Wednesday, December 26, 2018

New Year’s Resolutions Are Good…For Your Veins!

“This is the year I take better care of myself.” 

Sound familiar? Every new year people resolve to quit smoking, exercise, visit the doctor, and commit to living a healthier lifestyle. There are a multitude of reasons why these are excellent resolutions, but consider one more: veins. 

Vein disease affects millions of people. It occurs when valves in the veins of the legs can’t efficiently pump blood back up to the heart. Vein disease can cause pain, swelling, varicose veins, or worse. It’s also chronic and progressive, and if left untreated, can lead to serious medical complications. 

“Venous disease is one of the most common health conditions among Americans,” said Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen, Board-certified vein specialist at the Vein Healthcare Center, “but most people don’t realize that it may affect them, or that there are modern, minimally invasive treatments available.” 

Here are three things that people can do to improve— or prevent— vein problems in the new year: 
1. Quit smoking. Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke affects veins, arteries and the entire circulatory system. It can make venous symptoms, like leg aches and pains, even worse. 
2. Exercise. This can be as simple and effective as walking just 30 minutes a day. Walking causes the rhythmic contraction of calf muscles and helps promote blood flow to the heart.  
3. See your doctor. Ask your primary care physician about venous issues, especially if “bad veins” run in your family. Your doctor can refer you to a Board-certified phlebologist for a screening and evaluation.  
Contact the Vein Healthcare Center to schedule an evaluation appointment, or to find out more about vein health and treatment. 

Have a happy and healthy new year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Dos and don'ts for holiday healthy legs

Venous disease -- including spider veins, varicose veins, and leg ulcers -- does not stop for the holidays. But don't worry! We at the Vein Healthcare Center in Maine, have some tips to help you alleviate the symptoms of vein disease and prevent them from getting worse.

As you're out and about this holiday season, DO wear loose-fitting clothing. Santa’s red suit, for example, is roomy and comfortable and wouldn’t impede circulation in his lower body.

DO walk for at least thirty minutes a day-- like in a mall or large department store! The calf muscle contractions caused by walking can go a long way toward venous disease prevention and help keep the muscles of the lower legs healthy. And when you're out and on your feet, DO take a break every hour or so.

Now for a few DON'Ts. DON'T wear high-heeled shoes (or boots), as they shorten the muscles in your calf and prevent deep veins from working at their full capacity.

If you're taking any holiday trips long distances -- by plane, train, or automobile -- DON'T forget to wear compression stockings to keep the blood in your lower limbs moving in the right direction.

This last DON'T shouldn't surprise you: DON'T smoke. Smoking (even a corncob pipe) and exposure to second-hand smoke constricts veins and affects overall circulation.

Tips like these can help alleviate (or prevent) the symptoms of vein disease, but if you are experiencing symptoms, consider being screened by a Board-certified phlebologist like Dr. Cindy Asbjornsen. Contact us to schedule an evaluation appointment, or to find out more about vein health and treatment.