosclerosis:

  • A family history of atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Diabetes
  • Abnormally high lipid counts

Symptoms of Stroke

There are many signs of a stroke, and not all of them, if experienced, mean a stroke was had. However, if any of these occur to you or someone else, get medical help as soon as humanly possible:

  • Sudden loss or blurring of vision
  • Weakness or numbness on one side of the face or body
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Inability to speak or formulate thoughts or words
  • Sudden confusion
  • Sudden severe headache
  • Problems with memory or recalling familiar names

Again, if any of these symptoms develop, or are recurring, contact a medical professional as soon as you’re able to.

Staying Healthy

We all want to be and stay healthy, but we don’t always want to do what is necessary to live up to this standard. Unfortunately, our bodies are only as strong as what we put in them, how we treat them, and in part, genetic features. If you’re predisposed to any type of ailment, chances are your risk is higher than others. Eating right, eating less, and moving your body are great keys to success and staying on this planet as long as you’re able.