DVT Explained

Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, is a serious medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in the deep veins in the body, oftentimes in the legs.  DVT may cause some symptoms, swelling and pain and such, but may often leave the sufferer completely unaware of his or her condition. Many times, someone with deep vein thrombosis will not know they have a situation until the clot breaks free and lodges in the lungs, a condition known as a pulmonary embolism.  This life-threatening condition may be the first symptom of DVT that the victim notices. 

Your Vascular Health

One of the miracles of modern technology is that human beings continue to live longer and longer.  Life expectancy has been on a constant rise for decades.  Unfortunately, this often means that people are living longer with chronic conditions.  Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death and disability, and thus is a major concern public health.

A Word on Aneurysms

An aneurysm is when part of an artery becomes weakened and widens or “balloons” out.  They can be caused by all sorts of elements, from congenital factors to injury and disease.  Aneurysms may occur anywhere in the body, though the brain, heart, legs, intestine, and spleen are the most common locations.  An aneurysm may grow over a long period of time without causing any visible symptoms, though ones that develop closer to the skin may be visible and even painful.

Summer Relief for Varicose Veins

For those who suffer from varicose veins, the warmer summer weather brings new problems. From increased self-consciousness about wearing leg-baring shorts or bathing suits to exacerbated symptoms, summer isn’t necessarily a favorite season. If you suffer from vein problems, you should visit a vein specialist as soon as possible to get help reducing the pain of varicose veins or to eliminate the need to hide your veiny legs. In the meantime, here are six tips to help reduce your discomfort so you can enjoy the summer months.

Spring is the Best Time to Treat Varicose Veins

As we get closer to spring it is time to change your wardrobe and put your jackets  away and get ready to be in dresses, skirts and shorts. After long and cold winter days it is time to enjoy the beautiful weather by going for a jog or walk, riding a bike or taking a spring break. But one thing that concerns us all is; are your legs in good shape?

How You Can Prevent Spider & Varicose Veins

These are a few tips to help prevent spider & varicose veins:

  • Wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun and to limit spider veins on the face.
  • Elevate your legs when resting as much as possible. This can help reduce chances of varicose veins.
  • Control your weight to avoid placing too much pressure on your legs.

How Sun Exposure Effects your Veins

Most people understand the importance of remembering to put on sunscreen. Sunscreen can prevent UVA and UVB rays from damaging the skin, aging the skin or causing cancer.  Wrinkles or dark spots from the sun usually come to mind, but what many people don’t think about how sun exposure can sprout up some spider veins on the nose or cause a current vein disease in the body to get worse. With people currently flocking to the beach for the season, it’s good to know the best ways to protect oneself from the sun whether it’s on a beach or golf course, or even taking an afternoon stroll.

Get Ready for Summer!

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It’s still cold and wet outside, but the isles in the clothing stores are a constant reminder that the sun is getting ready to pop out and stay. That’s right, spring and summer are on their way and warm-weather wear is starting to fill the racks in every clothing store you visit.

While all of your friends are rejoicing, do you secretly find yourself feeling a small sense of dread at the idea of stripping off your layers and donning shorts and swimsuit? If you have noticed that your legs have areas of discoloration, look lumpy, seem swollen, or have what appears to be blue spider webbing in spots; you may be have varicose veins or be experiencing venous disease.

Varicose veins don’t all look alike; there are several types that you may be able to identify on your own legs (you may experience more than one type at the same time.)

  • Trunk Varicose Veins: These are highly visible; often long, thick and bumpy; and appear near the surface of your skin.
  • Telangiectasia Varicose Veins: This type of varicose vein does not cause bulging of the skin but often comes in clusters that are bright blue or red. Because of their shape and size they are sometimes referred to as thread veins or spider veins, and while they are harmless, they can appear on both the face and legs.
  • Reticular Varicose Veins: These veins are red or blue and appear as short, jagged lines that lie just beneath the skin. Small ones may branch off larger ones.

