2015 March is Lymphedema Awareness Month Know the Symptoms and the Solutions

LymphaticSystem_FemaleSmMarch is Lymphedema awareness month. That means it is our call to educate you, our clients, so you can spread the word about Lymphedema. Lymphedema happens when the lymphatic system is not complete or is disturbed. The lymphatic system is a system that consists of tissue such as the lymph vessels, lymph nodes and lymph and organs primarily the tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus.  Lymph is a colorless, transparent fluid which originates in the tissue space through out the body. Its responsibility is to remove excess body fluids, bacteria, viruses, proteins and waste products from the body tissue. Lymph nodes (small bodies scattered along lymph vessels) act as cleaning filters to destroy pathogens, inactivate toxins and remove particulate matter and aid in your body’s immune system to fight infection. The lymph nodes, thymus gland, tonsils, and spleen produce lymphocytes which enhance the body’s immunity. Lymph flows in one direction urged along its journey by contraction of skeletal muscles and smooth muscle fibers in the walls of the lymphatic vessels and movement of the diaphragm until it dumps its cargo back into the circulatory system. Lymph flow in this system is very slow (3 liters per day) compared to our circulatory system (5 liters per hour). When the lymphatic system is disrupted, the lymph pools in the interstitial spaces and swelling occurs.

There are two types of Lymphedema- Primary and Secondary

 Primary Lymphedema happens seemingly without cause. It may be present at birth, become apparent at puberty or after age 35. Primary Lymphedema occurs more frequently in women than in men.

Secondary Lymphedema is caused by injury, accident, surgery, or radiation to an area of lymph nodes. There are approximately 2 million cases of secondary Lymphedema. It may develop months, even years after injury, surgery, or radiation. It has even occurred over 20 years later.

Factors that contribute to Lymphedema:

  • Surgery and/or radiation therapy
  • Post operative infections
  • Obesity
  • Infections (insect bites, athletes foot, parochial-bacterial or fungal infection where the nail and skin meet at the side or the base of a finger or toe)
  • Sedentary lifestyles
  • Dependent limb position
  • Recurrent tumor
  • Trauma to remaining lymphatics
  • Untreated edema from venous insufficiency can progress to venous/lymphatic disorder which is treated as Lymphedema

Many treatments have been tried to control Lymphedema. Diuretics only stimulate the kidneys to remove more fluid which results in a higher protein concentration and hardening of the tissue. Some success has been shown in lymph node transplants, but this is a very slow process to grow the lymphatic system and the final decision on the effectiveness of this treatment is still out. The one tried and true treatment is initiated by a therapist doing Manual Lymphedema Drainage (moving lymph to areas where lymph nodes can collect the lymph and transport it), teaching special exercise, and wrapping the effected area. Once the therapist determines the maximum reduction has been reached, then compression garments can be worn. Sometimes these can be ready to wear and sometimes they must be custom measured.

Once Lymphedema has developed, it is a lifetime of management with

  • Meticulous hygiene and topical skin products
  • Manual lymph Drainage (MLD) – which you may be able to learn to do your self
  • Special Exercises to help move the lymph along
  • Compression garments to help maintain you hard worked for size

There are times when a Lymphedema patient will need to return to bandages for a night or so just as a tune-up to maintain the reduction that was achieved.

I would like to leave you with the awareness of what Lymphedema is and the fact that if you have venous insufficiency and do not wear your compression stocking, it can progress and become a disease that is much harder to control.

Please call one of the SupportHosePlus.com Certified Fitters on our toll-free number,  1-844-472-8807, who are able to assist you in the selection of a compression garment that will meet your lifestyle needs.

 Vanda

2015 March is DVT Awareness Month

March is DVT Awareness Month. We have discussed DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) many times and it is such an important topic, it is time to review again. Your veins are thin-walled blood vessels that carry oxygen-depleted blood from the tissues back to the heart and lungs to be re-oxygenated. In order to move the blood back up against gravity, the calf muscles in the leg 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 and lungs. When these valves do not close properly, 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 valves with scarring or fibrosis, which can cause them to become incompetent, or non-working, resulting in reflux (backward) flow of blood and venous congestion. The DVT can break loose and become a life-threatening Pulmonary Embolism (PE).

Compression socks and stockings work as a secondary pump and along with the calf muscles to close the venous valves, assisting to move the blood back to the heart and lungs. There are many ways to develop a DVT, but we can take many steps in helping prevent DVTs, especially when we travel, whether by airplane or by a long car or truck ride.

