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

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

Physical Fitness And Sports Month

Support Hose Plus is supporting the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition in conjunction with National Physical Fitness and Sports Month.  We are challenging everyone to get outside during this beautiful weather and just walk!

Physical activity increases your chances of living a longer, healthier life and reduces the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. According to the CDC 80% of Americans do not get the recommended amounts of physical exercise and are setting themselves up for years of health problems.

Weekly Physical Activity guidelines for Americans:

  • 2 hrs 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week
  • 2 days a week of muscle-strengthening activities such as lifting weights, using exercise bands, activities that use your body weight for resistance, heavy gardening, or yoga.

Moderate aerobic activity could include walking fast, dancing, swimming, water aerobics, riding a bike, playing doubles tennis, pushing a lawn mower and raking leaves.

Two hours and 30 minutes sounds like a lot of time each week, but it can be broken down to 30 minutes a day or into even small segments as long as you are doing physical activity for alt least 10 minutes at a time.
SeniorUsingWeights

Muscle strengthening activities should work all major muscle groups and needs to done to the point that is hard do another repetition. Usually 8-12 repetitions count a 1 set.  1 set is a good beginning, but 2 or 3 will yield more benefits.
According to the CDC, physical inactivity can lead to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.  A study liked physical inactivity to more than 5 million deaths world wide per year, more than those caused by smoking.

Physical activity strengthens bones and muscles and reduces stress and depression, making it easier to maintain a healthy body weight or reduce weight if obese. People who do loose weight get substantial benefits from regular physical activity such as lowering blood pressure, controlling diabetes and thwarting cancer. Physical activity can also lower the risk of falls and improve cognitive function.

Being physically active has total body benefits.  Physical, emotional, as well as mental benefits can be achieved by becoming more active.

Increased physical activity can go so far as increasing the life span and we all know the benefits of support hose. There is no better way to start our journey to a healthier life than for us to get our support stockings or support socks on and get outside for a wonderful walk.

Hope you have a great walk,

Vanda Lancour
www.supporthoseplus.com

Keep Your Feet Healthy

We hear on the news about people walking across the country to raise money for good causes and we marvel at such an undertaking, but did you know the average person walks about 115,000 miles in their lifetime? That is to say they walk around the earth 4 times in their lifetime! Wow! Now, I know no one is going to start out on such a journey, but we need to pay particular attention to the health of our feet so we can complete this lifetime journey. Your feet support your body; help you maintain balance, and mobility. They are your foundation, shock absorbers, and propulsion engine all in one. The human foot is amazing. The foot and ankle has 26 bones (the bones in your two feet comprise about one quarter of the total bones in the human body), 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles and tendons. The foot is capable of handling hundreds of tons of force…your body in motion. The stress of carrying you around all day puts your feet at high risk for injury more so than any other part of the body.

happyfeetOur feet are the second sweatiest part of our body (first place goes to our armpits) There are 250,000 sweat glands on each foot which can create ½ to 1 cup of perspiration per day. Unless this moisture is wicked away, our feet will become soggy and the skin will be soft and damp. Damp skin can become mushy and damage more easily than dry skin. Compression socks and compression stockings (support socks and support stockings) all have a built in wicking action to move the dampness away from the feet to the outside of the garment where evaporation occurs.

For this reason, we must pay particular attention to the health of our feet. Your legs and feet must last a life-time. You should check your feed daily for signs of cuts bruises, calluses, bunions, fungal infections and other signs of foot problems. You should check for swelling as it can be a sign or more serious circulatory issues. The feet should be washed regularly, dried completely with a thin cloth, and moisturized. Always wear your support socks or support stockings to assist your venous system moving fluids through your body, wick moisture away from your feet, and to protect your feet.

Walking is one of the best exercises to maintain your body weight reduces the risk of diabetes, and help your body healthy remain healthy. In the morning check your feet, apply a good lotion, put on your support hose or support socks and go outside to enjoy the beautiful morning.

Remember healthy feet are happy feet,

Vanda
http://www.supporthoseplus.com

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

How To Put On Your Socks

I have customers call and tell me they would like a stocking with a zipper because they are not able to put on (don) their stockings or socks. You would think it would be a lot easier with a zipper, but it really is not. It takes 3-yes three hands to put on a zippered stocking. It takes two hands to hold the zipper together and one to zip the stocking. The zipper tends to slide down on the zippered stockings and the top of the zipper can dig into the leg causing a sore. Other customers express their desire to “step back” in compression (i.e. from a 20-30 to a 15-20 mmHg compression). This is not necessarily a good idea. You would not be following your physician’s orders and you would not be getting proper compression for your diagnosis. This should be a last-ditch choice when no other methods work.
First I suggest they follow the directions which we send with each and every order. If you have misplaced yours, here they are again:
Turn back the top of the stocking onto itself. Usually this is down to nearly the heel pocket.
Place your foot (toes pointed if possible) in the stocking until it meets resistance. With both hands grab the stocking on each side of your ankle and pull towards you body until it meets resistance.
donning3
Fold the stocking back onto itself, grab at the sides at the top of the fold and pull towards your body. Repeat the fold back and pulling procedure again until the garment is positioned correctly on your leg.
donning6
Smooth out any wrinkles and adjust the heel and ankle area for comfort.The top of knee-high stockings should be two finger widths below the crease at the back of your knee. Thigh high stockings should be two to four finger widths below you groin. With knee-high and thigh high garments, never pull on top band. This will break the threads on the band. Stockings will wrinkle and move throughout the day. Check your stockings periodically to smooth out any wrinkles. It is not unusual to need to adjust your compression socks or compression stockings at least three times a day. Don’t just pull on the top of the garment. Fold the stocking in half, place your thumbs inside the garment next to your leg and pull up. Repeat until the stocking is back in place.