If any of these descriptions fit the discoloration you are experiencing on your legs, there’s good news. Varicose veins can be successfully treated in time for summer! 

Credit source https://aboutavt.com/varicose-veins-ready-for-summer-fun/

January and February are Prime Time

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VARICOSE veins are a condition that will affect up to 30 per cent of us in our lifetime. There are a number of cutting-edge techniques available for treating symptoms - which include pain and itchiness - but an expert has revealed why removal in January and February is the best time of year.

Varicose veins occur when valves in the leg veins stop working properly, meaning the blood falls down the veins when standing up, rather than flowing upwards towards the heart. 

In their simplest form, varicose veins can be identified as bulging veins which protrude from the legs but, up to half of all varicose veins sufferers will show no overt signs of the condition, as the problematic veins remain hidden under the skin. 

If treatment is necessary, the NHS advises your doctor may first recommend up to six months of using compression stockings, taking regular exercise and elevating the affected area when resting. 

Other common treatment options include endothermic ablation - where heat is used to seal affected veins - sclerotherapy - this uses special foam to close the veins and ligation and stripping - the affected verbs are surgically removed. 

Whatever treatment option you decide to go with, a leading vascular specialist says January and February is the best time of year to do it. 

Professor Mark Whiteley of The Whiteley Clinic said many people will feel self-conscious about baring their legs during the summer months because of varicose veins, especially as 50 per cent of varicose veins are visible with a bulging appearance. 

So getting treatment done in good time will avoid this. 

He said: “It is very common for patients to seek treatment later in the year when their summer holidays are looking, but unfortunately this does not allow enough time for the course of the treatment to complete - which is why January and February are the perfect time to start.” 

Source https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/905618/varicose-veins-pain-treatment-removal

Blood Clots During Travel

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Some long-distance travelers are at risk for a dangerous condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This condition occurs when a blood clot forms in a large vein. Part of the clot may break off and travel to the lungs, causing a sudden blockage of arteries in the lung. This is known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). These conditions are rare, but can be fatal, so it’s important to understand what causes them, how to know if you are at risk, and what steps you can take to prevent them.

DVT Risk

Almost anyone can have DVT, but if you’re traveling for a long time, such as on an international trip, you may be at increased risk. This is because DVT can be caused by sitting for a long time, potentially creating damage and slow blood flow in the veins of your legs. This increased risk more often occurs with air travel, where you’re in a small space and it’s hard to get up and move around. But DVT can also happen when you are traveling by bus, train, or car.

Most people who develop travel-associated DVT have other factors that increase their chance of developing a DVT, including the following:

  • A previous blood clot
  • Family history of blood clots
  • Known clotting disorder
  • Recent surgery, hospitalization, or injury
  • Use of estrogen-containing birth control or hormone replacement therapy
  • Current or recent pregnancy
  • Older age (risk increases with age)
  • Obesity
  • Active cancer (or undergoing chemotherapy)
  • • Other serious illnesses, including congestive heart failure or inflammatory bowel disease
  • Limited movement

Preventing DVT

Anyone traveling more than 4 hours by air, by car, or by bus can be at risk for blood clots.

You can take steps to help prevent DVT. For long distance travelers, these steps include

  • Get up occasionally and walk around.
    • Select an aisle seat when possible so you can walk around every 2-3 hours.
    • If traveling by car, include breaks in your travel schedule to stretch and walk around.
  • Exercise your calf muscles and stretch your legs while you're sitting. Try these exercises next time you travel:
    • Raise and lower your heels while keeping your toes on the floor.
    • Raise and lower your toes while keeping your heels on the floor.
    • Tighten and release your leg muscles.

If you are a long-distance traveler with additional factors that increase your chance for developing a DVT, talk to your doctor about taking extra precautions, such as

  • Wearing properly fitted medical compression stockings and
  • Taking medication before you travel to prevent blood clots.

Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

It is helpful to know the symptoms so you can recognize if you develop DVT or PE.

