Support Your Vein Health While Working from Home

Support Your Vein Health While Working from Home

Working from home during quarantine is disruptive to life in more ways than one. Being stuck at home can affect your mental and physical health, including your veins.

Staying inside week after week means more sitting and a lack of mobility. Typically, there is not a ton of exercise involved with commuting to the office. But, at least, we had to walk in and out, upstairs and down, or go outside to take a break.

Even those minimal movements increase circulation throughout our legs and bodies. Being stuck at home, unfortunately, encourages a sedentary lifestyle. Hour after hour, day after day, week after week, quickly adds up to months of time. An extended time of immobility is harmful to our bodies and increases the risk of varicose veins.

You Can’t Change the World, but You Can Improve Your Health

Fortunately, the effect of being stuck at home doesn’t take away our control. With some conscious effort, real progress towards maintaining health is achievable.

With a bit of movement throughout the day, our bodies can fend off the effect of hours sitting at the computer or on the couch.

While it’s easy to get lost in work when telecommuting, breaking up your day is important. Here’s how to create healthy habits for your mind, body, and of course those pesky varicose veins.

Frequent Movement is Critical to Vein Health

Walk, stretch, and move. Even simple exercises will aid in better circulation.

Your vein health is reliant on a functional circulatory system. Create habits in your daily routine that will get your blood pumping and keep your varicose veins in check.

Throw in an extra walk around the block when you take your dog out. Hike that trail that you’ve heard has beautiful views. Stay a little longer at the beach to walk some of the shoreline. Find ways to keep moving that you enjoy. That way taking a walk won’t feel like a chore.

Start off any exercise routine slowly. Just a few burpees, pushups and jumping jacks will get your heart rate up. Do a set in the morning, before lunch, and at the end of the workday. With just a few minutes each day your circulation will improve with greater results.

Put Your Feet Up

Circulation has a heck of a time moving upward and sitting all day only aggravates blood pooling. Elevating your legs throughout the day will help return your blood back to your heart. It will reduce the resistance of veins doing their work.

So, put your feet up whenever you can. You are home, so you might as well take advantage of the informal environment and help your veins.

Stretch Regularly

When you stretch, you increase your ability to move and reduce potential cramping. Remember to stretch your legs, back, arms, and stomach. Doing so will strengthen the veins throughout your body.

During those long zoom meetings, point your toes to the sky and then out straight. Completing this movement will flex your calf muscles and encourage blood flow.

Between tasks, get out of your seat and do a couple of lunges. You don’t need to do a lot of reps to reap the benefits. If you hate the idea of “working out” then just touch your toes and hold the stretch.

Don’t Wear Tight Clothes

Constricting or tight clothing while sitting for long periods of time only adds to circulation restriction. Avoid it. You’re at home, so be comfortable and take advantage of casual attire.

If you’re in a video conference, a dress shirt may be appropriate, but no one will see your pants. Make those stretchy and elastic waistband pants work for you! You’ll spend plenty of time in jeans and dress pants once we all get back to the office.

Watch What You Eat

Let’s face it, you are what you eat. And while at home it’s easy to get bored and overdo it. Practicing mindfulness while having snacks will help you stay aware of how much fuel you are adding to your fire.

If you like to nibble, because really who doesn’t, go for fruits and vegetables. If you choose these options, at least some of the time, you’ll have more energy and better circulation.

You may think that eating less takeout is the ticket to staying fit. But choosing foods that are low in sodium and fat will keep your weight and blood pressure within a normal range. Processed foods and sugary foods will only exacerbate vein health issues.

Drink Water Regularly

It’s easy to get into the habit of drinking that extra cup of coffee or reaching for a soda at home. But caffeinated drinks will only put more strain on your veins.

Drinking water and staying hydrated are key to helping your veins circulate blood. Becoming dehydrated will shrink and constrict your veins. And narrowing veins are less likely to pump blood correctly.

Drink lots of water and don’t worry about extra trips to the bathroom. Your trips back and forth will benefit your circulation too!

