How Do Varicose Veins Affect the Skin?

November 8, 2017

woman with varicose veinsOn top of being unsightly and embarrassing, bulging varicose veins can create a whole host of problems for your skin. Many people may consider varicose veins to simply be an aesthetic concern, but they can cause severe discomfort and lasting skin conditions if left untreated.

From varicose eczema, to spider veins, to leg ulcers, venous insufficiency can create a wide range of complications and should be treated by a doctor right away.

When age and heredity cause the valves in our veins to weaken, blood begins to backflow and varicose veins develop. If you start noticing any changes in your skin, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jimenez immediately. If left untreated, some changes, like skin discoloration, can become permanent. Some skin changes you may experience as a result of venous insufficiency include:

  • Itching and irritation
  • Dry, flaky or crusty skin
  • Reddish-brown discoloration
  • Patches of spider veins
  • Leg cramps or heaviness
  • Development of skin ulcers near the ankles

Can Varicose Veins Be Prevented?

Unfortunately, varicose veins are often a symptom of aging that really cannot be prevented. The best thing you can do for your body is to exercise regularly and avoid a sedentary lifestyle. If you notice the development of bulging, twisting veins in your legs or begin experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jimenez right away before the changes become permanent.

When left untreated for long periods of time, the high pressures of varicose veins force blood and fluids through the weakened vein walls and into the surrounding tissues and skin. This trapped fluid causes the skin to develop the painful and irritating conditions that may be irreversible if left alone for too long.

Recovery and Treatment

Dr. Jimenez offers a variety of procedures to treat venous insufficiency and varicose veins, including laser treatment and sclerotherapy. Correcting varicose veins will clear the afflicted area of backed-up fluids and provide the area with fresh blood and nutrients, but the skin changes may remain permanent. With the help of vein procedures and topical treatments, your body’s natural healing process can get to work correcting any skin afflictions you may be experiencing.

Various medicated products exist to treat afflictions caused by varicose veins, but the best course of action to correct them is to seek treatment. When skin changes develop, it’s a sign that the underlying venous issue is worsening and you should schedule an appointment immediately. If left untreated, venous insufficiency can create leg ulcers, a serious condition caused by trapped fluid from weakened veins. They can be very serious and tend to leave permanent discoloration and scarring.

If you’ve noticed the development of varicose veins or are experiencing symptoms related to venous insufficiency, be sure to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jimenez immediately. Give the Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin a call today at 1-800- 910-VEIN and protect your skin.

Vein Treatment Now or After the Holidays?

October 30, 2017

Vein Treatment during holidayWhile the cooler weather will give you more chances to cover up your unsightly varicose veins with long pants, the coming holiday season may make your veins worse. Hours on your feet, cooking holiday meals, shopping for gifts, and attending holiday parties in high heels are just some of the ways you could actually worsen your varicose vein condition. At the Vein Center of Florida and The Vein Center of South Baldwin, we offer a variety of vein treatments that can get you ready for the busy winter months ahead.

If you suffer from varicose veins, chances are you may be dreading all of the extra time spent on your feet during the holidays. Cramping and pain can be debilitating when you’re trying to bake and cook holiday meals, while pain and swelling after a long day of standing can end your holiday meal with a whimper. Compression stockings are a great way to help alleviate some of the discomfort caused by varicose veins, but they’re a temporary fix. To truly address the symptoms of varicose veins, you must get them treated.

Reasons to Get Your Vein Treatment Now!

Besides the fact that varicose veins can be uncomfortable, they may also be a harbinger of more serious problems deeper within your venous system. If that’s not enough, here are some other reasons a pre-holiday vein treatment is a good idea:

  • Some vein treatments result in minor swelling or bruising, so long pants can hide those effects until they fade.
  • Some treatments require that you wear compression stockings for a short time to promote healing. Undergoing your treatment in the fall and winter means you can avoid wearing hot stockings during the summer months.
  • Because many of the vein treatments available involve the absorption of the diseased vein into your body, the veins fade gradually. Getting your treatment in the winter can ensure smooth, healthy legs by spring.
  • If you have varicose veins, flying can present the complication of dangerous blood clots. Getting a vein treatment now means you’ll be ready to fly safely by the holidays.
  • Treatment at the end of the year may save you financially. Many have already satisfied or met portions of their insurance deductible and provides for less out of pocket costs.

