Tag: diagnostic vein scan

5 Reasons to Sleep on Your Side

Did you know that sleep on your side could save your health? Yup, it’s true. While it may not seem like a big deal, the side you sleep on, and how much sleep you get, can impact how your whole body works.

And guess what else? There’s a direct connection between sleep and vein health. Because, when you have varicose veins, studies show that symptoms such as leg cramps and itchiness are worst at night, making it harder for you to get enough rest. Want to get back on track with your sleep and learn your best positioning? From your vein health to your heart function and so much more, we’re guessing this post will get you switching up your sleep position.

Benefits of Sleeping on Your Side sleep on your side to boost vein health

Left or right, sleeping on your side is better for your body. First, it can help you avoid issues with heartburn or acid reflux.  It can improve your digestion, since studies show that side sleeping helps food move seamlessly from your small to large intestine. And from there to your colon. Now, if you sleep on your left side, you get an added boost. This position keeps your stomach and pancreases in an ideal for producing the enzymes that encourage your best digestion.

Guess what else? Side sleeping can improve your night time breathing patterns. Which means you can say goodbye to snoring (or at least reduce this annoying habit.) And, if you suffer from chronic back pain, side sleeping can help. It’s a good way to relieve pressure on your spine.  Which can translate to reduced aches and pains the next morning.

Sleep on Your Side to Boost Vein Health

Sleeping on your side can also help drain your body’s lymph fluid, meaning your risk of swelling (lymphedema) will also go down. This is especially true if you sleep on your left side, since that’s your dominant lymphatic-side. And left-side sleeping won’t just boost drainage. It can also improve your lymph nodes’ performance, strengthening your immune system and helping you fight off infections.

Plus, improved lymph drainage can help your heart. Because better draining near your heart means the organ doesn’t have to work as hard, so it’s under less pressure. And, side sleeping is very important for boosting your circulation. But if you’re pregnant, you should always sleep on your left side, not your right. Not only will this boost blood flow to your heart and your fetus, but it will also keep your uterus from pressing on your liver. Something that’s very important to the functioning of your internal organs.

As we mentioned, sleeping on your side can improve your circulation. And healthy circulation prevents blood from pooling in your veins, which can decrease your risk for spider veins. But that’s not all. When you sleep on your left side, you take pressure off your body’s largest vein, the Vena Cava, located on the right side of your body. This large vein, composed of two smaller, iliac veins, has a big job. It takes oxygen-poor blood from your legs, feet and stomach back to your heart. And if it can’t do that job, you will certainly see blood building up in your lower extremities. Which can cause your veins to swell and stretch, becoming visible beneath your skin. And possibly leaving you with varicose veins, a serious symptom of vein disease.

Want to take more steps to protect your vein health? Our Houston area vein specialists are here to help! Schedule a diagnostic ultrasound with one of our skilled technicians. We can identify any potential problems to help keep your veins working just the way they should!

 

Sources: American Cancer Society, KidsHealth, Anatomy, Abdomen and Pelvis, Inferior Vena Cava

This is Why you Treat Varicose Veins Quickly

Why should you quickly treat varicose veins? Well, we all know that varicose veins are an unsightly problem. And,  if left untreated, they may cause pain or discomfort. But Reasons for a Vein Evaluationdid you know that leaving your varicose veins untreated can cause you to develop varicose veins in other areas of your body? Unfortunately, it’s true!

According to a study published in The Journal of Venous Diseases, untreated varicose veins in the pelvis can cause women and men to develop the problem in their legs. Previously, the connection between pelvic and leg varicose veins was only established for women. With this new research, however, it becomes clear that men are also at risk.

Treat Problem Veins at their Root

Because 20% of women with varicose veins in their legs also have pelvic varicose veins, vein doctors now strongly recommend treating the pelvic veins before doing anything about women’s legs. Now, men who have testicular varicose veins will be told the same thing: treat your pelvic veins before addressing any problems in your legs. If the legs are treated first, it is highly likely that the varicose veins will reappear.

What does this mean for male patients with varicose veins? Let’s look at how this finding should affect treatment protocols.

A New Approach to Varicose Veins

Leg veins are pretty easy to examine and treat. After all, they’re usually right near the surface of your body. That makes it easy to spot any problems, usually with a simple ultrasound. Pelvic veins, especially in men, are much harder to spot, because they are buried deep within your body.

While full vein scans are not necessary for every patient experiencing varicose veins, looking beyond the legs may be crucial for treating some individuals–especially men and women with recurring problems. In other words, if the varicose veins in your legs keep coming back after treatment, you may have to look beyond the valves and veins in your trunk. According to the new evidence, a pelvic vein scan may be the only way to stop your varicose veins from coming back!

Tattoos and Varicose Veins: A Dangerous Combination

Now here’s a scary idea we want to shoot down. Some people decide to get tattooed on top of their bulging veins. Because, in their minds, covering up is easier than treating varicose veins. But here’s the problem with that plan.

First of all, any time you get a tattoo, you run the risk of infection. And that risk increases when you tattoo over a vein. Because the tattoo needle may puncture your vein–especially if it already bulges. In turn, you’d experience bleeding and leave yourself more vulnerable to invading germs and infections.

Even worse? If that happens, your varicose veins may look worse after the bleeding resolves. So, instead of camouflaging your bulging, twisted veins, this plan could just call more attention to the area.

Want a better plan to improve your vein’s appearance? In our Houston vein clinic, we are prepared to offer comprehensive vein scans. With a careful examination, Dr. Fox and Dr. Hardee will get to the root cause of your varicose veins. They will treat you appropriately to prevent your problem from becoming a repeat offender. If you can’t seem to get rid of your varicose veins, and you want to solve the problem for good, contact our office for an immediate consultation.