Don’t Put Off a Potential Problem

If you realize something’s off with your legs and veins, seek professional medical help. Don’t delay. Medical issues tend to grow; they typically don’t just fade away.

Serious vein problems can turn into heart problems involving constrictions, blood clots, or worse. Don’t take the risk of untreated circulatory issues. Take preventative steps to stay on top of your care.

Remember to Keep Your Mindset in the Right Place

Work may be more stressful and time-consuming right now. You may even feel that you don’t have what it takes to improve your situation. It can seem overwhelming, but don’t let it.

A healthy body starts with a healthy mind. By keeping a productive and positive outlook, even in the face of challenges, you can break down hurdles into smaller tasks.

Your fitness routine will not only keep you loose, flexible, and comfortable, but it will also relieve stress.

Working from home can seem to make the days all blend together. Remember that self-care is important now more than ever. Take the time to get your blood flowing and increase your vein health.

Don’t let quarantine get you stuck in a rut. You can keep your veins in good shape with a little bit of work and regular daily discipline. It’s easy, anyone can get started! Prevent negative effects on your long-term health and veins by keeping these tips in mind.

How Alcohol Contributes to Varicose Veins

How Alcohol Contributes to Varicose Veins

The human body sustains itself through the coordination of multiple organs, processes, glands, and veins. The circulatory system is our body’s “super-highway” essential to good health  as it delivers  nutrients and oxygen in and removes waste from the body. The body’s blood and the traffic system it uses to make its way around the body is essential to sustain the entire system. Without a blood supply, the body dies in a matter of minutes. And our health is intrinsically tied to how well our blood flows and moves through our system every minute, hour, and day. Smoking, poor diet, excessive alcohol, and inactivity makes any preexisting problem worse and affects the blood flow which can eventually lead to the development of varicose veins.

As many of us learned in high school biology, the human circulatory system consists of arteries, veins, and capillaries. What pushes the blood through this network is the pressure created by the pumping of the heart. The system acts as a closed-loop; when blood is sent out, it eventually returns back to the heart to be pumped out again. The only part of the system not integrated with the circulatory system are the bones, which are the factory where blood cells are actually first created.

Over time, our age and lifestyle affect the efficiency of our individual systems. Cholesterol builds up from diet and affects the pressure and flow of blood in veins. Age wears down our overall body system, and things begin to break from wear and tear. If you are overweight, this can also increase pressure on the system beyond normal conditions. Alcohol consumption contributes to certain vein conditions too. Excessive drinking affects the circulatory system and every major organ in the body. Alcohol is more harmful when the circulatory system has already been compromised by vein diseases.

Cause and Effect of Alcohol on Veins

The heavy consumption of alcohol puts an additional strain on the body by increasing the heart rate. Among other things, the body tries to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the blood by pumping more of it faster.  This is because alcohol actually kills red blood cells that are responsible for delivering oxygen throughout the body.  This gets particularly hard for the lower extremities in the legs and feet where the circulatory system has to fight gravity to push the blood back up to the heart. Over time, this increased strain on the circulatory system can contribute to varicose veins in the legs.

It affects the body’s vein network indirectly as well. High alcohol overwhelms the liver, and it can’t filter waste out of the blood efficiently. That makes the blood thicker over time, and it becomes harder to push through the circulatory system. This adds strain and pressure that causes damage to the veins. Also, when the liver is overburdened with excessive alcohol consumption, the toxins that would otherwise be filtered out of your bloodstream begin to degrade the interior surface of the veins as well.

A Point of Clarification

It’s important to understand that drinking alcohol alone doesn’t automatically result in varicose veins. If a person is predisposed to develop the condition, it will happen regardless of whether the person drinks regularly or not. However, alcohol makes it more likely that varicose veins will develop in a person over time. Regular alcohol consumption enhances the impact of other problems as well. It can add to extra weight, increase pressure on already existing heart problems, or adds damage to a struggling liver.