 

SigvarisDonningGloves
If this method does not work, I recommend the Sigvaris Donning Gloves I call them my “Magic Green Gloves”. They give me greater strength in my fingers. The rough “nubbies” on the gloves enable you to “pinch and pull” your stockings up. You can also rub up and down your leg so the fullness of the garment is distributed even on the leg.
JobstAndMediDonners

 

Several of our manufacturers including Jobst and Medi make metal framed Donners which stretch the stocking open and enable you to “almost” just step into the stocking.

There are many other methods we use to enable you to get your support socks or support stockings on. Give us a chance to work with you and find a method which works for you so you can remain compliant with your doctor’s orders.

Remember, support socks or support stockings do you no good if they sit in your dresser drawer.

We hope we can make your life easier,

Vanda

We’re sorry…these donning devices will soon be on SupportHosePlus.com. Until they are, please call our toll-free number, 1-844-472-8807, to order.

Defy Gravity

The condition of men’s legs are not something that they are concerned with; they don’t sit around and talk about varicose veins while drinking a beer and watching a game for the FIFA World Cup or their favorite sports program. Perhaps the condition of their legs is at least something they should think about and talk to their physician. About 10-15% of younger men have varicose veins whereas about 20-25%of the young women experience the problem. As I wrote about last week, it’s the women who will seek a physician’s advice about varicose veins and not the men. Most men think varicose veins are no big deal…a woman’s problem. Think again. By the time men are in their sixties between 50 and 60% have varicose veins.

Exercise regularly...It's important to involve your calves. It is the calves that act as a secondary pump to return the blood to the heart.

When sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time, blood pools in the lower extremity expanding the vein walls. Over time the veins loose their elasticity and do not return to their taut state. Some people (both men and women) have a genetic preponderance to varicose veins. If one of your parents has vein disease (venous insufficiency), you have about a 33% chance of developing it. If both of your parents have venous insufficiency, your chance jumps up to 90%.

  • Exercise regularly…It’s important to involve your calves. It is the calves that act as a secondary pump to return the blood to the heart.
  • Wear compression hose… Some physicians recommend everyone wear knee-length compression stockings—even if they don’t have signs of varicose veins. The compression of the stockings assists the calf muscle in pumping the blood from the ankle back to the heart. Usually a 15-20mmHg or 20-30mmHg compression is adequate.
  • Watch your diet… Foods high in sodium may cause your body to retain more fluids and swell.

Some people experience no symptoms with varicose veins, for others, the varicose veins hurt (throbbing, aching or burning). Other people experience itching or the vein feels hot, and many experience swelling in their legs. Symptoms are usually less severe in the early morning and worse at the end of the day (after standing or sitting for prolonged periods of time). The cause of the pain may be nerve irritation. As varicose veins dilate, they can begin to press against adjacent nerves.

Some athletes relate that their legs feel fine when training, but a short time later the legs that have varicose veins begin to ache, throb and feel heavy. If they lie down and elevate their legs, they feel better. While an athlete is exercising, their muscles required more oxygen. So the oxygen rich blood is transported through the arteries and the muscles helped the veins return the oxygen poor blood to the heart. When the exercise is completed, there is no calf pump action to help the veins return blood to the heart resulting in pooling of blood in the lower extremity. Elevating the leg helps the body defy gravity and return the blood to the heart (just as compression stockings and socks do).

Sports which add more weight to the legs such as weightlifting, skiing, backpacking and repetitive motion sports such as running, cycling and tennis put a lot of stress on the veins in the legs. These activities can damage the delicate valves of the venous system and exacerbate the venous insufficiency. There are positive and negative reasons to exercise or not, but they cancel each other out. So stay active and defy gravity by wearing compression socks!

Visit your primary care physician so he can make arrangements to have them checked out and defy gravity by wearing compression socks.

If your legs ache and swell, it could be a bigger problem than simply overdoing it at last week’s soccer game. And even if your legs aren’t in pain, if you’re seeing weird vein patterns, chances are there could be something wrong. Visit your primary care physician so he can make arrangements to have them checked out and defy gravity by wearing compression socks.

Vanda

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