How Could Your Job be Affecting Your Vein Health?

September 4, 2020

vein health jobsWhen we think about our veins, how our jobs affect them probably doesn’t cross our minds. Americans spend about one-third of their lives at work, however, and our workplace habits and behaviors follow us home long after we punch out for the day. The amount of time we spend sitting or standing, what we ate for lunch and how we respond to stress all play a role in the health of our veins. In fact, more than 30 million men and women in the U.S. suffer from vein problems that may stem from a sedentary lifestyle or desk job that makes them more prone to developing these issues.

How can this be? Well, our veins are pretty complex. There is a lot going on to make sure blood circulates throughout the body properly. Oxygen-rich blood is carried from the heart by the arteries and delivered to your organs, tissues and cells. When that blood is depleted, it’s picked up by capillaries and travels through the venous system back to the heart. Unlike arteries, leg veins have to work against gravity to do their job and are equipped with tiny, internal valves that control the flow of blood. This ensures that it only goes in one direction — back to the heart. Sometimes these valves can become weakened or damaged, making it difficult for blood to get where it needs to go. If they don’t function properly, blood can flow backward and begin to pool, causing numerous issues for affected veins.

Certain occupations can negatively affect your vein health by making it harder for your veins to circulate blood back to the heart. We’ll explore why jobs that require long periods of sitting or standing, cause a high amount of chronic stress, or encourage a poor diet have the biggest impact on your vein health and what you can do to combat these effects.

Sitting or Standing Too Much

There is a long-established connection between sitting or standing too much and venous issues. This is because it’s hard work for your veins to fight against gravity. When we’re immobile for long periods of time, it becomes even harder for your veins to move blood upward and back to the heart. Blood begins to pool in the legs, pressure within the veins increases, and the walls and valves are weakened and damaged over time. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to improve blood flow and minimize your risk of developing venous issues:

  • Wear compression socks to improve circulation
  • Do leg exercises, such as calf raises, toe touches and squats
  • Shift positions and alternate between sitting and standing
  • Take short walks throughout the day
  • Prevent restricting blood flow with comfortable, loose-fitting clothing
  • Prop your feet up to help your blood flow back to the heart

Movement is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your vein health. Blood flow in the veins gets help in combating the effects of gravity from muscle pumps, which push blood upward with each contraction. Walking, running and other movements activate this mechanism for healthy circulation. There are some exercises, such as weight lifting and high-impact workouts, that may be counterproductive because they increase pressure within your veins, so it’s best to talk to your doctor before beginning a fitness routine to find out what’s safe for you.

An Unhealthy Diet

It might be wise to skip the cafeteria line and pack your own lunch to bring to work. We all know eating a balanced diet is ideal for our health and wellness, but poor eating habits aren’t only bad for the waistline. High blood pressure, fluid retention and weight gain are some diet-related factors that can contribute to venous issues. Sodium-rich foods can increase blood pressure and stress your veins, while sugary and fatty foods can contribute to weight gain. Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for vascular disease and unhealthy veins, as carrying around extra weight strains your circulatory system and can worsen any existing symptoms you may have. Over-processed foods should also be avoided, as they often contain little fiber, lots of sodium and ingredients that can cause inflammation. Nixing these unhealthy foods from your diet can positively impact your vein health and overall wellness.   

Making healthier food choices can not only improve and maintain your vein health but also lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure. Certain foods can help your arteries and veins stay strong and elastic, while others may alleviate existing symptoms. Fruits and vegetables top the list for vein-healthy foods, as they supply an abundance of antioxidants and bioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids are found in most fruits and vegetables and are known for their ability to reduce inflammation and may strengthen the walls of the veins. Bioflavonoids can also be found in tea, chocolate, dried beans and seeds. Foods rich in fiber are important for your veins as well, helping to improve digestion, alleviate constipation and maintain a healthy weight. Finally, drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated will help your blood flow more easily through your veins and lower your risk of blood clots and venous insufficiency.                                                                                                                                                             

Stress and Cortisol

If your job is stressing you out, it may impact your health more than you think. Stress can manifest in many different ways — headaches, trouble concentrating, insomnia and fatigue are all common effects. When you’re feeling stressed, you’re also less likely to take good care of your body and eat healthy, exercise or get a good night’s sleep. When we experience these effects long-term, they can impact the health of your veins and vascular system.