Getting Help from Experts on Veins

At The New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center, located in Morris County, patients benefit from the expertise of vein specialists, Dr. Stuart Miller. At the NJVVC, Dr. Miller and his team provide state of the art care in vein treatment and recovery, to all kinds of vascular cases. Every patient undergoes a precise treatment plan for their individual need and vein condition, not a generic, one-size-fits-all treatment.

Prevent and Treat Hyperpigmentation

Prevent and Treat Hyperpigmentation

Prevent and treat dark spots on your skin with proper skincare and some helpful tips. Don’t be embarrassed by hyperpigmentation. Figure out the cause and treat the issue.

The reality is that hyperpigmentation occurs in more people than you may realize. Hyperpigmentation is a common problem that affects all skin types.

While this skin condition is often harmless, it could also be a sign of illness that requires medical treatment. It’s best to consult a doctor before taking action to remedy the issue.

What is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a condition in which dark patches appear on the skin. This darkening of the skin occurs when melanocytes become hyper-stimulated.

In turn, from this excess stimulation, melanocytes create an increased production of melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin it’s color. So, when our bodies begin to produce more of it, it causes us to tan or in this case, develop dark spots.

Hyperpigmentation Diagram

People with a fairer complexion have less melanin and tend to develop hyperpigmentation more easily than others. However, individuals with darker complexions may have more difficulty getting rid of hyperpigmentation.

Causes of Hyperpigmentation

There are a variety of causes for hyperpigmentation. The causes range from simple day-to-day activities to possible warning signs of illness. Here’s what you should know:

Hyperpigmentation can occur as a result of excessive exposure to the sun. With sun damage, darker spots appear in areas that are always subjected to the sun i.e., face, arms, and legs.

Melasma is characterized by brown patches that commonly appear on women during pregnancy. Heredity, sun exposure, and hormones play key roles in its development.

Melasma Patch

Inflammation can lead to discoloration of the skin. Dark spots can be triggered in areas that have become inflamed due to acne (acne scars), insect bites, or minor injuries.

Dark patches on the skin can also be a sign of serious illnesses such as lupus or cancer. Consult a doctor to rule these medical issues out.

Preventing Hyperpigmentation

The primary cause of hyperpigmentation is the sun. Avoid exposing yourself to its damaging rays for prolonged periods of time.

Sunburn leads to inflammation which is a big proponent of dark spots. Doctors recommend using a daily sunscreen with at least SPF 30 protection.

Since dark spots can also be caused by an injury, acne, or even a bug bite, avoid touching affected areas to prevent further inflammation.

Stay moisturized with ingredients that benefit the skin. Choose a product that will restore your skin’s barrier and boost cell turnover rate.

How to Treat Hyperpigmentation

If you have hyperpigmentation, the following will help reduce its appearance and minimize further damage:

  • Vitamin C boosts collagen and helps reverse cell damage.
  • Vitamin E protects skin from further damage and offers anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Hyaluronic acid offers additional moisture and speeds up wound healing.
  • Retinol to boost cell turnover rate.

Consult a medical professional for further information about topical prescription treatments. These treatments may include products that offer hydroquinone, azelaic acid, or corticosteroids; agents that provide a bleaching effect.

For more serious skin issues, laser treatment, ablative or nonablative, can be effective.

Ablative lasers remove the top layer of skin, effectively erasing the skin issue.

Nonablative lasers, on the other hand, pass through the skin without removing any. Both laser types are used to correct hyperpigmentation, skin texture, and tone.

New Jersey Vein and Vascular Center addresses a full range of issues that affect your skin. We specialize in creating a treatment plan that will meet your expectations and achieve your desired results.

Contact us for more information about changing the look of your skin for a more confident and healthier you.