It seems natural for the average airline passenger has greater concern about the airline crashing than about developing a life threatening DVT, that is likely due to knowledge of DVTs, or more specifically, our lack of it.  While the chances of developing either of these conditions is very small, some people when they fly or take long car or truck trips, may be more prone to developing a DVT than others.

High Risk Groups Include:

  • Frequent Fliers
  • Truckers
  • Older people (over 60)
  • Pregnant Women
  • Those who have recently had surgery
  • Women who are taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy
  • Travelers with medical conditions which would predispose to develop a blood clot (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or family history of DVT)
  • Young, healthy, & athletic

The picture to the right represents one of our many clients. He is in his mid 60’s and is preparing to go on an airplane trip which is not a long haul…his trip may only last 3 hours, but OlderManPuttingOnSupportSocks2what he is doing may save his own life. A study by Aviation Health Institute has shown that 17% of DVTs occurred in association with short flights. A British newspaper published findings that the occurrence of DVT in short-haul flights was more prevalent than expected…4.3% of 568 passengers developed clots which were detected by ultrasound. Two of the passengers actually developed a pulmonary embolism. This has led the researchers to hypothesize that blood clots develop in the first 2 to 3 hours of flight and become larger and more dangerous with longer flights. Not all blood clots are symptomatic and some small ones do resolve on their own.

MerinoWoolImage2The picture to the left represents a group of individuals who you would not normally associate with developing a DVT; the young, fit and healthy. Again, these individuals may actually be helping to saving their own lives by wearing support socks during outdoor activities and during air travel. Athletes and especially endurance athletes show a high incidence of developing a DVT. This may be due to their efficient cardio system pumping blood more slowly. It has been claimed that up to 85% of flight DVT victims fall into the athletic category. One study has shown the near elimination of DVTs in the young, fit and healthy category when they wear compression hose or support socks. Many athletic teams require their members to wear compression socks when they fly.

There are several things you can do to assist in preventing DVTs:

  • Wear compression socks or hosiery
  • Flex your foot and calf muscles while seated every half hour
  • Don’t sleep when flying
  • Keep hydrated with electrolyte-balanced solutions and or water.
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Get up and walk once an hour ensuring you flex your calf muscles
  • Choose an aisle seat if possible, more easily facilitating movement
  • Do not allow the front of your seat cushion to cut into the back of your knee
  • Check with your health care practitioner to determine if he/she has additional recommendations

All these can be discussed with your physician; wearing properly fitting support hose or support socks may be a very effective preventive measure.

Following is a list of factors that increase the risk of developing DVT:

  • Injury to a vein, often caused by:
    • Fractures
    • Severe muscle injury
    • Major surgery (especially of the abdomen, pelvis, hip, or legs)
    Slow blood flow, often caused by:
    • Confinement to bed (possibly due to a medical condition or after surgery)
    • Limited movement (a cast on an extremity to help heal a injured bone)
    • Sitting for a long time, especially with crossed legs
    • Paralysis
    • Sedate lifestyle
  • Increased estrogen:
    • Birth control pills
    • Hormone replacement therapy, sometimes used after menopause
    • Pregnancy, for up to 6 weeks after giving birth
  • Certain Chronic medical illnesses:
    • Heart disease
    • Lung disease
    • Cancer and its treatment
    • Inflammatory bowl disease (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
Other facts that increase the risk of DVT include:
  • Previous DVT or PE
  • Family history of DVT or PE
  • Age (risk increases as age increases)
  • Obesity
  • A catheter located in a central vein
  • Inherited clotting disorders
  • Varicose veins

Know the Signs and Symptoms of DVT and if these develop seek medical attention immediately.

  • Pain in the leg or pelvis region
  • Tenderness and swelling of the leg
  • Discoloration of the leg (reddish)
  • Areas of the leg or pelvis region that feel warm to touch
  • Whole leg swelling
Symptoms of DVT can be similar to other conditions, like a pulled muscle or “Charlie horse” and can delay diagnosis. Some people may have no symptoms. Blood clots are more common in the left leg, possibly because the femoral artery in that leg passes anterior to the vein, and may compress the vein. Symptoms of a DVT from travel do not always develop immediately after travel, but more likely within three days of arrival at your destination.Symptoms may not manifest themselves for up to two weeks after a long trip.