DVT Symptoms

  • Swelling, pain, or tenderness in the affected limb (usually the leg)
  • Unexplained pain or tenderness
  • Skin that is red and warm to the touch

PE Symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Faster than normal heartbeat
  • Chest pain that usually gets worse when you cough or breathe deeply
  • Coughing up blood
  • Very low blood pressure, lightheadedness or fainting

If you have symptoms of DVT, call a doctor right away. If you have symptoms of PE, you should seek immediate medical care from a doctor or hospital. Finding and treating these conditions early can prevent death or complications.

It is not possible to diagnose either condition without special tests performed by a doctor to look for clots within veins in the legs, pelvis, and chest, and within arteries in the lungs, such as an ultrasound, a CT scan, or an MRI. That is why it is important for you to quickly seek medical care if you experience symptoms of DVT or PE.

DVT and PE are treatable, although a large PE can cause sudden death. Sometimes medicines or devices are used to dissolve or break up the clot. Typically, medicines are taken for several weeks or months to prevent more clots from forming and to give the body a chance to dissolve or heal existing clots.

Source Credit https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/dvt

Winter Weather & Varicose Veins

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It’s the perfect excuse to whip up a gumbo or gather with friends around the fire. But this winter, we’ve already had a bigger than normal serving of extreme cold, and we have at least another month to go.

For those with varicose veins, a condition in which veins enlarge and become painful due to the excess pressure in the saphenous system, harsh winter temperatures could present some challenges in managing the condition.

The news is not all bad, according to Dr. Carl Fastabend, founder and medical director of the Vein Center of Southwest Louisiana and Louisiana’s only full-time, comprehensive vein specialist. “Cold temperatures can cause veins to shrink, making it easier for the valves inside the veins to function properly. This could mean fewer cramps and swollen ankles for some people.”

However, overall, winter weather typically leads to an increase in symptoms for many with varicose veins. During and after the holidays, weight gain is common.

More weight means more work on the part of your legs to get blood back to the heart.

Dr. Fastabend says it’s easy to talk yourself out of an outdoor run or even venturing out to the gym in cold weather. “If it’s cold out, try to stay active indoors,” he says. “This will keep the valves actively pumping blood through the veins.”

When the temperature drops, there is sometimes a temporary change in atmospheric pressure. “That change can cause your circulatory system to, in general, become less efficient, which can further aggravate issues with the veins,” says Dr. Fastabend.

This is also something to monitor if your winter travel plans take you to the slopes.

Another concern in colder weather is its effect on the skin. Dr. Fastabend says dry, cold weather can contribute to dry skin on the legs and even a rash, which leads to itching of varicose veins. He says it’s a good idea to apply moisturizing lotion regularly to avoid this.

To manage your symptoms, Dr. Fastabend recommends pampering your veins a little during the winter months. “Elevate your legs for 30 minutes before going to bed, stretch throughout the day and massage your ankles and lower legs whenever you can,” he says.

Another best practice is to eat high-fiber foods, which are great for your circulation.

Source credit to http://www.beauregarddailynews.net/news/20180120/winter-weather-and-varicose-veins

RLS related to Veins

"About 10 percent of the population is thought to suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).

Are you one of them? Perhaps you or your bed partner are kept awake at night with the irresistible urge to move your legs; some people describe it as a “creeping” feeling in the legs; or tingling, burning, aching or numbness of the legs. These symptoms are worse at night or during periods of relaxation, such as lying down during the day.

Summer Legs in Winter

winter is a great time to get varicose veins and spider veins treated.

A few reasons why winter is one of the best times to get your leg health evaluated:

  1. Compression Therapy: Most insurance companies will want you to wear compression stockings for a few months before they approve treatment, and while support garments are now available in stylish colors and patterns and should be worn all year long; most people prefer to wear them in the winter.
  2. Post Treatment Healing: While the non-invasive treatments we offer for the treatment of varicose and spider veins are virtually pain free, there is a period of time between treatment and your legs looking their best. Obtaining treatment now gives you a few months to heal before summer and shorts on the beach.