Many of these effects can be traced back to cortisol, the stress hormone. When you’re stressed, cortisol tells your body that you need more fuel and makes us crave “comfort foods,” those high in sugar and carbohydrates. Cortisol also activates a “flight or fight” response that increases your blood pressure and restricts blood flow throughout the body. Although these functions were useful in the dangerous, life-threatening situations our ancestors had to endure, in modern society, they may do more harm than good. Chronic stress has been linked to weight gain, poor circulation, heart disease, digestive issues and high cholesterol. Some people who are stressed are more likely to smoke, drink and otherwise deal with it in unhealthy ways.

Together, all of these effects combine to increase your risk factors for venous issues and exacerbate any existing conditions. Learning how to manage your stress in healthy ways can alleviate many of these symptoms and help keep your veins in good shape. Although everyone has different stress-management techniques, some common methods include:

  • Fitness and workout routines to lower stress levels
  • Meditation, yoga and breathing exercises
  • Make time for hobbies and other fun activities
  • Spend time with family and friends
  • Improve time management and organizational skills

The Vein Care Center of Florida for Your Vein Care Needs

So your job is wreaking havoc on your veins — now what? The Vein Care Center of Florida & South Baldwin can help you improve your vein health and treat any existing conditions you may have. Dr. James Jimenez is a renowned expert in the field of vein care and provides minimally invasive in office options to eliminate spider veins or varicose veins and alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of venous insufficiency. The Vein Care Center of Florida & South Baldwin provides free vein screenings for patients in Pensacola or Destin, or Alabama patients in Foley, and can help find the right treatment for you. If you’re ready to learn more about improving your vein health, contact or call us today at 1-800-910-VEIN to schedule a consultation or set up a free vein screening!

Medical Vein Treatment vs. Natural Remedies: Common Myths Debunked

August 25, 2020

Your grandparents probably had them. Your parents might have them. Maybe you’ve even noticed those raised, twisted veins making an appearance on your legs. If you don’t have varicose veins, count yourself lucky. An estimated 20% of all adults will be affected by varicose veins at some point, making it a prevalent concern among both doctors and patients. Although widely considered a cosmetic issue, varicose veins are a symptom of a more significant problem unfolding within the venous system. You probably know that your veins are responsible for transporting deoxygenated blood back to the heart, but to accomplish this, they must work against gravity. To move blood upward, your veins have special valves that keep things going in the right direction. Sometimes these valves can fail, creating a condition known as venous insufficiency. When your valves no longer work properly, blood has difficulty flowing upward and begins to pool, causing affected veins to swell, twist and bulge. These varicose veins tend to progress and can cause significant medical issues if left unattended.

Due to the prevalence of varicose veins, the internet is flooded with natural remedies, quick fixes and mind-boggling treatments that promise to “cure” varicose and spider veins, as well as other venous diseases. At The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we want to explore some of these claims to help patients avoid ineffective remedies and debunk the myths surrounding vein treatments.

Myth # 1: Apple cider vinegar can cure varicose veins — FALSE

Apple cider vinegar is praised as a cure-all for everything from obesity to arthritis. While research shows that apple cider vinegar does have some positive health effects, there is no definitive evidence to suggest that it can cure or treat varicose veins.

The idea behind apple cider vinegar as a cure for varicose veins is that it has anti-inflammatory properties and may enhance circulation. While improving blood flow and reducing inflammation could help treat some of the symptoms of varicose veins, there is no scientific evidence suggesting that apple cider vinegar does either. Furthermore, apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and could irritate the skin if applied directly, the method often suggested for varicose veins. In reality, varicose veins are a symptom of venous insufficiency, a progressive condition which cannot be cured with fermented apples and other natural remedies. This type of myth demonstrates why seeking the guidance of a medical professional such as Dr. Jimenez at The Vein Care Center of Florida & South Baldwin is so important — if not treated properly, varicose veins can lead to complications such as blood clots and ulcers.

Myth # 2: Exercise is bad for vein health — FALSE

Many people worry that exercise can cause varicose veins, when in fact just the opposite is true. Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for venous disease and patients who are overweight are not only more likely to suffer from venous insufficiency, but they are also more likely to experience complications. Excess weight makes it more difficult for your heart to pump blood throughout the body, increases pressure on your veins and restricts blood flow. Those who are obese are also more likely to have sedentary lifestyles. Over time, the combined effects of obesity and inactivity contribute to strained, weakened veins and damaged valves — a recipe for venous insufficiency and varicose veins.

