Avoiding Varicose Vein Development During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it’s no secret that the female body goes through many diverse changes.  While many of these changes are internal and may not be visible to the eye, some are not so subtle.  Varicose vein development is common in roughly 50-60% of women and pregnancy greatly increases risks of early development due to pressure on the veins and reduced circulation.  While the cause of varicose veins is unknown, during pregnancy there are several precautions you can take to prevent development such as:

  • Exercise and walk regularly.
  • Elevate your legs early on in pregnancy stages.
  • Avoid standing for prolonged periods of time.
  • Avoid crossing your legs while sitting.
  • Control weight gain during pregnancy (additional weight will put more unwanted pressure on veins and circulation).
  • Avoid tight clothing that may compress waist or groin.
  • Limit salt intake to avoid excess water retention.

While these practices do not guarantee 100% prevention, being proactive and taking preventative actions will greatly reduce your chances of varicose veins occurring during pregnancy and reduce risk of future development as well. Varicose veins do worsen if not treated properly over time and can sometimes lead to more serious complications, such as venous ulceration, venous eczema and bleeding.  If you do develop varicose veins during pregnancy, there are treatment options available to reduce visibility and side effects. Call us at (775) 329-3100 to schedule a consultation or to learn more about treatment options.  (Source)

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3 Major Diet Tips to Fight Varicose Veins

When it comes to eating healthy, we should not just be thinking about bikini season, but overall health and how our everyday choices are preparing us for (or damaging) our future. Whether you have existing varicose veins or are being proactive and fighting the symptoms, these 3 easy diet tips can help your veins stay healthy and strong for years to come.

Consume more fiber

Fiber is a key ingredient to maintaining healthy veins. Soluble fibers from foods including oats, flaxseed, beans, apples, carrots, barley and berries allow for softer stools and will not put additional pressure on your veins. Because soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with water, stools will be softer and prevent added pressure from building up.

 Stay hydrated

As mentioned above, water is also crucial in preventing added pressure on veins all throughout your body. By drinking water throughout the day, blood will be able to flow easily through the body without additional pressure.

Consume Vitamins C & E

Vitamins C and E, both powerhouse antioxidants, are crucial in maintaining connective tissue throughout the body and help to keep veins strong and toned. When consumed together, C and E have stronger effects on blood vessels and make for healthier vein activity overall. Available in foods such as, fruits, dark leafy vegetables, broccoli and berries, this combo is a varicose vein-fighting dynamic duo.


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Red Wine and Vein Health

Sure we’ve maybe heard that a glass or two every now and then can actually be beneficial to our health. Red wine is a dose depended drink, meaning a little can show health benefits, while too much can become unhealthy. Dependent on varietal, red wine provides resveratrol, an anti aging antioxidant as well as phytonutrients like flavonols and flavonoids. Here’s how they work to help your vascular health:

Flavanols: Wine contains flavanols which are phytonutrients linked to maintaining heart health, neutralizing free radicals that can damage cells and boosting antioxidant defenses in cells. Phytonutrients, like flavanols, are naturally produced by plants to protect them from viruses, bacteria and fungi. Similarly, in the body phytonutrients appear to reduce your risk of diseases by working as antioxidants to fight free radicals. Phytochemicals/phytonutrients are what provide the aroma, texture, flavor and color of foods.

Flavonoids: This is another phytonutrient group found in wine and includes resveratrol. These are linked to heart health, urinary tract health and antioxidant defenses. Specifically for resveratrol, these phytochemicals may increases the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. Also being researched is if resveratrol boosts the natural clot-dissolving enzyme, which could help reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.

So, if you are a wine drinker, go ahead and have ONE glass! If not, no worries, while there is some added nutritional benefits, it’s always healthiest to abstain from alcoholic beverages.

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Top Questions to Ask Your Vein Surgeon

If you are preparing to meet with a vascular surgeon for the first time, these are the questions we recommend you asking. This will help both you and your doctor establish the best course of treatment and results! Of course any additional questions you have for your vein doctor should be brought up, and remember questions are extremely encouraged!