Vein Treatments Requiring no Recovery Time

The good news is, most varicose and spider vein treatments these days are quick, in-office procedures. All of the vein treatments we provide at VCOF are minimally invasive procedures that usually take under an hour, are virtually painless, and require no downtime for recovery. Depending on your needs, one of these treatments can help make your holidays merry and bright:

  • Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) – This procedure is performed in our office using only local anesthesia, and entails the insertion of a laser fiber into the problem vein through a small incision. As the laser fiber is slowly removed from the vein, it gives off heat that seals the vein, closing it permanently and allowing it to be absorbed into the body.
  • Sclerotherapy – Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a solution known as a sclerosant into the vein. The sclerosant causes the veins to close off and gradually disappear.
  • Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy – This treatment is typically used on deeper problem veins. Ultrasound technology helps guide and track the sclerosant into the vein more effectively.
  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy – For varicose veins that are too large to be treated with sclerotherapy, this procedure involves a series of tiny incisions made in the vein. The problem vein is then removed in sections through the incisions.

With such a variety of treatment options, why would you want to wait? Call The Vein Center of Florida and The Vein Center of South Baldwin today at 1-800-910-VEIN to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jimenez, and enjoy your holidays to the fullest.

Understanding Restless Legs Syndrome

woman with restless legs syndromeDo you find yourself drifting off to sleep at night, just to be awakened by an involuntary muscle movement or an aching pain in your legs? An occasional muscle twitch or leg cramp is normal, but if this is a nightly occurrence, you may be suffering from restless legs syndrome.

What is Restless Legs Syndrome?

Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) is a condition that can cause pain and the urge to move your legs when you are lying down or sitting. Doctors aren’t sure exactly what causes RLS, but they know that it is a disorder of the nervous system that affects around 10 percent of the population. It can be an issue for anyone, although it is found more often in women and people who are middle-aged or older.

The symptoms of RLS can mimic other diseases, so it is sometimes difficult to properly diagnose. Nerve problems, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s – each of these have symptoms that are similar to those of RLS.

Symptoms of RLS

People suffering from RLS often report that the condition worsens at night, keeping them from getting restful sleep. Because of this, RLS is sometimes also characterized as a sleep disorder. The reason for increased symptoms at night is attributed to the fact that RLS worsens when you are not moving.

RLS typically begins slowly, affecting your legs more and more as time goes on. If you have restless legs syndrome, you probably notice pain, cramping or aching deep in your legs, or a tingling, itching or burning sensation. This is accompanied by a nearly irresistible urge to move your legs to relieve the discomfort, hence, the restless legs. Symptoms can come and go, and range from mild to severe, though they are usually worse at night.

Causes of RLS

Since the root origin of RLS isn’t known, there are several factors associated with it that may or may not be the initiator of the problem. Some of these include (but are not limited to):

  • Genetics (approximately 50 percent of RLS sufferers have a family member with RLS)
  • Obesity
  • Chronic disease (diabetes, Parkinson’s, peripheral neuropathy)
  • Venous issues (varicose veins, poor circulation)
  • Medications (certain antihistamines and antidepressants)

Treatment Options for RLS

Diagnosing RLS is tricky, and involves blood tests and other diagnostic tools to rule out other conditions, as well as a discussion of your health history, medications, and symptoms. Once it is determined that you have RLS, there are several options that may help ease your symptoms, including:

  • Lifestyle changes – movement helps decrease RLS symptoms, so walking more often and more regularly can help. If you smoke, quitting may help, along with decreasing your intake of alcohol and caffeine may also help.
  • Better sleep habits – creating and sticking to a sleep schedule, including a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Self-care – leg massages, ice packs or heating pads applies to the legs, relaxation and a hot bath are also ways to help alleviate RLS symptoms.
  • Vein screening – because varicose veins and other leg circulation issues may be a cause of your RLS, regular checkups and necessary treatments can not only help your RLS, but ensure that your venous system is functioning properly.
  • Medications – over-the-counter pain relievers, as well as certain prescription drugs may also alleviate pain or aches associated with RLS.

