Embrace Your Beauty
It is hard to believe that we are about to begin our ninth year of service to our community. We at the JCMG Laser & Vein Center are truly grateful for the loyalty and trust that you have in us. I would like to reflect back on how the LVC became a reality.
For years, I had treated venous disease. However, before modern techniques came along, I had only surgical interventions to offer my patients. Because of the nature of the treatments and the perception that veins were primarily a cosmetic concern, both myself and my patients tended to wait until there was a severe problem before considering treatment. Frequently, patients would present to me with a sore or ulcer on the leg and would need help in getting it healed. These ulcers are very challenging problems and require highly specialized and expensive care. Eventually, in cooperation with St. Mary's Hospital, we opened the wound care center. This center has helped hundreds of people heal these terrible wounds. The better question, however, is how do we not get these terrible ulcers? Research into the cause of the wounds revealed that up to 70% of leg ulcers begin from vein disease.
So, you can now see why it is important to treat venous disease. If you keep your legs healthy when you are young, you will be less prone to getting bigger problems as you get older. If you are experiencing pain, swelling, restlessness, tired or heavy legs with no energy, call us to schedule an evaluation to see if you have venous disease. Remember, it is not about what you see on the surface, but what is underneath the skin causing the problem.
October is anniversary month for JCMG Laser and Vein Center. It is hard to believe we have been open for 8 years. Time has flown! I am so grateful to all of our clients for trusting us with their vein and esthetic care needs. It is because of that trust that we are able to continue to do what we love. This has been a wonderful working experience for me and I have enjoyed meeting our clients and working with our dedicated staff.
I thought I would reflect on how being exposed to what we do has changed me personally. I can honestly say my health and well-being would be different if I had not started working here. It all started just like the LVC started, with vein treatments. I have horrible vein disease. It runs in both sides of my family, and having four kids, it was almost a guarantee I would develop this disease. If I did not work here, however, I would have just accepted this as a part of aging and probably waited to seek treatment or not even realized I could be treated.
Lucky for me it didn't happen that way! I did get evaluated, received treatment, and continue to return to keep ahead of this chronic problem. So instead of legs that ache so badly I can hardly stand a two hour car ride without stopping, I am able to travel long distances, even on airlines, with minimal discomfort. Instead of giving up running because of heaviness and pain in my legs, I am able to keep up a weekly run schedule. Instead of coming home with aching, swelling legs after long days of standing, I am able to continue to do the things I need to do without paying for it afterwards. Plus, I have the added bonus of not being thoroughly embarrassed to wear a skirt or shorts. So I am adding to my anniversary celebration list gratitude for better leg health. I am so glad I didn't suffer needlessly with a disease that has such a simple treatment option that was covered by my insurance!
I am proud to work for a company that has done this life-changing service for so many others. So again, thank you for your trust in us. For you procrastinators out there, now is the time to take the jump and start taking care of yourself. Next year you can be celebrating, too. Stay tuned for my next blurb on how our esthetic services have also brought change to my life.
In honor of national DVT Awareness Month I thought I would share a little information on how the increased risk for deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is associated with vein disease. Vein disease is not just about being vain! Many serious consequences can occur if vein disease is left untreated. Each of us is genetically unique, and how vein disease will impact us can be very individual. One potential risk factor associated with vein disease is an increased risk for a deep venous thrombosis. A DVT is a blood clot in the deep veins of your legs. These clots can break free and cause damage somewhere else in your body. When blood pools in your legs, it causes swelling. When blood doesn't flow freely, it wants to clot. When you treat venous insufficiency, the swelling goes down and there are fewer places for the blood to pool.
The National Institute of Health states that over 50% of patients with a DVT have no sign or symptom of the blood clot. It also states that sometimes the first sign of a DVT is a blood clot in the lungs. This can be a serious or even fatal occurrence. This was very informative because most doctors, and the public, have the perception that you will always know when you have a DVT. The fact is that most will not have any symptoms. It is important that your DVT risk factors are taken into consideration when making treatment decisions. When we treat patients with complex vein disease, it is known that the risk for DVT will decrease and leg health will increase. There are so many reasons to be proactive about treating vein disease. Decreasing your risk of a DVT, especially if you have other risk factors, should be an important consideration. Yes, you may look better in a pair of shorts after treatment, but that just is a happy bonus. The many health benefits far outweigh the cosmetic bonus.
Now that the hype of the New Year's celebrations have died down, many of us resolve to make some positive changes. One of the most common is to lose weight. This is often motivated by looks, but a side benefit is that weight loss is one of the best things you can do for your general health. It is also a good way to decrease your risk factors for many diseases and ailments.
Obesity is a very common problem in our society. You are considered obese by Western medical standards when you have a BMI of > 30. You can calculate your BMI here. This is a very simplistic way to look at it, but can be a quick guide. I see it every day at the JCMG Laser and Vein Center. People frequently have problems with their legs swelling. This is a symptom of vein disease and is treatable. However, if they are obese, the swelling will continue to be a problem if they do not lose weight.
Other than leg swelling, obesity has a wide variety of detrimental effects. Heart disease and high blood pressure are increased when you are overweight. High cholesterol is more prevalent in obese people. The risk of Type II diabetes is increased with excess weight. Osteoarthritis and back pain are significantly increased when you are overweight and will worsen as your weight increases. Stroke risk, sleep apnea, gallstones, gout and congestive heart failure are also more prevalent. If that isn't enough, your risk of certain cancers is significantly higher. Obesity has been linked to cancer of the colon in men and women, cancer of the rectum and prostate in men, and cancer of the gallbladder and uterus in women. Obesity may also be associated with breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women. Fat tissue is important in the production of estrogen, and prolonged exposure to high levels of estrogen increases the risk of breast cancer.
So as you head into the New Year, resolve to lose some weight. It will serve you well to invest in your body. Maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise routine will keep you healthier as well as helping your legs!