Guide to Vein Conditions and Vein Health

Guide to Vein Conditions and Vein Health

Good vein health can’t be achieved overnight. It takes eating the right foods, exercise, and putting aside some bad habits. An estimated 40 million Americans are affected by varicose veins, which is just one type of vein complication. About half of those individuals have a history of varicose veins in their family. Women are the most likely to develop the disease. We have created this guide to vein conditions that could be affecting you.

Common Vein Conditions

While varicose veins are one of the most well-known vein complications, there is a range of other diseases that can affect your vascular system.

Raynaud’s Phenomenon

This condition is presented as white or bluish skin in the fingers and toes due to spasms in the small arteries.

Buerger’s Disease

With this malady, you’ll notice a pain in the feet and legs as well as hands and arms. This is brought on by blocked blood vessels.

Peripheral Venous Disease

This disorder initially shows as bulging in the veins under the skin, leading to a feeling of heaviness and pain in the legs.

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

An ailment that causes poor circulation brought on by hardening or narrowing of the artery from smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc

Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are one of the most common vein issues. You’ll notice it by the bulging or purplish veins in the legs due to damaged valves.

Pregnancy Veins

We find that this issue is usually caused by pregnancy, bed rest, or damage to the veins. Pregnancy veins occur due to the increased size of the uterus during pregnancy. The uterus causes pressure on the large vein on the right side of the body, called the vena cava.

Reticular Veins

Usually painless, this condition affects almost 80% of adults due to hormone imbalances, weak veins, and genetic factors.

Blood Clotting Disorders

Whether inherited or acquired, these disorders make it so that blood does not clot normally. When this happens blood can often be found in urine or stool. It may also cause nosebleeds or excessive bleeding during childbirth.

Telangiectasia (Also Known as Spider Veins)

Spider veins are caused by the pressure of body weight, gravity and the tough job of carrying blood back to the heart. You may notice them on the face, breasts, and feet. Almost 60% of adults may have spider veins.

Lymphedema

With this condition, fluid from the lymphatic system builds up and causes swollen arms and legs. Most often this is caused by damaged or missing lymph nodes or vessels.

Foods for Maintaining Good Vein Health

Support good vein health this year by integrating foods that increase and promote blood flow. You can accomplish this by looking for foods that are high in Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Foods like citrus, broccoli, bell peppers, mangos, fish, etc.

It’s also important to include foods like brown rice, leafy greens, chia, and lentils that are high in fiber. Drinking enough water is also important for optimal vein health.

Precautions to Avoid Vascular Conditions

By integrating healthy lifestyle considerations into your day-to-day, such as a healthy diet, regular exercise, and quitting smoking, you can avoid future vascular problems.

If medications are needed to lower cholesterol and regulate your blood pressure, it’s important to take the meds as prescribed to mitigate the occurrence of vascular issues.

Cosmetic Varicose Veins Treatment and Spider Vein Treatment

Varicose and spider veins are treatable. Sclerotherapy is often the best method of treatment. This in-office procedure is an easy and painless way to resolve this cosmetic issue.

Other procedures can include stripping, ambulatory phlebectomy, endoscopic vein surgery, and endothermal ablation. Laser surgeries can also help to make the veins fade and disappear under intense light bursts.

Natural Therapies to Cure Vein Conditions

While cosmetic vein treatment is effective, regular exercise, dietary changes, compression stockings, and herbal remedies can guide to improve the symptoms and side effects of some vein conditions.

Doing regular yoga with positions where the lower legs are elevated above the heart helps in relieving symptoms of varicose veins.

Sound sleep also affects your vein health. Just one week of fewer hours of sleep can affect your vein condition.

Guide To Preventing Vein Conditions

The same remedies that help to reduce and eliminate the severity of vein conditions are also the treatments that you should continue even after a vein condition has improved.

Keep moving, eat right, and stop smoking. You may also consider wearing looser clothing and not standing or sitting for long periods of time.

For more information about caring for your veins or how to prevent vascular issues, please contact our office.

The Effects of Sleep on Your Health

The Effects of Sleep on Your Health

How well did you sleep last night? If you didn’t get a full seven or eight hours, you aren’t alone. About one-third of adults get less sleep than recommended, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s important to understand the effects of sleep on your health.