At The Vein Center of Florida and The Vein Center of South Baldwin, we want to do what we can so you can live your best life. Through regular vein screenings, we can help diagnose associated conditions you may have, including restless legs syndrome. If you suffer from RLS, call us today at 1-800-910-VEIN to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jimenez.

Minimally Invasive Treatment Options for Varicose Veins

October 23, 2017

woman with varicose veinsMore than 50 percent of people suffer from some sort of vein issue, be it unsightly spider veins or painful, sometimes debilitating varicose veins. You may seek treatment for spider or varicose veins because they are unpleasant to look at, or because the discomfort has become too much to ignore, but these veins are actually warning signs of a deeper problem in your venous system. At The Vein Center of Florida and The Vein Center of South Baldwin, we offer a variety of minimally invasive treatment options to address both the cosmetic and circulatory health issues signaled by the appearance of spider and varicose veins.

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT)

Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) utilizes laser energy to eliminate problem veins. This minimally invasive treatment involves nothing more than a local anesthetic and less than an hour of your time. When you choose EVLT as your treatment, Dr. Jimenez will numb the area around the affected vein, and insert a small catheter – about the size of an IV needle. He will guide the laser through the catheter into the vein, and as he slowly removes the laser, it will give off heat energy, damaging the walls of the varicose vein. This causes the vein to collapse, and the heat seals it closed. The blood in that vein is naturally rerouted to normal, healthy veins, and the collapsed varicose vein is reabsorbed into your body, eliminating it for good.

EVLT has a 98 percent success rate, and has a very low chance of complications. There are no scars and no downtime required for recovery – in fact, patients are encouraged to walk around immediately after the procedure.

Sclerotherapy

If sclerotherapy is your problem vein treatment of choice, you’ve chosen another minimally invasive procedure that is done in a short time and gives you superior results. It involves an injection of a medically approved sclerosant into the affected vein. The sclerosant irritates the vein walls, causing them to collapse, and eventually fade and disappear as they are absorbed into your body. Sclerotherapy is usually used to treat spider veins, but Dr. Jimenez also offers ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy to treat smaller varicose veins.

Sclerotherapy takes about 30 minutes, and requires no anesthesia. You may be encouraged to wear compression stockings for a short time post-procedure, but you will see immediate and long-lasting results.

Ambulatory Phlebectomy

Ambulatory phlebectomy is considered a microsurgical procedure, because while there are incisions used, they are small and leave little to no scarring. It is used to treat larger varicose veins that may be too small to treat using EVLT, but too large to treat with sclerotherapy.

Dr. Jimenez makes a series of precise incisions along the problem vein, removing it in segments until it is eliminated. The treatment is minimally invasive, and only requires local anesthesia. There is no downtime required, though you may be required to wear a compression bandage and stocking for a few days to minimize swelling and encourage healing. This treatment can be used alone or in conjunction with EVLT for best results.

Dr. Jimenez performs all varicose and spider vein removal procedures in the office at The Vein Center of Florida and The Vein Center of South Baldwin, ensuring that your vein treatment gives you superior -results with comfort and convenience. Call us today at 1-800-910-VEIN to schedule a consultation.

Taking Care of Your Legs After a Vein Treatment

woman applying lotion on varicose veins

Once you’ve had a vein procedure to address the varicose or spider veins that have been bothering you and causing discomfort, it’s time to think about post-procedure care. Each vein treatment at The Vein Center of Florida and The Vein Center of South Baldwin is different, so there may be different ways to care for your legs, depending on the method of treatment that you chose. Below are a few tips for taking care of your legs after your vein treatment, so that you can better prevent future problems.

