Men’s Health Awareness

Physician consultation with manDuring the month of November each year, “November” asks men across the world to grow a mustache with the aim of raising vital funds and awareness for men’s health issues. This is specifically targeting Prostate Cancer Awareness as well as men’s health issues. The other Men’s Health Issue we at Support Hose Plus would like to address is their reluctance to seek health care. In fact, according to Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), men are 24 percent less likely than women to have seen a doctor in the past year. A look at men’s health issues shows they experience different, but no less serious, health problems than women. Millions of women already know one of the secrets. For decades women have been wearing support hosiery to keep the veins and valves inside the veins from weakening or becoming defective. Men are beginning to recognize the energizing effects a pair of support hose.

There are many reasons men should choose to wear support socks or support stockings. Here are a few:

  • Tired achy legs at night
  • Heavy legs at night
  • Swollen legs
  • Leg pain from prolonged sitting or standing
  • Dull, aching pain in leg
  • Tingling, numbness burning or cramping in the legs and feet
  • Legs “fall asleep” often
  • Spider veins
  • Varicose veins
  • Reddish Discoloration of the skin
  • Hardened skin on the lower leg
  • Patches of dry skin on the lower leg
  • Open sores on the lower leg that do not heal (see your doctor immediately)
  • Family history of venous disease
  • Travel (to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis)
  • Surgery (to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis)

There seems to be a stigma of people being able to recognize that a man is wearing a compression garment, but many young men are becoming staunch supporters of compression garments which definitely do not look like their grand mother’s support hose.

Professional athletes know:

  • As he travels long distances to compete, he wears compression socks. He definitely does not want to arrive at an event for which he has been training to be knocked out of competition by a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis).
  • During his competition he wants to be at his best. Performance Sleeve   will increase arterial flow, reduce muscle strain, decreases exertion, and reduces skin temperature.
  • After he has completed his competition he wants a speedy recovery, so he wears his Recovery Socks to help get the lactic acid out of the muscle so there is less muscle soreness.

Happy Man Wearing Compression Socks

The “week-end warrior” can also appreciate what support socks can do for their sporting activities as well as their everyday living. Why should the non-athlete not have the same advantages as the athlete? By taking action to wear an appropriate compression garment, our special men could prevent more serious problems which ultimately could affect his quality of life as well as his family.
Please have that special man, visit with his physician about compression and then call one of our Certified Fitters at 1-844-472-8807.  Our Certified Fitters can assist him with the selection of a garment (dress sock, casual sock, athletic sock, thigh sock or even waist high garment if necessary) appropriate for his life style as well as his legs.

Lets encourage the special men in our life to see their physician regularly, grow a mustache and wear their support socks,

Vanda Lancour
www.supporthoseplus.com

Pregnancy and DVT

Pregnancy brings many joys into the life of the expectant mother. However pregnancy may also bring spider veins and varicose veins. 33% of women pregnant for the first time and 55% of women who have had two or more full term pregnancies develop varicose veins.

There are several causes of varicose veins in pregnancy.

  • Heredity is a major contributing factor.
  • Hormone (estrogen and progesterone) levels rise during pregnancy which causes the wall of the veins to stretch and weaken.
  • The blood volume doubles to supply both the mother and fetus with an adequate amount of blood.
  • As the fetus grows in the uterus, more pressure is exerted on the inferior vena cava; this increases pressure on the leg veins.
  • Carrying the extra weight of the fetus and standing for long periods of time make it more likely to develop varicose veins.
  • Crossing your legs while sitting increases your risk of varicose veins.
  • There may be a decrease in physical activity.EnlargedVeinAndDamagedVein

All of these factors cause extra pressure on the leg veins causing them to dilate and expand. This weakens the vein walls and damages the valves in the veins. Due to the downward pressure, the blood flow back to the heart is slowed, spider veins appear and the already compromised veins bulge more.

Varicose veins tend to get worse with each pregnancy. They many go away after delivery. However, they may reappear later in life for no apparent reason. The damage done to the valves in the veins during pregnancy is permanent. These problems can be avoided if compression therapy is prescribed during pregnancy. We urge women with a history of venous disease in their family or who experience swelling or pain in their legs to discuss this with their physician.

maternityThere are some things you can do to improve your leg health while pregnant:

  • Keep your weight within the recommended range for your stage of pregnancy.
  • Exercise daily, including walking. The calf muscles act as a secondary pump to move the blood back to the heart.
  • Elevate your feet and legs whenever possible.
  • Don’t sit or stand for long periods without taking a break. If you will be sitting for extended periods of time, use a stool or box to elevate your feet. If you find yourself in a situation where you will be standing for an extended period of time, place one foot on a stool and alternate every 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Sleep on the left side with a pillow between your legs and behind your back will help increase the venous flow back to the heart.
  • Don’t wear clothing that is binding around the tops of your legs, waist or ankles.
  • Wear medical grade compression stockings. You may want to put them on before getting out of bed to prevent blood from pooling in the legs.

