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The Grandma Disease that Strikes Young Men

We found this informative article from Mens Health.com and think it touches on some important aspects of vein health… especially for men. 

 

If you’re like most guys, you figure that varicose veins are:

a) a woman’s problem
b) a punch line that includes “compression hose”

c) not a big deal.

Think again.

As many as 56 percent of men suffer from these ballooned veins, according to British research.

And varicose veins are not just a cosmetic concern—they can lead to discoloration, bleeding, skin ulcers, and a “heavy leg” sensation that may hinder daily activity.

The problem involves the veins in the lower extremities. When you are in an erect position, your blood pools in these veins, expanding the vein walls which over time stop returning to their previous, more taut condition. According to French researchers, people with a particular genetic variation have markedly weaker veins, and have almost twice the risk for developing varicose veins.

“When the walls are weaker, it allows the veins to expand and eventually the valves [that regulate blood flow in the vein] don’t meet, which allows blood to reflux and flow in the opposite direction,” says Lowell Kabnick, M.D., director of the New York University Vein Center.

When that happens, the person develops the bulged, gnarly look of varicose veins—causing symptoms that include throbbing, swelling, and decreased mobility.

How can you avoid varicose veins. Take these precautions:

  • Exercise: This is the easiest way to maintain healthy venous structure and keep your vein walls strong. It’s important to involve your calves, which play a crucial role in maintaining blood flow from your legs back to the heart.
  • Reduce standing or sitting pressure: Sitting, which has been catching a lot of blame lately, takes another hit here. Why? Blood naturally pools in your legs when you’re not moving, and sitting for long periods exaggerates the problem. Your solution: simply tap a foot, raise your legs, or take a walk. If you’re standing still, sway from side to side if possible. Beyond that, try to raise your legs or lie horizontally twice a day for 15 minutes to remove all pressure on your veins.
  • Compression hose: Dr. Kabnick recommends everyone wear knee-length compression stockings—even if they don’t have signs of varicose veins. Compression leggings’ tension pushes the blood up from the ankle (the greatest pressure point), and redistributes it more evenly up the leg. If you don’t need prescription-grade strength, aim for hose with 10 to 30 millimeters of mercury (measurement of pressure).
  • Watch your diet: Stay away from foods high in sodium (especially restaurant, frozen, and packaged foods) since salt leads to fluid retention.

So, say you already have pain from raised bluish/brown veins. The good news is treatment of varicose veins has come a long way from the medieval-sounding “stripping” procedures of the not-so-distant past.

Today, doctors use lasers to remove and seal shut varicose veins. It’s a quick, noninvasive, outpatient surgery—and pain-free, too. For minor cases, a doctor might suggest sclerotherapy, a chemical injection that destroys the damaged vein.

“Going to the dentist is worse than removing varicose veins,” says Ronald Sprofera, of Jersey City, N.J. His surgery, performed by Dr. Kabnick, was over in 30 minutes. He never so much as flinched.

“I waited 10 years before I did anything,” said Sprofera, who had seen his mother suffer with varicose veins and the ensuing treatment years ago. “I shouldn’t have waited so long.”

 

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5 Exercises to Improve your circulation in 10 minutes

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In only 10 minutes you can improve blood circulation in your legs by doing these five exercises. Consider doing them several times a day, making sure to rest in between.

10-Minute Walk:

Walk briskly for 10 minutes, making sure to take long strides to stretch and extend the leg muscles. If you sit most of the day at work, consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator or walking a few laps around the halls.

Leg Lifts:

Lie flat on your back and raise both of your legs straight up. Hold them in place for two minutes; and then slowly lower them back to the floor. Rest for a few seconds and then repeat the leg lifts for two more minutes. Continue until you have completed five two-minute sets.

Circular Leg Exercises:

Sit on the edge of a table or bench that is high enough for your legs to dangle but not touch the floor. Make circular motions with both legs going in the same direction for two minutes. Rest a few seconds and then reverse direction for two more minutes. Continue until you have done five two-minute circular leg exercises, and then lie flat on your back once more to rest.

Toe and Ankle Flexes:

While sitting, bend and flex your foot and ankles with your toes stretched out and pointed upwards to work leg muscles and improve blood circulation. Do several repetitions of this for 10 minutes. This exercise is especially effective when done throughout the day while sitting in an office chair, on a couch or on the side of a bed.

Poolside Leg Exercise:

Sit on the side of a pool with only your legs in the water. Briskly, move your legs back and forth and up and down in the water for two minutes at a time with a few seconds rest in between. Do five two-minute sets and then remove your legs from the water. Stand and walk around a bit. Repeat the exercise as desired.

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Spring! The perfect time to start exercising!

As the springtime weather makes it’s way to our area, many are encouraged to take their activities outside. Staying active and exercising is a great way to promote vascular health and prevent painful varicose and spider veins. Physical activity also provides a myriad of other physiological and psychological benefits.

 

According to the American Heart Association and American College of Sports Medicine, 30 minutes of daily physical activity is recommended to reduce both vascular and cardiovascular risk.  Recent research has also indicated that in order to maintain good health, we need to combine both aerobic activity along with strength and flexibility workouts.

