March is DVT Awareness Month – What is a DVT

March is DVT Awareness Month. This month I would like to address DVT (deep vein thrombosis) to inform you and your loved ones what a DVT is, risk factors of a DVT, and the symptoms of DVT.  I want you to become an activist and recognize when medical attention should be obtained. Roughly 600,000 people in the United States are affected by DVT each year. Not all of these are hospitalized. We all fear AIDS, breast cancer and traffic accidents, but what about DVT?  DVT kills more people every year than these maladies combined!

So what is a DVT and how is it formed? The arteries transport the oxygen rich blood away from the heart which is a one way pump. The veins are thin-walled blood vessels that carry oxygen poor blood from the tissues back to the heart. In order to move the blood against gravity the leg In order to move the blood against gravity the leg   In order to move the blood against gravity the leg Calf Contraction and Relaxation muscles squeeze the deep veins to move the blood back to the lungs and heart.muscles squeeze the deep veins to move the blood back to the lungs and heart. Wear support hose to prevent DVTmuscles squeeze the deep veins to move the blood back to the lungs and heart. The human body has three types of veins; superficial veins which are the veins that are close to the skin (the ones that you can see), deep veins which lie within the muscle structure within the body and perforating veins which connect the deep veins to the superficial veins. The veins contain one-way valves for the return of the blood back to the heart. When these valves do not close, stagnation of the blood can occur and a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can form most often near a venous valve. The DVT can permanently damage the vein wall and valve with scarring or fibrosis which can cause them to become incompetent resulting in reflux (backward) flow of blood and venous congestion. Compression socks and stockings work as a secondary pump and along with the calf muscles close the valves to move the blood back to the heart. Consult with your physician to determine if you have risk factors and seek advice on appropriate preventative measures, including the amount of compression to wear. We carry many compression socks and compression stockings which can help prevent DVT. Please check out our JobstMediSigvaris and Juzo support socks and support hose. Did you know all of the manufacturers offer a extensive line of garments which range from athletic socks, men’s dress and casual socks to women’s opaque and sheer thigh high stockings and pantyhose so that each of us can choose a style or styles that are targeted at our lifestyle?

Next week we look at Risk Factors for DVT…

Let’s all get out there and let our friends know about DVT,


Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com

Chocolate and Support Hose

Since we have been talking about February is Heart Health month; I decided to do some searching for things which will help our cardiovascular system. Much to my surprise I found chocolate contains an antioxidant called polyphenols. Polyphenols are phytochemicals that give plants their distinctive colors and provide protection from UV damage, pests and infections. They can be found in blueberries, green tea, and red wine as well as cacao. Foods that contain polyphenols act as antioxidants; protecting proteins, fats and DNA from oxidative damage (this plays a roll in development of aging and degenerative disease, including cardiovascular disease). It has been shown that cacao consumption increased HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and appears to protect LDL for oxidation which may cause atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Polyphenols also seem to protect endothelial function. The endothelium is a thin layer of cells that line the inside of all blood vessels and moderate inflammation. Thus polyphenols promote vascular health.

    Cacao has been found to

  • Modestly improve blood pressure
  • Improve the production of nitric oxide in the body (improves blood flow) and enhance the immune system, and the brain
  • Modulate inflammation in the whole body and yield a lower C-reactive protein level
  • May enhance blood flow to the brain (which may improve memory and protect neurons from damage)
    It is the polyphenols that attract all the attention; however cacao is high in other nutrients

  • Magnesium supports a healthy heart rhythm and blood pressure and supports strong bones
  • Copper is involved in the production of potent internally produced antioxidants

It may not be chocolate’s high polyphenol content, but all these compounds working together that produce chocolate’s health benefits. In a study of women who consumed 41 grams of dark chocolate a day for six weeks, none gained weight. Now 41 grams of dark chocolate might be over-kill. 41 grams is the size of a Hershey’s’ dark chocolate bar. It is estimated that 6.7 grams (0.23 ounces) is the ideal amount (that is about the size of 1 1/2 Hershey’s Kisses).

Cacao NibsWe chocolate lovers are very lucky; there is a lot of research taking place regarding our beloved food. We must be very careful, we are not talking about your run of the mill processed milk chocolate with added milk and sugar which many times contain little or no cacao. All the health benefits of the chocolate get smaller as the percentage of cacao diminishes. To reap the benefits of this delicious, gourmet food, choose dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa (cacao)…70% or higher. I know some of us chocolate lovers cannot see ourselves eating a few squares of dark chocolate each day. There are other ways to get your health fix of cocoa (cacao) daily. Try unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder in a smoothie or protein shake, or add cacao nibs to healthy trail mixes. If you are at home in the kitchen you might even want to try a Mexican mole negro or add unsweetened cocoa powder to red chili. Let your imagination run wild!
When we apply a support stocking or support sock to our legs we are helping the damaged valves and incompetent veins in our legs to function more normally

When we apply a support stocking or support sock to our legs we are helping the damaged valves and incompetent veins in our legs to function more normally and increase the blood circulation. Why not work from the inside also by imbibing in a little dark chocolate to protect endothelial function (the lining of our veins), increase circulation, support a healthy heart rhythm, blood pressure, strong bones, and produce antioxidants.