Caring for Your Legs After Treatment

With more and more advances in vein care and treatment, gone are the days of invasive techniques that required downtime for recovery. Now you can treat any size vein quickly and painlessly, and go right back to your busy life. At The Vein Center of Florida and The Vein Center of South Baldwin, we offer several non-invasive options for varicose and spider vein treatments, none of which require downtime or significant recovery.

  • Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT) – Performed in our office using only local anesthesia, this procedure is minimally invasive – you are actually encouraged to move around and return to your normal routine immediately afterward.
  • Sclerotherapy – Sclerotherapy requires no anesthesia, and no recovery, and it works fast. For most patients, there are no restrictions following the procedure, though Dr. Jimenez may have you wear compression stockings initially to promote healing.
  • Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy – It’s a virtually painless procedure that can be used alone or in combination with EVLT for the best results. It’s a quick procedure with no recovery period or restrictions post-treatment.
  • Ambulatory Phlebectomy – This minimally invasive procedure uses local anesthesia, and takes under an hour to complete. There is no recovery time, though you are required to wear a compression bandage and compression stockings for a few days to allow for optimal healing.

Post-Procedure Preventative Care

Caring for your legs after your vein treatment means not only following Dr. Jimenez’s post-procedure instructions, but adjusting your lifestyle to prevent a recurrence of varicose veins. As you’ll learn from Dr. Jimenez, problem veins can be an indicator of deeper issues within your venous system – problems that if left undiagnosed and untreated can result in serious complications. The best way to avoid developing more varicose veins is through preventative measures, including:

  • Exercising – Staying fit and healthy can only benefit your venous system. Being active increases the circulation in your legs, and if you have strong legs, your veins will also be stronger. Exercise can also help prevent obesity, which is a risk factor for varicose veins.
  • Avoiding Sedentary Activities – If you have a job that requires long hours of either sitting or standing, you’re putting excess pressure on your veins and have a higher risk of developing problems. The key is to take short breaks to move around and promote good circulation.
  • Screening for Vein Health – Preventative care includes checking in with a doctor to make sure your veins are healthy and functioning properly. While varicose veins can be prevented, some people are genetically predisposed to getting them, and age and hormonal changes are also unavoidable factors.

When you are a patient at The Vein Center of Florida and The Vein Center of South Baldwin, we not only want to treat the vein problems you have, but to help you keep your legs healthy. Dr. Jimenez schedules follow-up appointments after all of his treatment procedures to check in with you and make sure you’re healing and happy with your results. Call us today at 1-800-910-VEIN to schedule a consultation.

Best Yoga Studios in Foley, AL

October 12, 2017

woman doing yogaYoga is a great, natural option to alleviate pain caused by varicose veins. Doctors recommend elevating the legs to help drain blood from the bulging veins, helping the blood flow and reducing pressure. Many yoga poses involve leg elevation or even complete body inversion and can offer relief from varicose vein symptoms, on top of all the other benefits of this mindful exercise.

Foley, Alabama, located near the popular travel location of Gulf Shores, is home to numerous ways to get your sweat on. This quaint railroad town on the southern tip of Alabama is situated near several different yoga studios, so you have ample choices for the best place to go to keep your body and mind healthy. Whether you are a resident of the area or just passing through, be sure to check out some of the yoga studios southern Alabama has to offer.

Vibrations Yoga & Sauna

Located in the heart of Foley, Vibrations Yoga & Sauna is the city’s best option for a killer yoga session. Vibrations offers classes for yogis of all types, as well as beginners and drop-ins. They provide several different types of yoga classes, including Heated Flow, Gentle Motion and Slow Flow and Fundamentals. When you have finished your yoga session, or if you just need to kick back and relax, Vibrations offers 30 minutes sessions in their infrared sauna for only $15. Vibrations is a must visit for the true yogi in Foley.