Bouncing between work, family, friends, and responsibilities can leave very little time for rest. However, when you don’t get your daily recommended dose, you are putting your routine and health at risk.

Sleep and Your Immune System

Everyone knows that sleep is important for both mental and physical recovery. Without the proper amount of rest, your body is in danger of infection and disease.

When you choose to stay up over going to bed, your body starts to produce fewer cytokines. Cytokines are essential proteins that promote sleep. These proteins are very important when you’re sick, as the body needs more rest.

Studies have shown that when your body is sleep deprived you are more susceptible to infection. Even coming into contact with simple viruses such as the common cold puts you at risk of becoming very ill.

Long-term and serious problems from lack of sleep include diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, stroke, obesity, depression, and lower sex drive.

Sleep and Your Personal Life

There are many short-term effects from lack of sleep that can occur even when missing as little as 1.5 hours. These effects include lowered alertness and the inability to remember and process information.

Surprisingly, scientists have stated that when we sleep our memory may be emptying unneeded knowledge. It does this to free up space for new information and memories we make in the future. Without clearing this  knowledge, it’s difficult for us to grasp new information.

Being able to properly process what you are being told, whether it’s at work or school, is important for keeping your job or maintaining a good GPA. Lack of sleep can also make you moody and more likely to have conflicts with family and co-workers. 

Sleep and Your Veins and Arteries

According to research recently reported by Science News, people who do not get enough sleep have lower levels of good cholesterol. Sleep usually protects your arteries by removing bad cholesterol.

When bad cholesterol isn’t removed, it builds up in your arteries causing heart disease. Atherosclerosis, a condition caused by plaque buildup in the arteries, increases the risk of heart health issues and stroke.

Just one week of fewer hours of sleep changes your immune responses and metabolism. The metabolic processes needed to keep good cholesterol flowing through the body is affected.

Not only have artery problems been found more often in people who sleep less but vein issues arise as well. In a recent study, scientists saw a decrease in three major miRNAs.

RNAs are vital for the cardiovascular process. When we have fewer of these essential micro RNAs, our veins become inflamed much easier. Inflammation of the veins leads to blood clotting, stroke, and heart attack.

Varicose Veins and Sleep Problems

About six quarts of blood circulate three times every minute throughout your body. This blood carries essential oxygen and nutrients to every cell. When blood flow changes due to varicose veins, more than appearance is at stake.

Varicose veins can cause restless leg syndrome. This may interrupt your sleep-wake cycle, sometimes to a worrisome degree.

Restless leg syndrome just about always occurs when you are laying down or sitting. This specific issue is defined as the irresistible urge to move your legs.

When you are trying to get some sleep, the only way to stop the uncomfortable feeling is to get up and walk around. However, this only removes the issue for a short period of time.

People with RLS report fewer hours of sleep than those without. Typically, they get less than 5 hours of sleep each night.

How Much Sleep Do We Need?

By now you’ve probably heard it a hundred times, but you can never hear it enough. When it comes to sleep, children should have 9-10 hours while adults should have 7-8 hours of uninterrupted rest.

During this time, you should remove anything that may interfere with sleep. Why we need this amount of rest is currently unknown, but we do know it’s vital for staying healthy and happy. 

If you have been feeling lucky because you sleep less than the recommended amount but still feel fine – beware! You may be wrong about not needing the same amount of rest as everyone else.

Researchers believe while some people may not feel tired with less rest, the lack of sleep catches up to individuals as they get older.

Fix Your Sleeping Habits

When your sleep schedule gets messed up, it can be hard to get back into a good routine. Here are some tips to getting that much-needed rest:

  • If you’re feeling fatigued during the day, start small. Moving your bedtime up 10-15 minutes is a good way to get used to going to bed early. 
  • Everyone loves a good nap, but your body doesn’t like it as much as you may think. When it comes to naps, you should only be sleeping for 20-30 minutes before 3 pm; never after.
  • Caffeine is the enemy to sleep. Try avoiding anything caffeinated in the late afternoon.
  • Exerting energy is a sure-fire way of going to sleep early. Make plans to go to the gym for a good run or lift.

