Embrace Your Beauty

For many of you who know me, you know that I exercise almost daily. When compression sleeves came out, I began to use them during my runs or other aerobic workouts. After many months of wearing them faithfully, I began to doubt the need for them. I’m no different than other people in that when something works regularly and is of benefit, it begins to lose its value and I begin to doubt the need for it.

So recently, I stopped using the sleeves but have continued to exercise. The intensity of my exercise routines continued to increase, and I began to notice that my legs felt rather sore and heavy at work. I usually am at the gym by 5:30am and then am on my feet at work all day. I hadn’t ever had any issues with my legs, even after years of standing in operating rooms and office days. This was a new and very annoying phenomenon, and I really didn’t put two and two together at first. This went on for about 3 months before I had the revelation that the only change was being too lazy to put on the sleeves before going to the gym.

A few weeks ago, I began wearing them again. What a surprise! My legs weren’t heavy and achy at work. This in retrospect all seems a little silly, but I am writing this blog to relate my experience to you so that all of you will benefit from wearing these compression sleeves while you exercise. However, you must remember that the sleeves are not a substitute for thigh high compression for those of you with vein disease. They are for use only during the period of exercise, and will be of value to everyone whether you have venous disease or not.

So, if you enjoy running, walking or any other form of aerobic exercise, come and get a pair of our exercise compression sleeves. Your legs will thank you!

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Vein Care at JCMG Laser & Vein CenterIt 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.

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JCMG Laser & Vein Center client before and after photo.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.

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Healthy legs.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!

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