Call one of SupportHosePlus.com’s Certified Fitters toll-free, 1-844-472-8807, for assistance with selection and sizing of support hose or support socks for to aid in the prevention of DVT, especially during travel.

Happy & Safe Travels!

Vanda

February is American Heart Month 2015

SHP BeKindToYourHeartFebruary is American Heart Month. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) include heart disease, stoke, and high blood pressure is the #1 killer of both men and women in the United States. One in four deaths is attributive to CVD. It is the leading cause that prevents Americans from working and enjoying family activities (quality of life).

Men are twice as likely to die of preventable CVD as women. Having a close relative with CVD puts you at a higher risk. Disparities based on location also seem to exist. During 2007 – 2009, death rates due to heart disease were highest in the South and lowest in the West.

While race and ethnicity also affect your risk, the larger majority of cases are due to risk factors that respond to things we can change.
These factors are:
• High blood pressure
• Obesity
• Elevated cholesterol
• Uncontrolled diabetes
• Being a smoker
• Being sedentary

Heart disease can be silent. We may not know we have it until we have a cardiac event. At that time one or all of the above factors can manifest themselves. That is the reason we are encouraged to have routine check-ups: so we can correct these factors before they lead to heart attack or stroke. Cardiovascular disease can affect your quality of life and we are all about having a great quality of life! As we know race and ethnicity also affect your risk. Be a good example for friends or relatives that you can turn CVD around and have a good quality of life.

We see the heart as a symbol of our love, but it is the organ in our body that enables the transportation of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our blood through our body. As we age the valves in our legs may not function efficiently. This puts more stress on the heart. Compression stockings work with the muscles in our legs to help the valves in our legs close better.

• Love your heart and learn how to keep it healthy
• Go for a yearly physical each year
• Get informed about the 6 risk factors and how you can change them
• Get 30 minutes of moderate exercise 3-5 days a week.

Each one of us must make a personal decision to modify our lifestyles in order to have a better quality of life. So I encourage everyone to put on their support hose or support socks and take a walk. It’s the first step to a healthier heart for you.

Here’s to a healthy you,

Vanda

The Year of the New You

Year Resolution listHere we are once again in January of a brand new year. We have a wonderful year ahead of us. I hope yourlist of New Year’s Resolutions is not as long as our friend in this graphic.
Keep it simple. Begin with one or two realistic and attainable goals for yourself. You know yourself best; so don’t lie to yourself about how many lifestyle changes you can make.

Year What I Plan To Do Make a simple list, write the list and start by establishing a routine which will enable you to reach the goals. It takes 30 days to develop a new habit; so keep at it. If you do not succeed one day that does not mean that you have failed. Simply go back to your routine tomorrow. People who clearly make resolutions and write them down are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who make vague resolutions and don’t write them down.

If your goal is to loose weight, you do not necessarily have to go on this killer starvation diet. Start by increasing your water intake. When you drink more water, you feel fuller and will eat less. You might try to plan nutritious meals at least two days ahead of time. When you have a plan, it is easier to stick to it. Incorporate more vegetables into those planned meals and less carbohydrates. In the long run, you will loose weight and become healthier.

For some of our clients, their goal is to be more compliant in wearing their support socks and stocking. For some, it is a matter of being able to get them on. Support stockings and socks do not do you any good sitting in your dresser drawer. Fitters at Support Plus know the secrets of the best fitters! Call one of us at 1-844-472-8807 and let us assist you in the selection of a donning device which will enable you to reach you goal of wearing you compression stockings or compression socks everyday to improve your quality of life.

Sometimes it is not the ability to don (put the stockings on), but the cost of the stockings which keeps some of our clients from reaching their goal. Did you know that each one of our manufacturers makes a low cost compression stocking and sock:

Therafirm Core-Spun compression compression socks also fall in this low cost category. We have great prices on all of these garments to help you get your New Years Resolutions off to a good start. Save money with quality products at a low cost. If there are so many choices you don’t know which to choose, call one of the Certified Fitters at SupportHosePlus (toll-free 1-844-472-8807). Our Certified Fitters can guide you in the selection of a compression garment to help you keep your New Years Resolution. Let this be The Year of the New You!! If you have worn our low cost compression stockings or low cost compression sock, let us know what you think. Just go to the bottom of this blog entry and leave a comment.