Here’s to a healthy body with dark chocolate and support socks,

Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com

February is American Heart Heath Month

 

February is American Heart Month. The heart is part of the circulatory system which also includes veins, arteries. The heart is a little powerhouse, about the size of a closed fist and weighs only about 10.5 ounces, yet it is the strongest muscle in the body. It powers the circulatory system by moving 5000 to 6000 quarts of blood through the body each day. It transports oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and cellular waste products throughout the body. At rest the heart easily pumps over 5 liters of blood throughout the body every minute (that is approximately the total volume of blood in the body).

Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen rich blood away from the heart. The arteries are in such close proximity to the heart that they do not need valves to keep the blood from back flowing. The veins are blood vessels that carry the oxygen depleted blood back to the heart. Because the arteries use most of the energy from the heart’s contractions, the veins have lower pressure and the walls are thinner, and relay on gravity and movements or contractions of skeletal muscles to push the blood back to the heart. Some veins have valves which keep the blood from “back flowing”. When these valves become damaged, swelling will occur usually in a lower extremity. Apply a compression stocking or compression sock will help the damaged valve to close enabling the blood to continue the journey back to the heart. This takes some of the load off the heart and helps your heart stay healthy. Who would have thought a compression sock or stocking would help your heart stay healthy!

To keep my heart healthy I love to take walks and Sigvaris Sock and Sleeves or any of the Jobst Socks and Stockings (15-20mmHg or greater) will help increase my circulation and help keep my heart healthy. (You do not have to be an athlete to love some of these socks.)

Here’s to a heart healthy journey for all of us,

Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com

Why Do My Socks Wrinkle At the Ankles?

We have had a few more questions asked of us and I would like to share the answers with you.

I have seen socks with and without a silicone band. What is the advantage of a silicone band?Relief KHOT with Sil Band

A silicone band is very important when we are fitting people who are very small or do not have a calf muscle which creates a “shelf” for the top of the stocking to sit on. Some people are a bit larger, but do not have a firm tissue response. Their support stockings or support socks will tend to roll and cut into the soft tissue. The silicone band enables the stocking or sock top to grip the leg and remain in place. The same principal works on the thigh high stocking or thigh high socks (it may be a silicone dot band, silicone strips, or SensiNova Grip-top band).

wiping silicone band with alcohol smallIf you are wearing a garment with any silicone band, be sure you clean the band weekly with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol.

  • Sometimes you will get a body protein and lotion (accidental application) build up on the silicone band (even if you wash these garments every night).
  • Take a wash cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol and wipe only the silicone dots or silicone strips. This could be done weekly
  • This will restore the tackiness of the silicone.

How long should I wear my stockings each day? Should I wear them at night?

I tell my clients, “Unless your physician tells you otherwise, wear your stockings from the time you get up until the time you go to bed.” If you are one of those people who start swelling as soon as you put your feet on the floor, I advise you take your bath or shower before you go to bed. That way you can put your stockings on before you get out of bed. This will help you control your swelling during the day. You might also take several breaks during the day and put your feet above your heart, this also helps to control your swelling.

WrinkledSocksMy socks stayed up when I first got them and now they slip down and wrinkle at the ankles which hurts, what is wrong?
You can expect to adjust your support hose or support socks two or three times a day. This is normal. When you pull them up, do not pull from the top of the sock (you are just stretching the top of the garment and they will soon return to where they were). You should fold them down in half, insert your thumbs and give them a good tug, then ease the rest of the stocking up.

If you have not lost weight recently, one of the following may answer your question.

1. The socks are past their prime and need to be replaced. The elastin in support socks usually last 4-6 months; when they get easier to put on, it is time to replace them.

2. They are not being washed after each wearing. When compression socks are manufactured, they are put on a board and they are passed through a steam chamber to fix the size (a procedure called boarding). Your stockings need to be washed after each wearing. I recommend washing in the washing machine at 105 degrees in a lingerie bag then drying in the dryer on low setting (if you have no silicone band on the top of the garment). The heat restores the memory of the yarn.

3. Even if you have not lost weight, be sure to check your measurements. Your legs could be doing better and you need a smaller size. Take your measurements 1st thing in the morning and call one of our Certified Fitters on our toll-free number,  1-844-472-8807 for assistance.

 

Thanks,

Vanda
http://www.supporthoseplus.com