What is the cause of my varicose veins and why do some people have large bulging veins and other people only have spider veins?
Bulging veins are frequently caused by valvular insufficiency. Valves act as one-way shutters to keep the blood moving back toward the heart. Patients may also have a large amount of swelling if they have a component of obstruction or blockage. Some of the smaller vessel dilatation is due to hormones while larger bulging veins are most often due to valvular dysfunction. Some patients have a decreased number of valves and some patients have decreased function of the valves.

Why do I have swelling at the end of the day?
Swelling at the end of the day may be caused by fluid leaking outside of the veins and into the soft tissues. Initially this will come and go and resolve with elevation and rest overnight. However, eventually there will be a buildup of fluid and protein in the soft tissues causing darkening of the skin and loss of shape, which then may become irreversible. Compression stockings can help to delay and slow down this progression. Weight loss and exercise are also helpful.

What can be done for my bulging veins and also what can be done for my spider veins?
You can injure the vein by using laser or radiofrequency causing heat injury, or you can inject them with foam or sclerotherapy which causes chemical injury to the cells lining the veins. Each of these treatment options will have different benefits and risks as well as recurrence and recovery periods. It is important to clarify with your doctor what the treatment plan is and what the recovery and restrictions will be.

Will insurance pay for my varicose vein treatment? What is fee splitting and how does the determination for the medically necessary and cosmetic portions work?
The answer is critically important for everyone, as the answer is variable. It’s important to work closely with the staff to determine what is and isn’t covered by your insurance.

What are my post treatment restrictions and limitations? How active can I be? Is this going to be done in the office or in the hospital? What type of sedation or anesthesia will be required? Will I need more than one treatment?
The answers to these questions are varied. All of these questions need to be answered. Make sure your expectations are realistic.

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How Obesity Affects Vein Health

One of the most important steps you can take in preventing problematic veins is controlling your weight. Not only does being overweight and obese affect your overall health and wellbeing, but it can take a major toll on your veins as well.

The extra weight on the feet of an obese person decreases the pump function of the foot and the calf. Additionally, the fat of the leg impedes venous outflow. Abdominal fat also increase internal pressures, increasing resistance to proper venous flow. All of these factors that surround extensive weight gain impede vein function, making swelling and skin changes more likely.

Wearing tight or constrictive garments or high heels can exacerbate obese individual’s vein health. Add a sedentary lifestyle or prolonged travel in a constricted space and there is an increased risk of DVT. Obesity also increases the risk of developing blood during abdominal pelvic or orthopedic operations.

One of the best things you can do for your health is maintain a healthy weight. It is likely that a variety of ailments pertaining to obesity, like poor vein health, will dissipate once your body reaches healthy levels of fat, sugar and muscle.

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Northern Nevada’s Best Walking Trails

We’ve said it many times; walking can be an incredible exercise for vein health and wellness. So, where are your favorite places to walk in Nevada? We’ve compiled our top below!

Hidden Valley Regional Park
4740 Parkway Drive, off of Pembroke Drive, east Reno. Both easy and challenging hikes, great views.
Information: 775-828-6612

Bartley Ranch Regional Park
6000 Bartley Ranch Road, south Reno. Easy hiking, great views, museum and historic displays.
Information: 775-828-6612

Tom Cooke Trail
In far west Reno, trailhead behind Patagonia or at Mayberry Park.
Information: 775-334-2262

Huffaker Hills Trailhead
Easy to moderate hiking along a well-maintained gravel and dirt tread. The higher you go, the better the views. Access is from Alexander Lake Rd., off S. McCarran Blvd., next to Rattlesnake Mtn.
Information: 775-328-2000

Huffaker Park Lookout Trail
A nice suburban trail that loops around two hills and offers panoramic city views. A Reno city park.
Information: 775-334-2262

Mira Loma Park and Urban Trail
Mira Loma has a paved ADA accessible trail and lots of other amenities like playgrounds and a skatepark. A Reno city park.
Information: 775-334-2262