Regular exercise not only helps patients maintain a healthy weight, but it can also improve vein health and circulation. This can reduce the symptoms of venous insufficiency and help prevent the formation of varicose veins. Low-impact exercises such as biking, walking and swimming are ideal for strengthening the leg muscles and improving blood flow. Your legs contain calf muscles which have special pumps, called calf muscle pumps, that are responsible for “pushing” blood upward to facilitate healthy circulation. This reduces pooling blood caused by valve damage associated with obesity and prolonged periods of sitting or standing. Despite the health benefits of regular exercise, it cannot cure venous insufficiency or eliminate existing varicose veins. It can, however, reduce uncomfortable symptoms, help you maintain a healthy weight and build muscle to promote better circulation for stronger veins.

Myth # 3: Compression stockings may increase circulation — TRUE

Compression stockings are specialized medical socks that are worn to provide even, consistent pressure to the legs to treat the symptoms of venous insufficiency. Unlike the arterial system, veins don’t have a pump to help transport blood back to the heart. Instead, our veins must rely on muscle contractions and one-way valves to fight against gravity and ensure that everything flows in the right direction. Venous insufficiency happens when these valves fail and blood flows backward and pools.

Compression socks apply pressure to “squeeze” the legs and veins to help blood flow upward. These socks may provide a number of benefits, such as improving circulation, reducing swelling, minimizing bruising and blood clot formation, and controlling discomfort. Compression stockings come in a variety of sizes, colors or styles and are made of a strong, elastic material that fits tightly around the leg to reduce venous pressure. To ensure they function properly, it’s important to have these specialized socks properly fitted; too tight and they restrict blood flow, too loose and they provide little benefit. Dr. Jimenez at The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin can evaluate you properly to prescribe the proper amount of compression you need and recommend other effective treatments for venous insufficiency.

Myth # 4: Medical vein treatments are painful and dangerous — FALSE

Some patients are concerned that treating venous insufficiency by removing the affected veins might be dangerous or harmful. Veins with damaged valves are no longer working properly, making it harder for blood to efficiently return to the heart. Since it can’t flow upward, it pools in the legs and causes unsightly and uncomfortable symptoms, such as varicose veins. This puts extra strain on your circulatory system and may lead to chronic swelling, severe skin changes and venous ulcers over time. Since damaged or malfunctioning veins interfere with proper blood flow, treating them actually improves your circulation by rerouting blood to healthy veins.

Advances in technology and surgical techniques has led to vein treatments that are safer and more effective than outdated procedures such as vein stripping. Dr. Jimenez at The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin is a pioneer in minimally invasive treatments, earning him a reputation as the vein expert of the Emerald Coast. Modern procedures such as Endovenous Laser Treatment (EVLT), conventional or ultrasound-guided foam sclerotherapy, ambulatory phlebectomy and scleroablative therapy can effectively treat varicose and spider veins with minimal downtime, fewer complications and enhanced patient comfort. Dr. Jimenez has helped make minimally invasive procedures such as these the new standard for treating vein diseases.

Myth # 5: Venous diseases are cosmetic issues and don’t need to be treated, so vein screenings aren’t beneficial — FALSE

Many patients believe that venous diseases such as varicose veins are a cosmetic concern that doesn’t require medical treatment. While unsightly, the appearance of varicose or spider veins also points to problems within the venous system. Venous disease can progress over time and cause uncomfortable symptoms such as swelling, soreness and discomfort that can negatively impact your quality of life. The pooling, backed up blood that causes varicose veins may also lead to blood clots, deep vein thrombosis and other complications if left untreated. Even if your symptoms aren’t bothering you, we recommend an evaluation with Dr. Jimenez and the qualified specialists at The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin to properly assess your condition.

At The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we periodically offer free vein screenings designed to evaluate your vein health for an accurate diagnosis. Early detection of venous disease can help identify vein problems before they develop into a more significant concern, making screenings an important diagnostic tool for all patients. Dr. Jimenez performs all assessments himself. After your vein screening, Dr. Jimenez will explain the results and help you explore treatment options suited for your unique situation.

The internet provides patients with a wealth of information regarding medical procedures and DIY remedies, but sometimes it can be difficult for patients to know which treatments are harmful, helpful or downright dangerous. At The Vein Clinic of Florida & South Baldwin, our goal is to educate patients so they can make an informed decision regarding the management and treatment of venous disease. With locations along the Emerald Coast in Florida in Pensacola and Destin, and in Alabama in Foley, we welcome patients in for a consultation or free vein screening. Contact or call us today at 1-800-910-VEIN to start improving the health of your veins today.

Top 5 Best Workouts for Stronger Veins

July 15, 2019

Most people know that regular exercise is good for you. It can help to maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of disease and even improve brain function, but did you know that exercise is good for your veins as well? Exercise not only promotes healthy circulation and blood flow, but it also helps you to stay in shape. Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for venous disease or venous insufficiency, of which varicose veins and spider veins are a symptom. When it comes to working out for vein health, however, not all exercises are created equally. At The Vein Care Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we’ve put together a guide of some exercises that can help to strengthen and improve your veins and those you should avoid if you are already affected by varicose veins.

