Tag Archives: Health

What is a Phlebologist?



You might have heard the term before, however, if you haven’t, then we are here to clear up what a phlebologist really is! A phlebologist is a medical specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of venous (vein) origin. The specialty of phlebology typically features doctors with a background in dermatology, vascular surgery, hematology, or general medicine. Diagnostic techniques used include gathering a patients medical history, a physical examination, venous imaging and laboratory evaluation related to venous thromboembolism.


A significant part of a phlebologist’s work is involved with the treatment of superficial venous disease, such as spider and varicose veins, which typically appear on the leg. Other conditions treated by a phlebologist include treating venous stasis ulcers, deep vein thrombosis, and venous malformations. Becoming a certified phlebologist requires extensive training in the U.S. To become a certified phlebologist, licensed physicians with documented experience in treating veins can take a test by the American Board of Phlebology, which addresses knowledge of both venous diseases and health.


At the Reno Vein Clinic, both Dr. Merchant and Dr. Daake are certified plebologists, providing their patients with the upmost care and treatment. Their specialty in vein related disorders and diseases makes them the experts on all things vein related. If you would like to learn more about phebology, you can visit the American College of Phlebology to learn more, http://www.phlebology.org, or call the Reno Vein Clinic and schedule a consultation at (775) 329-3100.


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Almonds: Why they are not only good for your veins, but your entire body.



Almonds are one of the most popular foods in the world. Many cultures use them in a multitude of dishes, and many of us enjoy them as a healthy snack. Almonds contain essential nutrients such as manganese, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, calcium, tryptophan (essential amino acid), iron, copper, vitamin B2 and phosphorus. The are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is necessary for human body function- they have also been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol by as much as 9.4 percent.


So, why are they good for your veins?


Almonds have been known to reduce the risk of heart diseases, and the vitamin E in almonds is a fat-soluble antioxidant, making it good for the skin and overall immune system. Magnesium in almonds is great for vein and artery health. This is essential to help preventing varicose and spider veins. The calcium and phosphorus promote healthy blood circulation throughout the body. Having healthy blood circulation throughout the body drastically reduces your chances of developing varicose veins. Another benefit of almonds is that they help facilitate food through the colon- this helps relieve constipation, which will help lessen the pressure on the venous system, reducing the risk of varicose veins. Overall, almonds are incredibly healthy for you!


One easy way to incorporate almonds into your diet is to substitute almond milk for dairy milk.


Here is a recipe for homemade raw almond milk:




1-cup raw almonds

Water for soaking nuts

3 cups water

2 dates (optional)

½ tsp. vanilla (optional)




Soak the almonds overnight or for at least 6 hours.


Drain the water from the almonds and discard. Blend the 3 cups of water, almonds and dates until well blended and almost smooth.


Strain the blended almond mixture using cheesecloth or other strainer.


Homemade raw almond milk will keep will in the refrigerator for three or four days.



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Nine Healthy Winter Foods To Include In Your Diet



Comfort food and winter… sometimes it seems as if they go hand in hand! But, did you know that gaining extra weight could be very detrimental to your overall vein health? Extra weight adds stress on your veins and can cause blood flow disruptions, which can then lead to varicose veins. Maintaining a healthy diet keeps your body full of the vitamins and minerals it needs to keep a healthy vein system operating at peak performance in the human body. Here are some food choices that you can add to your diet that will not only keep you healthier, but improve your overall health as well.


Brussels Sprouts

Make cancer-preventive Brussels sprouts taste good by taking off the outer leaves and roasting them on a baking sheet with some olive oil and sea salt at 425 degrees.


Leeks taste much like mild onions and work well in potato soup, in rice dishes, salads and other dishes that require onions. They are tasty and full of antioxidants.


Bake vitamin-rich beets by wrapping them in foil and baking them in a 350-degree oven for an hour. Cut into small cubes and put them in a green salad with some goat cheese and a drizzle of walnut oil.