Here’s to The Year of the New You 2015,Year of the New You

Vanda

Signs of Orthostatic Hypotension

Do you remember when you were younger and had a lot more energy? Sometimes you would get up too fast and get dizzy. This is called orthostatic hypotension or postural hypotension.  You may feel dizzy, lightheaded, or even faint. You may not have to get up fast any more to experience the dizzy feeling. This episode may last a few seconds to a few minutes after standing. If it lasts longer than that, you need to visit with your physician to make sure there is nothing else to be concerned about. Orthostatic hypotension can occur in anyone, but can be seen particularly in the elderly and those with low blood pressure.

Some of the signs and symptoms of orthostatic hypotension after sudden standing are:

  • Dizziness
  • Intense feelings of well being or disorientation
  • Lightheaded
  • Nausea
  • Distortions in hearing
  • Blurred or dimmed vision
  • Fainting

Orthostatic hypotension is caused primarily by pooling of blood in the lower extremity caused by gravity. This can set off a chain reaction:

  • Venous return to the heart is compromised
  • Decreased cardiac output
  • Lowered arterial pressure
  • Lowered systolic and diastolic pressure
  • Insufficient blood flow to the upper extremity

Normally the blood pressure does not fall very much when you stand, because it automatically triggers vasoconstriction (narrowing of blood vessels caused by muscular contraction of the muscle in the vein wall). Orthostatic hypotension may be aggravated when there is a lower volume of blood present (bleeding, diuretics, dehydration vasodilators or other types of drugs, or prolonged bed rest). There are also certain diseases which could aggravate orthostatic hypotension, but those are best diagnosed and addressed by a physician.

BPStanding BPSitting

One simple test for orthostatic hypotension is taking the blood pressure while sitting or lying down and again when standing.

A drop in systolic blood pressure of 20 mmHg and/or a drop of diastolic blood pressure of 10 mmHg could be diagnostic. A tilt table test or other tests may also be used.

lwa-ask-your-physician

The treatment of orthostatic hypotension will depend on the cause, but physicians will usually review the medications you are currently taking to
make sure there is nothing that could cause your symptoms. Your physician may recommend lifestyle changes such as increase in fluid intake, standing slowly, and avoid bending at the waist. Sometimes wearing compression stockings will help control the drop in blood pressure you have experienced. Some physicians will recommend a 15-20 mmHg knee high: other physicians recommend a 20-30 mmHg knee high. A knee high garment may be adequate to control a mild drop in blood pressure, but in severe cases, a 30-40 mmHg waist high garment may be required. In any case, if you are having symptoms of orthostatic hypotension, consult with your physician.

SupportHosePlus.com offers many styles of garments your physician may recommend. Remember there is a wide range of athletic, dress, casual, and sheer stockings to fit your lifestyle. Check your latest e-mail for specials and call one of the Certified Fitters at SupportHosePlus.com. Toll-free 1-844-472-8807

If you have orthostatic hypotension please share with us how you and your physicians have been able to manage it, go to the bottom of the blog entry and leave a comment.

Vanda

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month 2014

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. In the United States there are over 20 million people with diagnosed diabetes and another 86 million have pre-diabetes (a condition where glucose levels are higher than normal but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes). Diabetes is not necessarily a disease of the elderly. It can strike young and elderly alike. Health care professionals are encouraging people to eat healthier and to become more active.

Support Hose Store Juzo xStatic Fabric with Silver

Silver interwoven with the yarn of the garment to create the xStatic Fabric with Silver

Diabetics have many underlying problems such as leg and foot pain, infection, swelling of the lower extremities, skin irritations and ulcers. When the skin of a diabetic breaks down, it is slow to heal and can lead to infections and /or cellulitis (a skin infection involving the dermis and subcutaneous fat). Compression socks and stockings increase circulation and tissue oxygenation. If you add silver to the compression garments, swelling and skin irritations are controlled and the silver can help eliminate infections and/or cellulitis.

Juzo Silver socks offer both the therapeutic benefits of compression plus pure elemental silver. Silver, a safe and natural antibiotic, is used to eliminate harmful bacteria. The fiber used in Juzo Silver products is called X-Static® and is permanently bonded to the textile fiber. Tests show that Juzo Silver compression stockings maintain high efficacy even after 100 washings. The efficacy of silver occurs when silver ions are released at a rate of at least 1 PPM (part per million). A study of anti-microbial activity by North American Science Associates shows Juzo silver compression eliminates over 99% of harmful Staphylococcus Aureus in less than 4 hours. Juzo Silver is highly effective in eliminating Methicillian-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

In view of the fact that silver has antimicrobial properties, Juzo Silver also helps control foot odor which is caused by bacteria. Silver is also one of the most heat conductive elements. Heat between the skin and garment is dissipated via the silver fibers. This gives you a more pleasant wearing experience (and also for those around you!).