1. Walking

Sitting or standing for prolonged periods is a big risk factor for venous insufficiency and varicose veins. Regularly sitting or standing for an extended amount of time results in poor leg circulation and makes it more difficult for your veins to move blood back to your heart. Consequently, blood can pool in your leg veins, increasing the pressure within and putting stress on the vein walls and valves. Over time, this weakens and damages them, leading to venous insufficiency.

If you sit or stand continuously at work, taking a break every half hour to walk around can help promote good blood circulation. Walking is a low-impact exercise appropriate for people of all ages and fitness levels. A brief, brisk walk, whether on your break at work at later in the evening, can have a surprisingly positive effect on not only the health of your veins but your overall health. Just 30 minutes of walking each day improves circulation, strengthens and stretches your leg muscles, and helps to maintain healthy blood pressure.

2. Bicycling

Bicycling is another low-impact exercise that is beneficial for vein health. Regular cycling can improve circulation without negatively impacting your joints and help to strengthen and build your leg muscles, such as the calves. By exercising the calf muscles, you improve the calf muscle pump — the muscle pump that facilitates healthy circulation by “pushing” blood in the leg veins upward to help ensure that it returns to the heart. Studies have found that poor calf muscle pump functionality may contribute to a progressive worsening of symptoms in patients with venous insufficiency, but regular exercise can help keep these muscles healthy.

3. Yoga

Yoga is a low-impact exercise that engages the whole body, helping to maintain fitness levels while improving circulation. By combining gentle stretches with a variety of poses that create a balance between strength and flexibility, yoga can help to alleviate some of the pain and swelling associated with venous insufficiency and varicose veins. The dual benefit of exercise and relaxation can also have a positive impact on stress levels and high blood pressure. Yoga won’t cure or prevent venous disease, but it can be beneficial for symptom management by helping to improve blood flow and circulation. Talk to your doctor first to determine which yoga poses might be beneficial to you and if there are any you should avoid.

4. Swimming

According to Harvard Health, swimming is the number one “best exercise” for improving overall health and well-being regardless of age or fitness level. Swimming is especially great for those with arthritis or low mobility due to the supportive buoyancy of the water, which protects the joints, muscles and veins from stress or injury. Muscle groups in the legs, arms, shoulders and abdomen are engaged all at once, allowing patients to strengthen and build muscle without the strain that other exercises can produce. Swimming also improves circulation and provides a great low-impact cardio workout for healthier veins.

5. Leg Lifts

Leg lifts and leg stretches are an exercise that can help aid the body in redirecting blood flow back to the heart while reducing discomfort and swelling due to venous insufficiency. Leg lifts don’t require any special equipment and can be done anywhere to strengthen the leg muscles and improve circulation. Simply lay flat on the floor and lift one leg at a time, holding it in the air for a few seconds before slowly lowering it and repeating the exercise with your other leg.

Exercises to Avoid

If you are affected by venous insufficiency and varicose veins, there are some exercises that can strain your leg muscles, joints and veins. Exercise that is too strenuous can have the opposite effect on circulation and impede blood flow, worsening the symptoms of venous disease.

Running

While running helps to strengthen your calf muscles, it can be hard on your joints and muscles. The high-impact nature of running puts a lot of pressure on your legs each time they hit the ground, which can strain or aggravate your veins. For patients with varicose veins, this may worsen symptoms such as discomfort and swelling. Running on softer terrain and wearing light compression stockings can help reduce the impact on your legs.

Weightlifting

Weightlifting increases abdominal pressure and strains on your veins, making it more difficult for blood to return to the heart. Proper techniques and lighter weights can make lifting safer, but patients with venous disease should talk to their doctor before doing any weight training. Resistance training may be a good option instead.

Sit-ups

Sit-ups and crunches also increase abdominal pressure, subsequently raising the pressure in the veins in your legs. This can lead to vein dilation and valve damage that causes blood to pool in the legs, worsening venous insufficiency and varicose veins.