According to The New England Journal of Medicine Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is the leading cause of mortality and morbidity during and after childbirth. A DVT can develop if you have certain medical conditions that affect how your blood clots. DVT can also happen if you don’t move for a long time or have surgery. DVT is a serious condition because blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in you lungs, blocking blood flow. This is a life threatening occurrence called pulmonary embolism. A DVT is more common before 20 weeks of gestation and during the first six weeks postpartum. Compression stockings should also be worn postpartum to help prevent DVT. In warmer weather they may seem hot, but will keep your legs healthy!

Here’s to happy, healthy moms and babies,

Vanda Lancour
http://www.supporthoseplus.com

 

 

 

What is mmHg?

Many of you have asked what is mmHg or mm Hg (it is written both ways) when we talk about compression hose. “mmHg” stands for millimeters of Mercury. This measurement is the same measurement used to measure your blood pressure as well as the atmospheric pressure. It is the force per unit area exerted by an atmospheric column (that is, the entire body of air above the specified area). When you have a blood pressure reading, such as “120/80 mmHg,” we say it is “120 over 80 millimeters of mercury.” The top number, the systolic reading, measures arterial pressure during the heart’s contraction. The bottom diastolic number assesses arterial pressure when the heart is relaxing between beats, refilling itself with blood. When we talk about compression in garments, is usually expressed as a range, i.e. 20-30 mmHg. That is the range of pressure the garment is capable of exerting at the ankle dependent upon the measurements the fitter takes. Since the compression garments are gradient or graduated, the pressure gets less as it goes up the leg and less as it goes toward the toe.

Compression garments were developed when a person with lower extremity venous insufficiency (a condition  that occurs when the veins in the legs are not working effectively to pump blood from the legs back to the heart) realized that when they went into a body of water such as a swimming pool the increased pressure in the pool relieved the pain and discomfort from the venous condition. The deeper they progressed in the pool, the more relief they felt. From this discovery a very rudimentary wrap developed which reduced the swelling or edema and improved their quality of life.

Through the years, this rudimentary wrap has evolved into the wonderful compression garments we have today. They are available in many different compressions to accommodate the severity of disease. Compression classes
Support hose or support socks fit every lifestyle…from the sheerest, most fashionable stockings, or men’s dress socks to many types of athletic socks for both men and women. The stockings and socks are made of a wide variety of yarns which include nylon, wool, cotton, polyester, acrylic, and Lycra Spandex or Elasthan (Lacra Spandex or Elasthan is the yarn which give the garment its “stretchability”). All are knit in a manner to move the perspiration next to the skin to the outside of the garment so it can evaporate to keep you more comfortable. Many of our clients have several different styles of stockings and socks to fit their myriad lifestyles.

The stockings you wear with compression (mmHg) are not the old “supp hose” your grandmother use to wear. Call one of our Certified Fitters on our toll-free line, 1-844-472-8807, for assistance with the selection of new garments or go to  www.supporthoseplus.com

Here is to healthy legs,

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?

Guard Agains Varicose Veins and DVT

June is Men’s Health Month.  It is the goal of Support Hose Plus to heighten the awareness of preventable leg health problems for men and to encourage men to wear their support socks to prevent leg health problems.

Most men think varicose veins are just a cosmetic problem (a woman thing), however varicose veins are just as detrimental to men’s leg health as women’s leg health.

Here are some reasons men should choose to wear support socks or support thigh highs:

  • Tired achy legs
  • Heavy legs
  • Swollen legs
  • Leg pain from prolonged sitting or standing
  • Dull, aching pain in legs
  • Tingling, numbness, burning or cramping in the legs and feet
  • Legs “fall asleep” often
  • Spider veins
  • Varicose veins
  • Reddish discoloration of the skin
  • Hardened skin on the lower leg
  • Patches of dry skin on the lower leg
  • Open sores on the lower leg that do not heal
  • Family history of venous disease
  • Travel (to prevent a deadly Deep Vein Thrombosis)
  • Surgery (to prevent a deadly Deep Vein Thrombosis)
  • Orthostatic Hypotension ( a form of low that happens when you stand up from sitting or lying down…dizzy spell)
  • Injury

Men seem to be very self-conscious of wearing support socks, but many professional athletes know the value of wearing a compression sock. Can you imagine if one of the valued players of the NBA got a DVT because he did not wear compression when he traveled or had an injury to his leg? Not only would he be on out of the game, but his whole team would be put at disadvantage.