X-Static® silver fibers are used in a wide range of products including wound care dressing, sports apparel, military and combat uniforms, and foot wear. Juzo has several socks which contain silver to meet the needs of many of our clients.

2012SilverSoleFront

Juzo® Silver Sole

· Designed for those with sensitive feet
· Mild compression
· Mid-foot compression to prevent bunching of the sock
· Channeled toe seam to reduce irritation
· Silver Knitted Sole for odor reduction and antibacterial protection
· Pillowed sole adds cushion to reduce blistering and callous buildup
· Low-cut, Crew length and knee-high

Our diabetic customers as well as many of our non-diabetic customers who are not having any problem with leg and foot pain, infection, significant swelling of the lower extremities, skin irritations or ulcers have found the Juzo Silver Sole to be one of their very favorites. It is an excellent sock for the diabetic, for those that want to control odor and for those who just want a comfortable sock.

Here’s to Healthy Feet and Legs,

Vanda
supporthoseplus.com
1-844-472-8807

September Is Healthy Aging Month 2014

September, “Healthy Aging” month, was started to give seniors and those “almost seniors” a way to make little changes in their lives which can greatly affect their quality of life down the road. 76 million baby boomers are over the age of 50. Next year the first of the generation x-ers will reach that milestone! Now you and I know growing older is one of the hardest things we have done. (Perhaps it is just something we thought would never happen to us.) We need to look at the positive aspects and not the negative aspects of growing old. We need to realize that it is not too late to take control, because it is never too late to start something new. We have the opportunity to reinvent ourselves with a new career, new sports activity, passion or hobby.

I read something the other day… “Dance like there’s no tomorrow“, it really caught my eye. Just as getting better oxygen flow to the lower extremities by wearing support stockings improves your leg health; exercise increases the oxygen to the brain. Older adults involved in regular physical activity are less likely to get dementia.

No matter our age, we should all be eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. We still have a great abundance available in the markets and we should be taking advantage of the difference they can make in our health. For example a woman my age should be eating at least 1.5 cups fresh fruit and 2 cups of vegetables a day. If you are not eating at least this, you are neglecting your health. Fresh fruits and vegetable contain fiber as well as vitamins and minerals your body needs to fight chronic diseases such as stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and some cancers.

It use to be the baby boomers we were addressing, but now generation x-ers are inching their way into the over 50 category and many have the same interests as the previous generation. There are so many small steps you can take so you can enjoy “Healthy Aging” “Dance like there is no tomorrow“, eat healthy, and breath deep and slow.

To share steps you are taking to help insure your health later on click here, scroll to the bottom of the blog entry and leave a message as a guest.

Here’s to our “Healthy Aging”,

Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Through the Ages Continued

Last week we began studying the history of DVT. The most important advances in the field of DVT therapy occurred during the first half of the 20th century. However, numerous other therapeutic options, sometimes surprising, were tried during this period and later abandoned because of insufficient efficacy.

Even though the mechanisms of venous thrombosis (blood clots) had been discovered by the middle of the 19th century, it was closer to the 1920’s that a consensus appeared regarding the three factors contributing to thrombosis: stasis, vessel wall alteration, and hypercoagulability (abnormality of blood coagulation that increases the risk of blood clots in the blood vessels).

During the late 19th century and early 20th century, there were a number of breakthroughs that have changed DVT treatment. Many of these were discovered by accident.

1884 – Hirudin first isolated anticoagulant. It was extracted from the saliva of leaches. Hirudin could not be used as a powerful anticoagulant until production by genetic engineering in 1986.

1916 – Heparin first anticoagulant that could be effectively used for the treatment of DVT. A medical student, who was doing research to find products which would promote coagulation of blood, noticed some extracts became anticoagulant after prolonged exposure to air. Four years late he discovered true heparin.

1933 – Pure crystalline heparin was produced allowing its use in humans in 1935. The use of heparin became widespread (when available) because of its efficacy. It was administered for 7-10 days and cut the mortality from Pulmonary Embolism among inpatients with symptomatic DVT from 18% to 0.4%.