Rancho San Rafael Regional Park
The north section of Rancho San Rafael Park has nature trails and hiking and biking trails in Evans Canyon and on the side of Peavine Mountain.
Information: 775-785-4512

Sparks Marina Park
A flat, paved trail goes around the lake. A Sparks city park.
Information: 775-334-2262

Davis Creek Regional Park
25 Davis Creek Rd., Washoe Valley. Nature trails and a trailhead into the Toiyabe National Forest. The challenging Ophir Creek Trail climbs up past Slide Mountain, all the way to Lake Tahoe and a trailhead for the Tahoe Rim Trail.
Information: 775-849-0684

Galena Creek Visitor Center and Recreation Area Trails
18350 Mt. Rose Highway (NV 431), south of Reno. Hiking in the Sierra along Galena, Jones and White’s Creeks, and more.
Information: 775-849-2511

Washoe Lake State Park
For hikers, Deadman’s Creek Trail is a moderate climb to a fantastic viewpoint with gazebo, overlooking the lake and the Sierra of Lake Tahoe’s Nevada side. There are several other easy hikes as well.
Information: 775-687-4319

Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park
West of Carson City and near Lake Tahoe. Easy and moderate hikes, plus unsurpassed scenery. Take Hwy. 50 west from Carson City up to Lake Tahoe.
Information: 775-831-0494

Mt. Rose Summit Trail
The popular hike to the summit is strenuous. Your reward is a tremendous 360° view. Access is from the Mt. Rose Highway (NV 431) south of Reno.
Information: 775-882-2766

Tahoe Rim Trail
As the name implies, this route circles Lake Tahoe. Nearest trailhead from Reno is up the Mt. Rose Highway (NV 431) to Tahoe Meadows.
Information: 775-298-0012

Slide Mountain Trail
This short trail near the Mt. Rose ski area offers some of the best views you’ll get for not much effort. It’s close to several other top trails in this area.

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Vein health terminology: What Is Superficial Thrombophlebitis?

Superficial thrombophlebitis is an inflammatory condition of the veins due to a blood clot just below the surface of the skin. It usually occurs in the legs, but it can occasionally occur in the arms and neck. Anyone can develop superficial thrombophlebitis, but females are affected more than males.

Several factors contribute to and increase the risk of developing superficial thrombophlebitis. The more common risk factors include:

  • Recent IV, catheter, or injection into a vein
  • Sitting or lying down for too long, such as on a long flight
  • Varicose veins
  • Pregnancy
  • Infection
  • Disorders that increase blood clotting
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement medications
  • Being over 60
  • Chemical irritation, such as from cancer treatments
  • Superficial thrombophlebitis is also associated with more serious medical conditions, including:
  • Deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a deep vein)
  • Cancers of the abdomen, such as pancreatic cancer
  • Factor V Leiden (a genetic blood clotting disorder)
  • Prothrombin gene mutation (a gene mutation that causes a blood clotting disorder)
  • Thromboangiitis obliterans (blockage of the blood vessels in the hands and feet)

Symptoms of superficial thrombophlebitis include:

  • Redness and inflammation of the skin along a vein
  • Warmth of the skin and tissue around the vein
  • Tenderness and pain that worsens with added pressure
  • Pain in the limb
  • Darkening of the skin over the vein
  • Hardening of the vein

Superficial thrombophlebitis is treated at home in most cases. Your doctor might recommend applying a warm compress to the affected area and elevating it to relieve swelling. Wearing support stockings can also help reduce swelling.

Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and aspirin can help reduce the redness and irritation caused by inflammation. This condition usually goes away within two weeks. It can take longer for the hardness in your vein to subside.

In a rare, serious instance, removal of the vein is necessary. This is more common if you have varicose veins.

If you think you might be at risk, we recommend contacting a doctor. If you live in Northern Nevada, contact the experienced staff at Reno Vein Clinic www.RenoVeinClinic.com (775) 329-3100


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