November is American Diabetes Month 2015

Many of our Diabetic clients have asked: “How can my Diabetes affect my feet?” A diabetic whose blood sugar level stays too high for a long time can develop some serious complications which can include leg and foot problems. If your blood glucose is high, your body loses fluid, you become dehydrated and your skin becomes dry. This happens because your body is trying to remove the excess glucose from the blood and creates more urine. Your skin can get dry if the nerves in your legs and feet do not get the message to sweat (diabetic neuropathy). Sweating helps keep the skin soft and moist. Dry skin can become red and sore.  It can crack and germs can enter through the cracks in your skin and cause bad infections. Dry skin can become itchy, and scratching can lead to breaks in the skin and once again infection.

Skin problems are common in people with diabetes. An elevated blood glucose creates an excellent breeding ground for bacteria and fungi and can actually reduce the body’s ability to heal itself. Up to one third of the people with diabetes will have a skin disorder related to diabetes. Fortunately many can be prevented or successfully treated if caught early. These skin infections can affect anyone, but people with diabetes are much more prone to getting these conditions, which can become much more serious in diabetics. The high blood sugars make these infections longer to heal.

Don’t risk your health. Get treatment for foot wounds as soon as possible:

Get help for open wounds.

Visit a podiatrist, a doctor specializing in foot care, if you have an open cut, blister, or sore on your foot that isn’t healing. Do not try to treat yourself with over-the-counter antibiotic ointments. Experts consider a wound that won’t heal to be a problem that needs aggressive treatment. “The longer things go, the more chance people have of losing a toe or losing a foot,” says Michele Kurlanski, DPM, a wound-care specialist at Lighthouse Foot and Ankle Center in Portland, Maine, who is certified by the American Academy of Wound Management. She says her patients may try “self-inflicted bathroom surgery” that makes problems such as blisters, corns, and calluses even worse. Leave the treatment to professionals.

Follow treatment instructions.

When you do go to a podiatrist or other specialist for wound care, staff members might take an X-ray of your foot to see how far an infection has spread. They’ll clean the wound and cut away any dead tissue. They’ll most likely take a tissue culture, and the doctor may suggest you use a walking boot or crutches to keep your weight off the foot as it tries to heal. You’ll probably visit your podiatrist weekly during the healing process.

Try to hit your blood glucose targets.

Your podiatrist will also ask about your diabetes management. “You treat a wound, but the wound’s attached to a patient, and that patient might have risk factors that are contributing to that wound,” Raphael says. Your podiatrist might team up with your diabetes educator, endocrinologist, primary care provider, or others to help you manage your diabetes.

Be prepared for intensive treatment.

If you haven’t healed in four weeks, your doctor may want to hospitalize you for more intensive treatment, including tissue grafts, in which healthy tissue is removed from other parts of your body and attached to your foot to promote healing.

Remember, as we have stated before…being compliant with wearing your Jobst, Mediven, Sigvaris, or Juzo compression stockings and support socks (in the compression necessary for your diagnosis) is the key to keeping your feet healthy.

If you are a diabetic, the following is your first line of defense:

  • Check your feet each day.
  • Make sure your feet stay clean and dry.
  • Cut or file toenails with the shape of the toe, smoothing out all sharp edges. (Support Hose Plus suggests you see a Podiatrist regularly)
  • Moisturize dry skin with a good lotion or cream
  • Avoid injury to the feet. Have corns, calluses, or ingrown toenails treated by a professional.
  • Wear well-fitting, soft shoes.
  • Check shoes daily for things that might damage your feet.
  • Keep your blood glucose under control

Wear well-fitting socks, with a non-irritating toe seam, made of material that wicks moisture away from the skin.

Here’s to healthy, happy feet,

Vanda
www.supporthoseplus.com

 

September Is Healthy Aging Month 2015

happy-couple-jumping-high-2 6 x1 7The baby boomers use to be referred to as our aging population. The generation x-ers are quickly entering this category. There are 76 million baby boomers over the age of 50. In 2015 the first of 82.1 million generation x-ers will reach that milestone. If you have been a bit lazy this summer, September is a great month to get your goals back on track. No matter your age, it is never too late to get your health goals back in order. Why not use September as motivation to look at where you are and what you want to become in 10, 20, or 30 years.  You can make small improvements to your mental, physical, and emotional habits that will improve every aspect of your life.

Here are a few tips I have found on the internet to help you achieve that goal:

  • Don’t act your age. Think about what was your best year and become that you.
  • Walk like an energetic person. Do you walk slowly because you have become lazy or have a fear of falling? Make a conscious effort to take longer strides, walk with heel first.
  • Stand up straight. You take years off your self by holding your stomach in, shoulders back and chin up. Practice this daily until it becomes natural.
  • Smile more. It is hard to be grumpy if you are smiling!
  • Put those compression socks and compression stocking back on that you have not been wearing this summer and start walking. Do this for your health as well as to meet and see people.
  • Find your inner artist. Learn something you have always wanted to. Take music lessons, painting lessons or just redesign your flower beds. Set goals.