When Exercise Isn’t an Option

At The Vein Care Center of Florida & South Baldwin, we recognize that regular exercise may not be feasible for some patients. If exercise isn’t an option, there are still a few things you can do to improve your circulation and overall vein health:

  • Wear compression stockings to help blood flow in the proper direction
  • Calf raises or rocking your heels back and forth can help activate the calf pump muscle to improve circulation
  • Elevate your legs to reduce swelling and keep blood from pooling
  • Rotate your ankles to help blood flow back to the heart

While exercise can’t cure or prevent venous disease, it can help to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms and improve the health of your veins. It’s important not to over-exert yourself, however, as this can cause strain and pressure that can cause swelling or discomfort. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can treat the symptoms of venous insufficiency, the vein care specialist Dr. James Jimenez at The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin offers a variety of effective treatments for Florida patients in Pensacola or Destin, or Alabama patients in Foley. Contact or call The Vein Center of Florida & South Baldwin at 1-800-910-VEIN to set up a consultation or receive a free vein screening today!

Vein Damage & Summer Heat?

August 17, 2018

With summer here, do you feel embarrassed to show your legs? If you suffer from spider or varicose veins, you might be dreading the coming warmer weather. You might also be afraid that if you allow your legs to see more sun, you’ll make these vein problems even worse. However, is there a link between summer sun and vein problems? And what can you do to minimize these potential problems and, most importantly, enjoy the time of the year made for going out and having fun?

Spider veins, varicose veins and the summer heat — is there a connection?

Yes, this is a real issue — too much summer sun can cause spider veins or make spider veins and varicose veins worse. Excessive sun exposure — without the proper protection — can damage skin, and this can lead to many problems and one of those problems is spider veins. Sun exposure dries and weakens the skin, and this makes the conditions right for spider vein issues. Damaged skin allows the small capillaries responsible for spider veins to come to the skin’s surface where they break.

The damage caused by the sun prevents your skin and body from adequately repairing these vein issues, so, without any other type of intervention, these problems will persist. If you already have spiders veins, excessive sun exposure will make these problems worse. Sun exposure can also worsen the appearance of varicose veins, which naturally expand to help cool your body in hotter weather. Spider veins, varicose veins and excessive sun exposure is a combination you will want to avoid at all costs. However, this doesn’t mean you have to avoid the sun or cover up your legs all summer. Here’s what you can do.

What’s the best way to keep my legs healthy during summer?

Sun exposure needn’t be avoided if you take the right precautions. The first solution is the most obvious — wear sunscreen. But putting on sunscreen right before you go out into the summer heat won’t protect you. You need to apply your sunscreen to clean skin at least 15 minutes before you see the sun. You also need to reapply it often, especially if you get wet or perspire a lot.

Also, if you can, avoid the hottest parts of the day or seek shade when the sun is most intense. Even with these precautions, you might “feel the burn”; if you do, get out of the sun for a while. You will have many more summer days to enjoy. Additionally, when you buy sunblock, also buy the highest SPF you can find. You can’t have too much sun protection, and while you’re out having fun, it’s easy to lose sight of when you need to reapply sunblock.

While you can’t undo the damage to your skin which the sun has already caused, you can prevent further skin damage from occurring — and prevent more spider veins from erupting — by taking the necessary precautions now. It is never too late for prevention, especially when it comes to sun damage, which can lead to even more serious and life-threatening dangers, such as melanoma.

But what about the spider veins I already have?

The spider or varicose veins you already have can be treated. Sclerotherapy is useful in the treatment of spider veins and can help close off spider veins which then diminish and fade over time. The treatment — administered by an injection of a clinically safe and proven solution into the affected veins — is minimally-invasive and highly-effective. Laser treatments, another minimally-invasive option, can also effectively treat varicose veins. Using laser energy, Dr. Jimenez at The Vein Center can close of varicose veins at their source; these veins will naturally and gradually atrophy over time, and your body will absorb them, eliminating the problem for good. These treatment solutions don’t give you a license to have all the sun you want, however; you will still need to take all the necessary precautions to protect your skin — and your health!

The Vein Center of Florida Can Treat All Your Vein Care Needs

Whether you wish to discuss prevention or treat the spider or varicose veins you have, The Vein Center of Florida can help. Dr. James Jimenez is one of the preeminent experts on vein care and is certified to provide effective vein care treatments including the latest, accepted medical technologies, such as Endovenous Laser Treatments (EVLT™) and Varithena Microfoam Therapy. If you have aesthetic or debilitating vein issues, Dr. Jimenez can help you select the most appropriate treatment so that you can live worry-free again.

If you want to take the next step and discuss your spider or varicose vein issues, you can call The Vein Center of Florida today at 1-800-910-VEIN and schedule a complimentary, full consultation. We have offices conveniently located in Pensacola and Destin, Florida as well as Foley, Alabama to serve you. Don’t miss the summer or hide in embarrassment. The Vein Center can confidently help your legs see the light again!

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.

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.

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.