Glow Yoga

Located just 20 minutes south of Foley in Gulf Shores, Glow Yoga provides power and hot yoga to the masses. They heat their studio between 80 and 95 degrees for their Glow Flow and Beats yoga classes so you can be sure to truly get your sweat on and cleanse your body. After your workout, swing by Sundance Massage (located in-house) so you can rehab your muscles and relax after your tough workout.

MOXIE

MOXIE Lifestyle Fitness Studio in Orange Beach, about 18 minutes southeast of Foley, has got you covered for boutique fitness classes of all varieties. MOXIE focuses on cardio fitness, and offers several different types of classes to improve your cardiovascular health. MOXIE offers a traditional yoga-only class, MOXIE Yoga Sculpt, but specializes in classes like MOXIE Ride and Restore that blend a high-intensity workout with the restorative powers of yoga.

Thrive Yoga & Massage

Thrive Yoga & Massage, just off the coast of Mobile Bay and 25 minutes northwest of Foley, has a full spa to keep you feeling relaxed and revitalized. Thrive’s Thai Yoga Massage blends assisted yoga with massage so you can improve your mobility and flexibility with direct help from a trained professional. Thrive also offers chair yoga classes for clients with multiple sclerosis who cannot perform traditional yoga. Their Sunset Yoga classes, held outdoors from March through October, also directly benefit charity, so be sure to enjoy some yoga for a good cause if you are ever in the area.

If painful varicose veins are holding you back from your fitness routine or you are just tired of hiding them underneath layers of clothing, give the Vein Center of South Baldwin a call at 251-971-8346 and set up an appointment today. We can help you get back in the flow of your life, whether it’s practicing yoga or just restoring your confidence in your body.

Arteries vs. Veins: What’s the difference?

Spider & Varicose VeinsAt the Vein Centers of Florida and South Baldwin, we specialize in removing unsightly and painful varicose and spider veins. Varicose and spider veins are conditions that affect a large population of people, especially women. Understanding how the veins work and how these natural deformities are caused is essential in understanding how to treat them.

What do veins do?

Veins, a member of the circulatory system, work in tandem with the heart and their counterpart, the arteries. While veins and arteries exist for similar reasons, mainly blood transportation throughout the body, their essential functions are quite different.

Veins are blood vessels in the body that transport oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart. After blood has been circulated to the organs and has been stripped of its oxygen and nutrients, the veins transport it back up to the heart to begin the process anew. The veins also transport waste, such as carbon dioxide, away from the organs.

Veins often pump blood against the flow of gravity and make use of valves to prevent the blood from flowing downwards. When the valves do not function properly, the blood begins to pool and the veins expand, creating bulging varicose veins. This occurs most frequently in the veins in the lower legs, since they have to work much harder to move the blood against gravity and the body’s own weight to the heart.

What do arteries do?

Arteries are the roadways that provide our organs with substances they need to survive and function. These essential vessels carry oxygenated blood from the heart to all the tissues of the human body.

The heart pumps the blood through the arteries, increasing pressure inside to move the blood in a single direction. Arteries can maintain that high blood pressure due to their strong lining and flexible walls that allow for the additional push of blood. Because of this unique design and the assistance they receive from the heart, they do not need valves to prevent backflow.

Our Vulnerable Veins

Because arteries do not need valves to keep blood moving efficiently, they are not prone to the same issues veins are. Valves tend to break down as the body ages, which can be exacerbated by weight gain, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle. Veins also transport blood largely upwards, creating additional strain on those tiny valves that can lead to damage and the backflow of blood into the vessel.

Veins are a crucial part of the human anatomy. Unfortunately, they are vulnerable to damage, leading to the unsightly appearance of spider and varicose veins. When left unchecked, these swollen vessels can also cause fatigue in the legs, pain, aching and skin changes. The longer varicose veins go untreated, the harder they can be to treat successfully.