1941 – Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) allowed anticoagulant therapy to be extended. Vitamin K is required for the correct production of certain proteins necessary in the blood clotting process. They are structurally similar to vitamin K and act as competitive inhibitors. The action of this class of anticoagulants may be reversed by administering vitamin K until there is no more VKA in the body. Vitamin K antagonists include coumarins which include, but are not limited to warfarin, coumatetralyl, phenprocoumon, acenocoumarol, dicoumarol, and non-coumarin VKAs such as fluindione and phenindione. All can be reversed by administering vitamin K.

1950 – Heparin was still the choice treatment for DVT, but surgical procedures were used for severe cases of DVT. The surgical procedures did not provide substantial clinical improvement.

1958 – First intraluminal “harpgrip” filter showed promise in preventing Pulmonary Embolisms. The filter could block movement of blood clot without significantly affecting the venous system; however it required major surgery and anesthesia for placement.

HarpgripMobbinUddinGreenfieldFilters

1967-1970 – The problem of a filter requiring major surgery and anesthesia for insertion was solved with the Mobin–Uddin umbrella. It could be inserted with a simple catheter under local anesthesia. Besides the potential for migration, this filter could cause gradual obstruction of the inferior vena cava. This was partially prevented by coating the filter with heparin.

1981 – Greenfield developed the first true percutaneous filter, which did not necessitate any surgical opening of a vein. However, truly retrievable filters (without a catheter and without persisting venous access) became available for clinical use only two decades ago. Therapeutic trials are currently underway.

Blood Clot

1970 – Venography (developed in 1923) became standardized and widely used for confirmation of DVT; physicians no longer treat clinically suspected DVT. This enabled physicians to diagnose and treat DVT while clinically asymptomatic and simplified DVT treatment with anticoagulants, ended bed-rest as a treatment, and allowed home treatment.

1980 – Development of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) was the most significant step in the simplification of anticoagulant therapy. In most cases, it does not require monitoring. Was introduced in Europe and in 10 years was widely used.

1996 – Was demonstrated that LMWH given at home was safe and effective as unfractionated heparin administered in the hospital.

1996 – Evidence that early ambulation with compression stockings lessened pain and counteracted swelling without an increased risk of Pulmonary Embolism. This became widespread treatment and is now recommended treatment.

1997 – The usefulness of compression bandages in preventing post-Thrombotic Syndrome (long-term complications of DVT) shown. Even though Hippocrates prescribed compression bandages to treat leg ulcers, it was not until the late 19th century, after observing that superficial vein clots disappeared rapidly after application of compression bandages, physicians started prescribing compression bandages to their patients with DVT. Compression bandages started to be more widely used when anticoagulants became available. They were usually prescribed at the end of heparin treatment, once ambulation was authorized.

1938 – First Thrombectomy (blood clot removal). Twenty years later this procedure was improved and anticoagulant was added to prevent more blood clots from forming. Surgical thrombectomy is not recommended for routine treatment today. Early blood clot removal has been achieved using pharmacological thrombic agents. (Anticoagulation therapy for some patients is not a choice because of bleeding problems.)

1953 – Plasmin (also produced in the body) used to treat acute blood clots (including isolated DVTs) by dissolving them through intravascular infusion. In the same year streptokinase was also used for the same purpose. Streptokinase causes extra production of plasmin in the body.

It will be many years before the appropriate indications and contraindications are carefully defined about the use of thrombolytic agents, and the optimal approach (catheter directed vs. systemic administration) of the use of these agents to blood clots is identified, allowing the selection of the population at highest risk of Post Thrombotic Syndrome and lowest risk of bleeding. Nevertheless, it is likely that the long-term results, despite being promising, will not dramatically modify the routine management of DVT.

I hope you keep wearing your support socks and support stockings so you are less likely to have to deal with a DVT and DVT treatment!

Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com

Possibility of a New Treatment for Venous Insuffiency

We have talked so many times about venous insufficiency…its causes and management. From one of previous newsletters “Most leg problems are caused by age, obesity, sedate lifestyle, standing or sitting for long periods of time, past surgeries, pregnancy, or heredity. You must remember the heart is a one-way pump. The heart pumps blood from the heart through the arteries to the various parts of the body. The veins have the arduous task to return the blood to the heart along with waste and metabolic residue. The movement of the blood toward the heart can be a challenge. Gravity forces the veins to work harder to return the blood to the heart. The veins have little one way valves that work with the leg muscles to pump the blood back to the heart. In a normal vein, one way valves are located ever 2 – 5 cm to aid in the proximal flow toward the heart. When calf muscles relax, the valves close to prevent blood from flowing backward into the lower part of the veins. These valves are fragile and can be easily damaged. The contraction and relaxation of the calf muscles work as a “secondary pump” to move the blood. Many things can happen that interrupts this blood flow. The valves in the veins may be injured and do not close completely and allow the blood to remain in the lower leg. “

Mini Heart

Now we have the possibility of a new treatment. Narine Sarvazyan, a professor of pharmacology and physiology and a researcher at the George Washington University has made a startling discovery that could improve the treatment for people with impaired blood flow. Stem cells (muscle cells) from the patient’s own heart are harvested and modified so they become programmable stem cells. Using a patient’s own tissue has many different advantages, the most important being the elimination of any risk of rejection. Unlike the controversial embryonic stem cell, adult stem cells can generally only form cell tissue associated with the organ that it was extracted from. In the laboratory these harvested stem cells are grown into “mini hearts”. They are one millimeter in diameter that behave “surprisingly similarly” to a real full-sized heart. These tiny hearts can be implanted to encourage blood flow in veins that have compromised valves. The “mini heart” is a rhythmically contracting “cuff” of heart muscle cells that encircle the problem vein and pumps blood as it beats. 

Research is continuing. Perhaps we can look forward to one day when we no longer suffer from venous insufficiency. In the mean time keep wearing your support socks and hose to keep your legs healthy.

Vanda
http://www.supporthoseplus.com

Venous Disease of the Legs

Varicose veins are the result of venous insufficiency. There are many things that influence the health of the veins in our legs. Among these are hereditary, obesity, sedate life styles, and of course, age. The population of the United States is getting older, the Baby Boomers are now in their 60’s, and, unfortunately many of us are over-weight (including me). The Heart is responsible for the blood flow in our bodies. The circulatory system is made up of the heart, arteries which carry blood from the heart to our legs and arms, arterioles and capillaries (where oxygen is exchanged), and veins which carry blood back to the heart. The heart is an excellent pump, but it needs assistance in getting blood flow from our legs and back to the heart. This is where the valves in our veins come in. The tiny valves in the veins open and close to allow blood to flow only one-way back to the heart. The problem occurs when the valves get damaged form age or from physical injuries to the leg and do not close properly. When the valves get damaged they cannot close properly and the blood can then back-flow and create pooling. This can cause stasis, edema, and in severe cases blood clots or even lymphedema.

Now let’s discuss a few vein diseases

Spider VeinSpider Vein

Spider veins are created by small dilations in the veins just below the skin. Yes, they are a little unsightly. They don’t seem to cause any problems other than a slightly ache, but they are giving you a warning to wear compression stockings to keep them under control so that varicose veins do not develop.


Varicose VeinsVaricose Vein

Varicose veins are created by poor circulation in the venous system. They are generally ropy looking and should be evaluated by your physician. If left untreated, they can lead to much more serious problems. With varicose veins the valves in the veins become incompetent and the function of returning blood to the heart has been compromised. This condition is called venous insufficiency and can have very serious consequences. Wearing your support hose can assist in maintaining control of the varicosities so your venous disease does not progress. There are also many physicians who can advise you of various medical treatments including oblation surgery.

Stasis Dermatitis

Stasis Dermatitis

<Stasis Dermatitis is a red looking inflammatory skin disease that is common with people with chronic venous insufficiency. If your leg looks like this, you should definitely have seen your physician about it. Again, wearing compression stockings will help maintain control of this disease, if left untreated it can lead to venous ulceration, or worse.

Venous Ulcer

Venous Ulcer

Venous ulcers are wounds that occur when the veins of the leg do not return the blood back to the heart. The blood may leak out of the vein into the tissue. This causes the tissue to break down and an ulcer to form. They are found on the sides of the lower leg above the ankle and below the calf and are slow to heal and often reoccur.

As you can tell venous diseases of the leg can become progressively worst. When you are experiencing leg problems always consult with your physician. They can direct you to wearing the correct compression stockings and can assist you in maintaining control of the disease.

Lets strive to keep our legs healthy,
Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com