Part of improving your health is your diet. Many people have adopted the Mediterranean Life Style. This incorporates healthy food as well as daily exercise. It may take some time to shift the way you eat, but eating lots of fruit and vegetables, beans and nuts, whole grains, fish and olive oil, small amounts of meat, dairy and red wine can increase your heart health and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain fiber as well as vitamins and minerals your body needs to fight chronic diseases such as stroke, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. The human body is 50 to 65% water. It only stands to reason that our go to drink should be water to keep us hydrated.

Sigvaris striped 3x3Fall is in the air and to help you begin you journey to healthy aging, Support Hose Plus is offering wonderful Sigvaris products. Be sure to check out the “Cool Nights with Cool Colors”… the Sigvaris Soft Opaque is now available in Midnight Blue and Sigvaris Midtown Microfiber is available in Steel Gray! Check the bold new look of Midtown Microfiber in Dark Navy Stripe in 15-20 and 20-30 compression and coming soon for women Midtown Microfiber Pink Stripe! Check out the special pricing for a limited time on all Sigvaris Products. active-seniors 3x3

Healthy aging is more than just staying physically healthy – it is about maintaining you sense of purpose and zest for life. So “Dance like there’s no tomorrow“.  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.

Here’s to Healthy Aging,

Vanda Lancour

Sitting Can Be Dangerous For Your Health

car3It is the time of the year that I start thinking about vacations. One of the first things I plan for is not my wardrobe, but my compression stockings. They can save my life. Vacations can be a particularly dangerous time for DVT because the extended time spent in an airplane, car, or train can increase your risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Air travel is the notorious culprit for causing DVT.  In an airplane you are sitting crammed between two other travelers. The air on the plane is dry, and the pressure is decreased with lower oxygen levels. The passenger’s legs are bent in the same position for hours and the seat you are sitting in for your safety is constructed with a fairly ridged metal frame which is cutting into the back of your legs compressing the popliteal vein and slowing down the blood returning to your heart. At this point you are a prime candidate for developing a DVT. Any situation in which the leg is bent at the knee for prolonged periods with little or no activity may lead to the reduction of blood flow and increase the risk of blood clots.

Risk factors which can increase your risk of DVT include:

  • 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 an 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

A DVT may not have any symptoms but can cause pain, swelling and your leg (or arm) could feel warm to touch. If left untreated, a piece of the DVT (blood clot) can break loose and travel through the right side of the heart, and lodge in small or large branches of the pulmonary artery (blood vessels going to the lungs). This is called a pulmonary embolism or PE.  The symptoms can be chest pain, difficulty breathing, or coughing up blood or as extreme as collapse and sudden death.

Here are some simple steps to keep your travel from ending with a prolonged trip to the emergency room:

  • Wear properly fit compression socks or compression hose to prevent stagnation of the blood and increase the blood flow back to the heart.
  • Keep moving.  When you travel, get up and move around when it is safe to do so.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water helps keep you hydrated and less likely to develop clots
  • Avoid alcohol! Alcohol contributes to dehydration, which thickens the blood
  • Exercise your legs. Bend and straighten them several times ever half hour to hour.

The following was provided courtesy JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association)

LegExercisesForAirTravel

Leg exercised for air travel. Lift toes and lift heels.

AtRest

At rest blood flow with the vein slows or stops.

FootPumpExercises

Foot pump exercises…Muscle contractions push blood through vein valves.

For your convenience you might want to check out our SIGVARIS Products at 20% off MSRP. We also have THERAFIRM Products 20% off MSRP. These are great products to make sure you are prepared for your vacation.

Sitting can be dangerous to your health,

Vanda Lancour
www.supporthoseplus.com

PS What is your favorite sock for travel?

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

April is Foot Health Awareness 2014

happyman

I would like to remind you that April is Foot Health Awareness Month. Your feet are the hardest working part of you body. It is estimated that the average person walks 115,000 miles in his or her lifetime. That is equal to walking around the world 4 times. The foot contain 26 bones (about 1/4 of the total bones in the body), 33 joints, 107 ligaments, and 19 muscles and tendons. Your feet help support you body and maintain balance. Walking is the best exercise to maintain your weight, reduce blood sugar levels, and provides the lowest impact for bones and joints. Support Hose Store has lots of styles which are great for walking or that vigorous workout examples are the Jobst SensiFoot, Sigvaris Performance Sleeve and Recovery, and Medi Active. Walking also helps maintain your mental well-being. Abraham Lincoln said, “When my feet hurt, I can’t think.” If you wear your support socks or hose while walking, they will assist your venous circulatory system to keep your feet, ankles and lower legs healthy. This is the key to preventing unwanted pain and suffering. Each stride the average adult takes puts nearly 1000 pounds per square inch of pressure on the bottom of the feet. It is appropriate that we stop and inspect our feet.

happyfeet
  • Inspect your feet daily for sores, cuts, or bruises
  • Wash your feet regularly, and be sure to dry them completely with a thin cloth
  • Keep your toenails trimmed regularly straight across, but not too short
  • Always wear your support socks and support stockings every day to assist your venous system and protect your feet

Generally speaking, your feet should not hurt. If they hurt every day there is a problem and perhaps you should schedule an appointment with your podiatrist.

Here’s to Healthy Feet for a Healthy Life,

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