NJVVC Can Help You

If your vein problems are affecting your sleep, we have solutions. Our specialists offer the world’s most advanced methods in medical diagnostic technologies.

We can recommend a specialized and precise treatment plan for your unique situation. Our services will relieve your worrisome symptoms and improve your health and appearance.

Please contact us with your questions and concerns or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you! 

How Does Yoga Benefit the Cardiovascular System?

How Does Yoga Benefit the Cardiovascular System?

When it comes to heart-healthy exercises, yoga may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But anyone who has spent time at a yoga studio knows that this mind-body exercise can get your heart pumping. As it turns out, yoga is good for the you, but how does it benefit the cardiovascular system?

Can You Be Too Old for Yoga?

Yoga has become increasingly popular for young adults. Studios are beginning to pop up everywhere for those looking to better their mind and body. You may investigate a yoga class and think, “I’m not that flexible, I can’t do that.” In reality, there is a type of yoga for everyone.

Ashtanga Classes 

An ashtanga class is centered around conscious breathing and meditation. This form of yoga fits people who may have limited mobility and energy. 

Online Yoga

If you’re worried that a yoga course offered by a studio may be too much for you, start online. Whether it’s YouTube or a fitness coach’s website, you can find a large selection of yoga programs that are age and skill level appropriate. 

Custom Classes

Talk to the yoga instructor before starting a course. Many instructors are willing to work one-on-one to help you get started. They can work at your pace until you feel ready to join a group class. Look for a qualified instructor with certifications and experience. 

The above course offerings are beneficial for any age group. When you start, you may find you can’t touch your toes. But, with some patience and practice, even the least flexible person will see huge benefits in mobility and overall health.  

Yoga and the Cardiovascular System

Yoga affects cardiovascular health in several ways. Some postures (or asanas) and certain forms of yoga, such as vinyasa or ashtanga, can raise the heart rate to aerobic levels. Heat-building postures – such as Navasana (Boat Pose), Utkatasana (Chair Pose) and Dolphin Plank – increase heart strength when held for long periods of time. 

Other gentler forms of yoga can benefit the heart by helping the blood flow more efficiently. 

A 2019 study found significant blood pressure benefits for people who practice yoga. This was especially true for people engaging in hot yoga; a yoga course that uses heated studios.

In a control group of people with elevated blood pressure, many saw a significant decrease after 12 weeks of being in a hot yoga class. In the same study, those people who did not attend yoga saw no decrease in blood pressure in that 12-week period.

Heart-opening postures improve blood flow to the chest while stretching the front of the body. As a result, more oxygen-rich blood enters the heart space. 

Yoga and Vein Health

We know that yoga can benefit cardiovascular health, but what about vein health? In a way, the two go hand in hand. 

Certain postures can benefit varicose veins. This is particularly true for positions where the lower legs are elevated above the heart. These positions make it easier for veins to push blood back to the heart.

Postures that engage the calf muscles can have the same effect while alleviating pain and pressure. 

A Natural Stress-Buster

Yoga can also benefit the heart in a more indirect way by relaxing the mind and body. When we’re feeling stressed, our bodies release cortisol and adrenaline. These stress hormones narrow our arteries and raise our blood pressure. 

Lower stress levels can lead to healthier blood pressure. Yoga’s emphasis on deep breathing and stretching reduces tension and stress. 

Practicing yoga for just a few hours a week can help you enjoy these cardiovascular benefits. Young or old, even gentle stretching can help to maintain heart health.

Yoga can be great for your heart health, but it may not be your end-all for vein issues. If you are having trouble with varicose veins or are experiencing leg pain, contact us. We can help alleviate any vein issues you may be having in a quick and effective way.