Think of the professional athlete…ProBasketballAthlete

  • As he travels long distances to compete, he wears compression socks. He definitely does not want to arrive at an event for which he has been training to be knocked out of competition by a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis).
  • During his competition he wants to be at his best. Performance athletic socks increase arterial flow, reduce muscle strain, decreases exertion, and reduces skin temperature.
  • After he has completed his competition he wants a speedy recovery, so he wears his recovery socks to help get the lactic acid out of the muscle so there is less muscle soreness.

weekendwarriorsYou may be a “week-end warrior” not a professional athlete, but you can also appreciate what support socks can do for your sporting activities as well as your everyday living. Why should the you not have the same advantages as the athlete? By taking action to wear an appropriate compression garment, you could prevent more serious problems which ultimately could affect your quality of life as well as your family.

weekendwarrior

It is not just the week-end warriors that need the support socks. All males can use compression socks to increase circulation and guard against varicose veins and DVT everyday. I want the best for the males in my life. They are just as important to me as the valued NBA player is to his team. So lets encourage all the men we know to visit with their physician if they have any problems listed above and wear their support socks faithfully.  Remember, you can always call one of the SupportHosePlus.com Certified Fitters on our toll-free number, 1-844-472-8807, for assistance with the selection of a garment.

Hope all of our loved ones have healthy legs,

Vanda Lancour

Compression, Physical Fitness and Sports

athletic3May is Physical Fitness and Sports Month. I would like to direct this news letter to our athletes. You would think young, athletic people would have no problems with their legs, but that is not correct. Sports activities which add more weight to the legs (weightlifting, skiing, backpacking) and repetitive motion sports (running, cycling, and tennis) put a lot of stress on the veins in the legs and can damage the delicate valves in the veins and exacerbate venous insufficiency in the athlete.

When athletes are exercising, their muscles require more oxygen. The arteries transport the oxygen rich blood and the active muscles help the veins return the oxygen poor blood to the heart. Once the exercise has ended, there is no calf muscle pump to help the veins return the blood. So the legs of the athlete with varicose veins may begin to ache, throb and feel heavy. If the legs are elevated, this will help the body defy gravity and return the oxygen poor blood to the heart. This is exactly how compression socks or support socks will help the athlete and may in the long run help prevent deep vein thrombosis. Performance socks use science to help professional athletes as well as the week-end warrior maximize performance as well as recovery.

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot within a deep vein, usually in the legs. A pulmonary embolism (PE) is blockage caused by a blood clot in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs. It usually originates from a blood clot in the legs (DVT).  You would think the athlete less likely to develop blood clots than the elderly. But that is the problem. Health care  providers think the same way so when an athlete presents with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) symptoms, they interpret the symptoms as “muscle tear, “Charlie horse”, “twisted ankle”, or “shin splints”.  Chest symptoms from an athlete with a Pulmonary Emboli (PE) are often interpreted as pulled muscle, inflammation of the joint between ribs and breast bone, bronchitis, asthma, or a touch of pneumonia.

Being an athlete and being apparently healthy does not guarantee they will not get blood clots. There are several risk factors that put the athlete as well as the non-athlete at increased risk for DVT and PE…

  • Traveling long distances to and from sports events. It does not matter if it is by plane, bus, or car
  •  Dehydration (during and after a sport activity)
  •  Significant trauma
  •  Immobilization (wearing a brace or cast)
  •  Bone fracture or major surgery
  •  Birth control pills and patch, pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy
  •  Family history of DVT or PE
  •  Presence of inherited or acquired clotting disorder (Factor V Leiden, prothrombin 20210 mutation, antiphospholipid antibodies, and other clotting defects or deviancies
  •  Presence of a congenital abnormal formation of the veins
  •  May-Thurner Syndrome (narrowing of the major left pelvic vein)
  •  Narrowing or absence of the inferior vena cava (the main vein in the abdomen
  •  Cervical rib causing thoracic outlet obstruction

Built to performWhen an athlete works out, the muscles of the body act as a secondary pump to help move the blood back to the heart. The athlete also has a slower heart rate than the average person. During performance that is wonderful, but at times, that can be detrimental. After a work out or when the athlete travels the heart does not move the blood through the circulatory system as quickly as when the athlete is exercising. This is when a sock of at least 15-20mmHg is extremely important. It keeps the blood from pooling in the deep veins and forming a DVT.

Call one of the SupportHosePlus.com Certified Fitters on our toll-free number, 1-844-472-8807, for assistance with the selection of performance and/or recovery socks to enhance performance or prevent DVT and PE.

Enjoy your day!

Vanda Lancour

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