 

Here are some examples of good workouts that have aerobic, strength and flexibility components.

 

Hiking

 

Hiking is great way to not only make the most of beautiful scenery, but increase the heart rate along with resistance as well.  If you are new to hiking, start with an easy to moderate trail that’s flat and averages around 1.5 to 3 miles, as you become more comfortable with the terrain and workout you can increase your distance and difficulty.

 

Yoga

 

The health benefits of yoga come both in physiological and psychological forms. Increasing flexibility can also increase circulation, which can help prevent the deterioration of veins. Yoga also helps relieve stress, which is always an additional benefit.

 

Swimming:

 

Swimming lessens the effect of gravity while still keeping the legs active, a big benefit for those who suffer from or are trying to prevent varicose veins. If you are new to swimming, treading water is a great way to begin to increase the heart rate and tone your arms and legs. If treading water is too difficult to begin with, simply walking along a pool floor or using a kickboard to move in the water.

 

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3 Quick Tips: Compression Stockings

At times, wearing compression hosiery can be difficult or uncomfortable, but wearing them in extremely important to maintain circulation and vascular health. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when compression stockings are a must:

 

  • If you want to wear sandals, look for an open toed or footless stocking in a color that most closely resembles your skin tone, this will allow you to blend in and still wear the open-toed shoes you love!
  • If you enjoy exercising outdoors, consider using athletic compression socks. Professional athletes often use compression leggings because they offer exceptional support, reduce muscle fatigue and are made from a sweat-wicking material that helps you stay cool.
  • If putting your stockings on is difficult, consider using donning gloves and baby powder, which can help you slide on your compression stockings more easily.

 

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What is a Phlebologist?

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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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Easy Exercises For Varicose Vein Prevention

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When you hear, “exercising will help prevent varicose veins,” you may think to yourself, “sure… but what kind?” We have the answer for you! These simple exercises can be done at home and will drastically help prevent varicose veins from developing!

 

Bicycle Kicks

These are best done on a padded surface like your bed or a yoga mat. Lie on your back and raise both legs into the air, then begin to kick your feet in a circular motion as if pedaling a bicycle in midair.

 

 

 

Ankle Flexes

Begin by lying on a comfortably padded surface. Bring your right leg up to your chest and hold it behind the knee. Point your toes into the air, flex your foot and rotate your ankle, then bring your right leg down and repeat on the left side.

 

Heel Lifts

Find a set of stairs; begin by standing on the bottom step with your heels dangling over the edge. Slowly push yourself up to your toes, holding a handrail for support if needed, then come back down gradually until your heels fall beneath the step again.

 

These are all easy exercises that can be incorporated into your daily routine, and you can do as many reps of each as you please. These will not only help improve your vein strength, they will also improve your legs and core, and who doesn’t love a workout that does more than one thing? Enjoy!

 

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Summer Skin Care Tips

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With summer in full swing, we are sure you have been enjoying all that is has to offer. We also know that your skincare routine changes with each season, and your routine should adapt to those changes. Here are some tips for keeping your skin in top form during summertime.

 

  1. Prevent breakouts by using ‘oil-free’ sunscreens. Be careful though, ‘sheer’ doesn’t always mean oil free. Oil-free sunscreen will help not block your pores during the day, keeping them blemish free.
  2. Simplify your routine. Keeping it simple in summer is especially important because you tend to sweat more; you skin has a greater chance of getting clogged with numerous products on it.
  3. When you go to the beach, wear a high SPF. We know a tan looks great, but no skin cancer later looks even better. A high SPF will best protect you from not only skin cancer, but also sun damage and wrinkles.
  4. If you do get a sunburn, treat it immediately. Taking an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen will help with swelling and tenderness. You can also soak a facecloth in a bowl of skim mils and ice and apply to the area for 5-10 minutes to help relieve redness.
  5. Get a face peel. Getting a salicylic acid face peel will help clear up dulling, dead skin cells, which not only helps even out any discoloration, but also draws excess oil out of the pores and leaves skin less shiny.
  6. Trade in your foundation for a tinted moisturizer or a BB/CC cream. The lighter formula will look more natural and help your skin stay clearer. Foundation can often feel heavy in heat and melt off.
  7. Use a bronzing lotion to get a summer glow. With all of the self-tanners on the market, your options are endless. Now you can achieve a natural looking summer glow without all of the harmful side effects.
  8. Use a scrub often. Pores tend to look more obvious in hot, humid weather. Exfoliating 1-2 times per week will help keep your pores looking small and keep your skin clearer.
  9. If you are prone to redness, take a facecloth soaked in ice water and apply it to your face. It cools the blood that’s flowing to the face and reduces redness. Not only is it for vanity, but also, overtime, chronic flushing can lead to permanently dilated capillaries to the face.

10. If you are extremely prone to shine, wash your face with a sulfur-based cleanser. Sulfur reduces flushing and oil production, which will help your skin stay more matte looking throughout the day.

 

With these tips you’ll have that healthy summer glow that we all love!

 

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