Kale is full of iron but can at times taste very bitter. Sauté kale in some olive oil, garlic and balsamic vinegar and throw in some pine nuts to have as a side dish… it’s delicious!


Inflammation-reducing pomegranate has a tart flavor, which makes it good for mixing in with oatmeal in the morning. You can also use the gelatinous seeds, which have a crunch and large amounts of flavor in salads, or even atop some dips.


Kiwi is very high in vitamin C, which can increase immunity to several different illnesses. Mix some kiwifruit into a spinach salad to combine immune-boosting fruits and vegetables in one dish.


Persimmons contain substances that fix damage to cells caused by diabetes. Serve the miniature orange-like fruit with a bitter citrus flavor in a dish with some prosciutto and fresh mozzarella cheese.


Guava is filed with the antioxidant lycopene, which could protect against coronary artery disease. Add raw guava to figs and blue cheese for a heart-healthy dish suitable for a snack or breakfast.


Use pomelos as a dessert additive for sorbet or frozen yogurt. This fruit is suspected to prevent the spread of cancer cells because of its high density of antioxidants called flavonoids.

Indulge in health-promoting fruits and vegetables all year round, but especially during the wintertime. Not only will they help the body stay well, but they also promote mental wellness with their fresh flavors. Many healthy fruits and vegetables have strong flavors. It is possible to combine them with other flavors to make them more delicious and have the family wanting more!



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Five Ways to Prevent Varicose Veins

Preventing varicose veins is not guaranteed. However, there are steps you can take to try and prevent them. While unsightly, varicose veins can lead to health issues and discomfort. These five steps are simple changes that will help keep your veins in their best shape.


  1. Exercise regularly. Walking and jogging will help improve circulation in the legs, and proper circulation helps to ward off the developments, as well as the worsening of varicose veins. Exercise also helps your overall well being, so enjoy a long walk!
  2. Avoid prolonged standing. Standing in one place for a long time increases pressure on your veins in the legs and feet. Over time, this pressure weakens the vessel walls, which in turn can lead to them collapsing. If prolonged standing is unavoidable at your job, mitigate the harm by shifting your position frequently, and try to walk around every 30 minutes.
  3. Sit properly. Sit up straight and don’t cross your legs. Crossing your legs can put pressure on your veins as well as cause a disruption in the flow of blood in your veins. Good posture also improved circulation!
  4. Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight will put undue pressure and stress on your legs, and more importantly, your veins. Reducing weight will reduce the risks of varicose veins in many instances. Develop healthy eating habits and avoid foods with high calorie and low nutrition content.
  5. Quit smoking. Smoking contributes to a myriad of health issues, but if you need even one more reason, keep in mind that high blood pressure associated with smoking helps cause varicose veins.


These simple tips are easy to weave into your lifestyle and make them a part of your daily routine. We encourage you to live a healthy life in moderation, and doing these simple tricks will also help you to prevent varicose veins.

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Varicose Veins… what’s the deal?

Varicose veins are not always a cosmetic issue; they can actually become very painful if left untreated. They are usually found of the legs, they can cause an achy pain or heavy feeling in some. In others, varicose veins can cause burning, throbbing and swelling. Sometimes, if untreated, varicose veins can lead to more serious skin problems, such as skin ulcers and blood clots; they are also a good indication of a higher risk of circulatory problems. It is said that between 20 and 25 million Americans have varicose veins.


Spotting varicose veins is simple if you know what to look for. They are dark purple or blue; look twisted and enlarged, and often is raised above the skin. Veins can become varicose when their valves are weakened or damaged, such as the picture above. Normally, valves open and shit to keep blood moving in one direction, which is back towards the heart. When they aren’t working properly, blood can flow backwards through the valves and pool in the veins, causing them to stretch, swell and twist.


To treat them, you really have to start with lifestyle changes. Exercising, elevating your legs, and avoiding long periods of standing or sitting can drastically help ease pain and keep veins from getting worse. In some cases, compression stockings can help alleviate swelling and symptoms as well. For sever varicose veins, there are minimally invasive options that can fade or remove the vein, while newer treatments use radiofrequency, lasers, and heat to close off the vein.