If bulging, unsightly or painful veins have disrupted your life in any way, give the Vein Centers of Florida and South Baldwin a call today. We offer full vein assessments and a variety of minimally-invasive treatment options to eliminate unattractive, uncomfortable spider and varicose veins. You can reach our Pensacola location at 850-607-7570, our Destin location at 850-837-443 and our Foley location at 251-971-8346.

Cardiovascular and Vein-Specific Health (Things to Watch out For)

June 19, 2017

Cardiovascular Vein HealthAt the Vein Center of Florida and South Baldwin, we are discussing two topics that are especially relevant to our male patients —cardiovascular and vein-specific health. In honor of Men’s Health Month, we thought we should bring attention to a few things to watch out for this month – and every day of the year – because cardiovascular health isn’t simply seasonal. While many of the patients we treat for varicose veins are women, men may also suffer from chronic vein conditions and other vascular abnormalities.

Understanding High-Risk Vein and Cardiovascular Issues

During your consultation with Dr. Jimenez, each patient undergoes a patient specific vein assessment so that each individual has an idea of any existing vein abnormalities and understands what can be done to improve their condition. At The Vein Center of Florida, optimal vein health is our focus. We strive to educate each individual as to potential signals which may indicate that their spider veins and / or varicose veins may actually represent more significant underlying chronic vein insufficiency. Many men ignore or are unaware that their work, lifestyle, and eating habits may be impacting their cardiovascular system negatively. Making modifications to daily activities that increase these risks is certainly advantageous in obtaining a healthy heart and healthy vessels, as they profoundly influence one another.

The heart is the body’s central force, pumping oxygen-rich blood at high pressure through the strongest vessels in the cardiovascular system—the arteries. After the arterial delivery of oxygen throughout the body’s tissues and major organs, the driving force for recycling the blood are the veins. Veins are much more delicate vessels that draw oxygen-poor blood from all areas of the body, relying heavily upon the calf muscles in the legs to push the blood upward. Healthy veins and efficient venous return is essential for healthy legs. Inefficient veins allows for pooling of poorly oxygenated blood in the legs which can lead to additional medical problems such as:

  • Chronic Vein Insufficiency (CVI)—this condition affects millions of people all over the world. While it may be more common in women, many men are affected as well. High venous pressures due to increased weight gain, long periods of inactivity, and age, causes stretching and weakening of leg veins which can affect the ability to walk and perform activities comfortably. These side-effects increase over time without treatment. Varicose veins and sometimes spider veins are potential indicators that underlying veins are chronically insufficient. Patients may obtain significant benefit by recognizing these indicators and seeking help from a qualified professional who can offer recommendations for lifestyle changes and treatment.
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)—DVT occurs based on a variety of factors – lifestyle, genetic predisposition, and years of unaddressed insufficiency. Diseases within the deeper veins are worrisome because this means that the central network of vessels, running along bone and between muscles, are unable to properly contain and mobilize deoxygenated blood. Stagnant blood in these deep veins can cause swelling and intense pooling of blood, resulting in the potential for venous ulcers and inflammation in the legs. In a percentage of patients, a DVT may break free from your vein walls and lodge in the lungs (pulmonary embolism) resulting in catastrophic consequences. This is definitely a worst case scenario, and most patients seek treatment before such an issue occurs, but all are not so lucky.

How to Reduce Your Risk and Improve Your Lifestyle

The American Heart Association estimates that there are over 350,000 cardiac arrest cases in the U.S. alone, and over 80 percent of all sudden cardiac deaths occur in males. Sudden cardiac death means that the heart stops pumping blood without warning, and is one of the conditions that may exhibit no signs in your daily life. Men are in a unique position because of the increase in stressors from social expectations, such as work and finances. Stress levels have reduced slightly over the last year, but it’s important that we take note of increased pressures affecting our physical and mental health connection. The following may improve risks of vascular and cardiac conditions:

  • Healthy eating. Choosing colorful fruits and vegetables in addition to lean meats and a diet of healthy fats.
  • Increase activity and variation of exercises. By adding a variation of high intensity and low impact exercises to your regimen, you improve vascular flow and strengthen your muscles for vascular support. Increasing cardiovascular exercise influences oxygen intake throughout the body and can lower stress on the heart.
  • Breathing exercises and mindful meditation. Take a few moments each day to check in with yourself. If your heart is beating faster than usual, taking a few deep breaths in 30-second intervals in attempt to lower your blood pressure and beats per minute.
  • Vascular assessments. These can give you a heads up so that you are more prepared for a vascular issue as soon as it occurs, and can possibly prevent life-threatening conditions. Know your body before problems happen, thereby having a better chance at extending your life.

Know your risk factors and whether or not you need to make changes to feel better, both physically and mentally. Men’s health begins with awareness – that means you need to pay attention to the signals your body is sending. Call Vein Center of Florida at 800-910-VEIN today to schedule your vein analysis with Dr. Jimenez.

Weight Gain and Vein Disease: How are the two related?

June 6, 2017

vein disease and weight gainVenous insufficiency and chronic venous disease are two conditions you have heard about in your consultation with Dr. Jimenez and likely during your visit with the cardiologist. Vein disease develops within the body based on external and internal stresses that affect the way in which one-way (upward) venous blood flow drives blood from the lower legs and organs to the heart. All of this venous blood moves against gravity and that action itself can be difficult if the veins are stressed, stretched and incapable of carrying excess blood. Years of patient care and clinical studies focused on vascular health make a distinct connection between weight gain and vein disease. But how are weight gain and venous disease related?

Veins, Valves and Their Function

At Vein Center of Florida, our goal is to share as much about vein care with you as possible, so you know what to expect and how to solve the problem. Vein disease, as mentioned above, starts with a variety of factors that contribute to the inability of veins in the lower sector of your body to push your blood from your legs to your heart. Venous valves keep the blood flowing in the proper direction. However, inefficient valve function results in excess blood waiting to circulate up from one part of the vein to the next, causing these veins expand. Expansion of the vein walls causes stretching, and that stretching continues until the vein is no longer able to resist and relax to its normal state, resulting in bulging visible veins. Bulging varicose veins are a sure fire way to tell this is happening to you.

Symptoms of Vein Disease:

  • Pain in the legs or heaviness
  • Tired/heavy legs
  • Discoloration in the ankles and calves (redness or dark tinge)
  • Tightness in the legs
  • Varicose vein formation
  • Fluid buildup or pedal edema
  • Pain relief upon elevation or position change
  • Tenderness
  • Restless legs
  • Ulcer formation
  • Itching or burning skin

While these symptoms of vein disease are common indicators, they’re not always present, and it’s a good idea to have a vein screening at some point in your mid-thirties at the earliest.

A Few Extra Pounds Can Affect Vein Health

Inactivity and extended periods of standing or sitting are a considerable issue no matter your size, however, adding excess weight and applying additional pounds of pressure on the body can cause serious exertion on the veins and their valves. If you’re already prone to vein insufficiency based on your family history, you want to make sure that you’re covering all of your bases and lowering your weight.

We think of the veins as pressurized tubes that work hard to move blood upward but the pressure in these veins can vary based on our position and how much weight pushes down on the lower half of your body at any given time from weight gain. Walking decreases the pressure on our veins because the calves help the leg veins pump; adding more weight, makes this mechanism ineffective. More pressure from above means more pressure is needed to move your blood. To lower the pressure in the legs and pelvic area, a reduced weight will improve the symptoms but long term awareness, activity and care are necessary.

A few types of vein conditions you may hear about in consultation with Dr. Jimenez include:

  • Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI)

Chronic venous insufficiency worldwide is a very common problem whether it’s the result of pregnancy, genetics, race, sex or immobility. Weight gain may initiate the process of vein pain and discomfort, often followed by restless legs and problems with movement if left unchecked. So if you’re feeling some of these things now, you may have chronic venous insufficiency which may symptomatically progress as you age.

