Tag Archives: women

Even More on Vein Health During Pregnancy

Yes, we’ve talked about vein health and pregnancy before, but wanted to share even more recent information, especially for any new readers! As we know, women endure many changes during pregnancy. Some are beautiful in the long run, but some are not so beautiful. Varicose veins are one of the many “joys” that pregnant women deal with.

During pregnancy there is a huge increase in the amount of blood in the body. Pressure from the enlarging womb on pelvic veins and an increase in hormones make pregnancy the single largest strain on leg veins. A growing number of abnormal veins usually appear with each additional pregnancy.

What can you do about varicose veins during pregnancy? We’ve found an article that we love from whattoexpect.com that answers this question perfectly! Enjoy!

What you need to know about varicose veins during pregnancy

You may not like the way varicose veins look (who would?), and they may itch or ache, but they’re unlikely to put either you or your baby at any risk. The good news is that in most cases, if you didn’t have them before you got pregnant, your varicose veins shrink or disappear altogether within a few months after you give birth. The not-so-good news? If you have another baby, there’s no way of preventing varicose veins that time around (the same veins are likely to pop out again). And like many other pregnancy symptoms, including stretch marks, varicose veins tend to be hereditary. If your mother had them during pregnancy, you’re more likely to have them, too.

There is some remote risk that a varicose vein could become inflamed, possibly indicating a blood clot, so be sure to keep your practitioner informed and aware of your varicose veins.

What to do about varicose veins during pregnancy

Preventing varicose veins isn’t a perfect science, but these tips can definitely help:

  • Keep the blood circulating. Get off your feet whenever you can, and keep your legs elevated when sitting. When standing, put one foot on a low stool and alternate legs. Flex your ankles every so often, and break the habit of sitting with your legs crossed (this strategy will also help keep spider veins at bay).
  • Exercise is key in preventing varicose veins. Take a walk (or even better still, several walks) each day, or do some other form of low-key, circulation-increasing exercises.
  • Make sure you wear clothes — including underwear — that fit well and don’t bind, especially around the tops of your legs. Don’t wear tight belts or socks with tight elastic tops, and stay away from tight-fitting shoes and stiletto heels (as if you could balance in them anyway).
  • One kind of tight that’s helpful though: support hose, which can counteract the downward pressure of your belly and give the veins in your legs a little extra upward push. Put them on before you get out of bed in the morning to prevent the blood from pooling. (Okay, not your sexiest pregnancy moment!)
  • Keep your weight gain during pregnancy down to what your practitioner recommends. Extra poundage only increases the demands on your already overworked circulatory system.
  • Sleep on your left side to avoid pressure on your main blood vessels, and keep circulation going strong.
  • Don’t strain. Heavy lifting or straining on the toilet can add to vein visibility.
  • Get your daily dose of vitamin C from your balanced diet, which keeps veins healthy.

If the veins don’t go away after the baby has arrived, you can think about having them medically treated or surgically removed then — but not during pregnancy.






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Filed under Vascular Health

UV Light and Photo-aging

Ultraviolet light is everywhere! A small amount of UV light is essential in our skin’s production of vitamin D. However, prolonged exposure may result in acute and chronic health effects on your skin. We’ve all experienced sunburns, but over the long term, radiation from UV light causes degenerative changes in skin cells leading to premature skin aging. This is what doctors refer to as photo-aging.

Recent studies have shown that many of the symptoms commonly associated with ordinary aging (i.e. wrinkles and darkspots) may instead be related to UV exposure. Your tan may look good now, but you could be paying your dues in wrinkles later.

We’ve compiled some suggestions to decrease your risk of photo-aging

• Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight. Radiation from UV light is strongest between 10am and 4pm, so it’s best to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun during this time. This doesn’t mean you have to stay inside all day, how boring! But it could be beneficial to keep this in mind while gardening on Saturdays.

• Wear protective clothing when you are in the sun. If you can’t avoid exposure to the sun, wear clothing, hats and sunglasses. All fabrics protect from UV radiation to some degree. However, clothing that does the best carries an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rating.

• Use a broad spectrum sunscreen that will protect against all types of UV rays. Also remember that wearing a sunscreen with a higher SPF won’t allow you to stay out longer. SPF stands for sun protection factor, referring to the amount of protection from UV light the sunscreen offers. This means you should choose your SPF number based off of your skin type. Fair skin requires a higher SPF than regular skin. Last, try applying and reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours.


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Catch us at Moms on the Run

That’s right! This year we are sponsoring one of our areas largest events to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. If you are running the race, as you finish you’ll see us just before the finish line! Good Luck to all the competitors and we look forward to seeing you out there!

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Pregnancy and Veins

Ahh the joys of motherhood!

Little babies, and yes…spider veins.

While we have all heard motherhood is one of the most rewarding and amazing times a woman can experience, it does take a toll on the body. It is not at all uncommon for each pregnancy to add it s own mark on the legs; some women can point to various vein clusters and name them “this one was Emily; this one was Nathan, etc.” The best preventative measure is to wear compression stockings specifically made for maternity use. They can help with the fluid retention and heaviness that often accompanies the later stages of pregnancy.

Most treatment of Spider veins involves chemical injections that have not shown any significant effects on the baby, but we recommend the treatment after the baby is born when you are getting your post baby body ready to show off along with you new little one!

What’s nice is that after delivery there is usually some regression of the veins so they won’t be as apparent as they were during pregnancy. About two months after the birth you can begin treatment on spider veins. Dr. Merchant and Dr. Daake can determine the best treatment for your specific problem and get rid of those veins because as a new mom you have enough to worry about.

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Filed under Varicose Veins, Vascular Health

Who is at Risk for Varicose Veins?

Nobody wants varicose veins, but factors like genetics and weight can increase the likelihood of developing this vascular disease. Varicose and spider veins can occur in both men and women of any age, but most frequently, they affect women.

Pregnancy is one of the major cause of varicose veins in women. An expectant mother has a huge increase of blood in her body that causes veins to enlarge. Hormonal changes during pregnancy, premenstruation or menopause can also be a factor. Women who take hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills may increase your risk of varicose veins. There is an even higher chance of developing varicose veins if the mother has already given birth to one or more children.

Additionally, men and women who are between 30 and 70 years old have an increased risk of developing varicose veins. As you age, normal wear and tear can cause the valves in your veins to malfunction and allow blood to flow back into your veins.

Genetics can also play a role in causing varicose veins. If you have family members who suffered from vein problems, you are more likely to develop varicose veins as well. Also, there is an increased chance of developing varicose or spider veins if you are born with weak vein valves.

Maintaining a healthy weight can help to prevent the development of varicose veins. Added weight from obesity puts extra pressure on your veins and can weaken them over time.

People who stand for a long period of time have an increased risk of developing varicose veins. Your blood doesn’t flow as well if you are in the same position for an extended period. If you’ve injured your leg in the past, this can also affect blood flow and vein health.

Varicose veins can usually be diagnosed with a simple consultation, and our doctors can assist you in planning prevention and treatment of varicose veins.

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Filed under Varicose Veins, Vascular Health