To reduce your rise, you can watch your weight, follow a high-fiber and low-salt diet, and be sure to change positions throughout the day. While you cannot completely prevent varicose veins from forming, and certain risk factors are out of your control, like family history and age; women, unfortunately are at a higher risk for developing varicose veins than men.

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The Effects of Stress on Your Skin

(Just A Little, Not Too Much?)

The word stress usually conjures up a situation where you are anxious, nervous, and under strain. But you need some stress in your life to help you function at your best. Manageable levels of stress give you a zest for life, release your creativity, and generate excitement by challenging you to stretch your abilities. It is stress overload that can lead to health problems, which all too often show in the skin.


If you’re trying to do too much in too little time, you’re functioning in permanent overdrive. And that is where the difficulties lie. When you are in a stressful situation, certain physical changes occur that are designed to improve your performance. These effects are caused by the release of the “fight or flight” hormones adrenalin, noradrenalin, and cortisol, which prime your body for action.


Uncontrolled stress can make your skin more sensitive and trigger acne breakouts and other skin problems.


Stress causes your heart rate to increased, the blood vessels in your skin to constrict, and it causes you to breathe faster and shallower.


Once the immediate pressure is removed, your body returns to a normal state. But if your body is constantly being readied for action without having time to recuperate, there can be detrimental effects on your health.


Short-term signs of stress overload are fatigue, sleeping difficulties, irritability, and memory lapses.


In time, you may find yourself getting more coughs and colds than usual because your immune system isn’t functioning at its peak.


Headaches or migraines, backaches, palpitations, asthma, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, and indigestion are other well-known symptoms.


You may lose your sense of humor, become uninterested in sex, and develop nervous twitches. And eventually you may feel that you can’t continue any more.


To encourage healthy skin — and a healthy state of mind — take steps to manage your stress. Set reasonable limits, scale back your to-do list and make time to do the things you enjoy. The results might be more dramatic than you expect.


Stress And Your Skin


The many physical changes associated with long-term stress can have intense effects on your skin.


The hormones released when you are under stress cause blood vessels to constrict, leading to poor circulation. And this decreased blood supply to the skin can leave it feeling dry, flaky, and prone to irritation.


In periods of stress your breathing alters, becoming quicker and more shallow. This reduces the amount of oxygen carried in your bloodstream, which in turn diminishes the oxygen supply to your skin. If the stress is long­lasting, you may find that your skin becomes pasty or gray, it lacks glow, and you have tension lines around the forehead, eyes, and mouth.


Many skin complaints, such as eczema, psoriasis, and rashes- though not initially caused by stress- can worsen when you are under pressure. And some people find that they break out in spots when they are stressed.


Cut back on caffeine, which can increase feelings of anxiety. Water is better for your skin.


Coping With Stress


Although it’s impossible to remove all the stress from your life, there are techniques to stop life from getting on top of you and help you cope more effectively.


Make time for yourself. Just taking an hour a day to have a bath, read a book, or go for a walk can reduce your stress levels. Choose something undemanding- it should be a pleasure, not a chore.


Practice time management. If you’re trying to do too much, lower your expectations of yourself.


Learn to say no. If it’s not necessary, don’t do it.


Pay attention to your diet. Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and low-fat, high-fiber foods to make sure you get a full complement of nutrients.


Get enough sleep- but not too much, because this can make you feel sluggish in the morning.


Exercise can help clear your head, eliminate some of the buildup of stress hormones and release endorphins- the body’s “feel good” hormones. It can also improve your circulation, which will benefit your skin.


Learn a relaxation technique. Try deep-breathing exercises, visualization, meditation, or a form of yoga that involves special breathing techniques.


Have a massage to relax tense muscles.


A professional stress management course or counseling can give you a chance to talk about what’s troubling you and help you work out better ways of handling the demands in your life.


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