  • Leaking Valves and Stressed Veins (Varicose Veins)

Overstretched and stressed veins, often purple and deep green, become prominent in the legs after significant weight gain and genetic factors. Varicose veins are stressed superficial veins prevalent in men and women over the age of 60, but they may occur in much younger individuals, especially with a family history. Women are at a greater risk of developing varicose veins than men, although they are very common in both sexes.

Activity, weight maintenance, and a nutritious diet can help to minimize the risk of developing significant venous disease, however, everyone should be educated about vein disease as early as possible. Call The Vein Center of Florida today at 800-910-VEIN for more information on vein disease and to schedule your vein screening.

For Stronger, Healthy Veins, Eat and Drink These Things

May 30, 2017

shutterstock_588193301Working out, eating well and maintaining low stress levels can keep your heart running efficiently, but what about your veins? A fit heart pumps blood vigorously through strong arteries. When the blood needs to cycle back to your heart, it flows through a network of veins. The only way your blood is permitted upward flow (against gravity) is by clear and elastic veins that can move blood in one direction back to your heart.

Valves within your veins act as doors that open and close to assist upward blood flow. It’s essential that your veins are able to resist the pressure that’s needed to move your blood. Without pressure-resistant qualities, your circulation patterns change as vein walls and their valves weaken. Varicose and spider veins are the results of vein disease. Healthy veins can make your life a lot easier which is why at Vein Center of Florida, we’ve composed a list of items you can eat and drink for stronger, clearer veins.

Fill Your Plate With Color

Every nutritionist around the world will tell you to color up your plate with fruits and vegetables because they are loaded with vitamins to supplement protein synthesis and metabolic function. All the latest studies that focus on vascular health and nutrition mention a Mediterranean diet which includes most things that grow on the vine and are organic. A Mediterranean diet also means seafood, so if you love sushi there some types, you should consider ordering over others to fight potential vascular disease.

Foods that contain a cholesterol combative vitamin B3 (niacin) include tuna, salmon, sardines, peanuts, chili peppers, green peas, bok choy, turnip greens and cantaloupe. While niacin keeps the veins clear of build up, it also reinforces strong vein walls by rebuilding the layered tissue (collagen and elastin) and helps reduce inflammation.

Drink Plenty of Water and Some Wine or Grape Juice

No one can argue the healing properties of water and that our bodies need it because, without it, we couldn’t survive. Water lubricates every tissue in the body, and it also creates balance. We drink water to detox our cells which can help with oxidative stress by offering additional molecules for excess oxygen to bind. Water also helps maintain functional muscles that support your veins when high pressure overcomes them.

You should ask your doctor if drinking a glass of red wine each night is healthy for you and the medications you’re currently taking. But drinking a small glass of red wine each night can have rejuvenating effects on your veins. If you veins swell and become inflamed, tannins found in red wine can help to tighten vein walls making them resistant to over stretching. Tighter veins mean your valves are less likely to leak which is where the main issue with varicose veins begins.

Eat Fiber

Less stress on your lower extremities is important. Fiber can help you release that stress that happens in the most private place—your bathroom. Eating regular fiber means that you’ll have an easier time in there without causing bouts of overexertion. Some of our favorite fiber-rich foods include:

  • Brown rice
  • Lentils
  • Raspberries
  • Pears
  • Avocados
  • Oatmeal
  • Flaxseed (try these in your pancakes)
  • Chia seeds (perfect for thickening overnight oats)

Vein conditions are linked to your genetic background, and you should think about having a screening for varicose veins and potential blood clots if your parents had vein problems. Eating these foods and drinking more fluids will help you boost your immune strength against varicose and spider veins. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Jimenez today to find out if you have an existing vein condition and how to fix it by calling Vein Center of Florida at 800-910-VEIN.