Sources:  Journal of Venous Diseases

Dental Health and Arteries: Why Brushing and Flossing are A Must

Today, we’re going to share important info about your dental health and arteries. It’s crucial you read this, especially if you brush off your dentist when he or she reminds you to floss! Or if brushing is a rushed, once-a-day, event for you.

Why does that make your interventional radiologists worry? Well, as it turns out, ignoring your dental health could be hurting more than just your teeth. Here’s why:

Gum Disease Affects Your Heart Health 

Over time, poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease like gingivitis. When gingivitis sets in, however, the bacteria from your gums doesn’t stay put in your mouth! As it turns out, that bacteria can release toxins that enter your bloodstream. Those toxins contribute to a buildup of plaque in your arteries. And when fatty plaque narrows your arteries, you may develop Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD.) PAD limits the amount of blood flow reaching your legs and feet. It is a painful condition that makes it difficult to exercise or even walk. PAD can also increase your risk of forming blood clots.

How to Recognize Gum Disease

The best way to keep your gums from hurting your arteries is to protect those gums with proper care. Brush your teeth, twice a day, for two minutes at a time. Ideally, you should floss after every meal, but aim for at least once a day, before you go to bed, so food stuck between your teeth doesn’t linger overnight, causing problems.

And, even with a proper dental care routine, it’s important to learn the early warning signs of gum disease. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should see your dentist right away:

  • Persistent bad breath
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth come together when you bite down

Dental Health and Arteries: How to Tell if Your Arteries are OK

Even if your dental health seems alright, you need to understand your PAD risk. You can take our online PAD risk  assessment. Or you can try this easy at-home exercise.

First, lie on the floor and raise your feet in the air. Then, bend your legs so they’re at a 45-degree angle to your body. Now, hold your position. After a few minutes, take a look at your feet and take note of their color. If they’re white or very pale, you may already have circulation problems. Even if only one of your feet looks off in color, you could already be in danger.

Remember: your peripheral arteries get blood to your feet. So, if they’re clogged, your muscles won’t get enough oxygen. Left unchecked, this can lead to pain or numbness in your legs, in addition to changes in your skin color. All of these are common PAD symptoms. And, left untreated, PAD can trigger a heart attack or stroke. Which is why it’s crucial to protect your dental health and arteries.

Protecting Your Arteries From Gum Disease

If you have a confirmed case of gingivitis, you should take steps to protect your arteries, especially if you’ve been told you’re at risk for heart problems. If you’ve been diagnosed with gingivitis or another gum condition, it’s a good idea to schedule a diagnostic arterial scan to make sure problems in your mouth haven’t spread throughout your body. Reach out today for an immediate appointment, to prevent problems with your teeth from spreading to the rest of your body!

Sources: National Center of Biotechnology Information, Ontology Journal

5 Reasons Why Varicose Veins Aren’t Just a Cosmetic Concern

There’s one thing we all know about varicose veins.  Those bulging, dark twisty things don’t look great when they show up on your legs (or anywhere else.) But here’s what you may not know: varicose veins are actually your body’s way of warning you that problems are brewing inside.

5 Conditions Associated with Spider VeinsDiagnostic Ultrasound Evaluation

  1. Venous Insufficiency.

    Varicose veins aren’t bad for you on their own.  But the factors that create them can be. You see, veins are elastic blood vessels. They have a job: to  carry blood back to the heart after it’s reached your body’s extremities.

    Now, there are a series of valves in your veins. They open and close, allowing blood to flow up towards your heart. Valves are basically one-way gates. They open to let blood flow up, but close to keep it from going back down towards your feet. Basically, they help your body fight gravity. But what happens when those valves stop working well? Your blood can flow backward, letting blood pool in your feet. That kind of backward flow is called venous insufficiency (VI). It stretches your veins, so they bulge. And it can also lead to leg and ankle swelling (edema), pain, itching and other uncomfortable symptoms.

  2. Blood Clots.

    When VI leaves you with pooling blood, that blood is more likely to form clots. Clots that form in the walls of your superficial veins (also called phlebitis) can be quite painful, although not usually life threatening.

  3. Deep Vein Thrombosis.

    Also known as DVT, this is a condition that occurs when blood clots form in your body’s deeper veins. Associated with poor circulation, it is considered a life threatening condition because, if a clot breaks free, it can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism).

  4. Ulcers.

    When blood sits around in your veins, it doesn’t just clot–it can start to leak out of your vessels as the walls become stretched beyond capacity. The leaked blood can deposit itself into the soft tissue of your legs, especially around your ankles where the skin is thin, holes may open up. Because your circulatory system is already compromised, less than optimal amounts of oxygen will reach that hole, making it more difficult for the skin to heal itself. That is why individuals with VI are more prone to open sores (ulcers.)

  5. Bleeding.

    When VI persists without treatment veins may be stretched to the point where they burst. At that point, you will experience bleeding that, depending on the location of the vein, may be dangerous to your overall health.

Cosmetic Vein Treatments and Vein Health Safety

Treating your varicose veins will restore your leg’s healthy appearance. But it’s about so much more than that. Our goal as Houston vein specialists is to resolve the underlying symptoms of varicose veins. Such as heavy legs, cramps, or itchy, burning skin. Because developing varicose veins is not just a normal part of aging. It’s a sign of vein disease. So, by treating your varicose veins, we can help you look and feel better!

And here’s some more good news: most of our vein treatments are virtually painless. Plus, many only require a local anesthetic, so you won’t be staying in the hospital. And, since vein treatments protect your health, not just your looks, many insurance plans will help cover the cost of your procedure. So you don’t have to worry about a large out-of-pocket responsibility.

Now that you understand the potential complications associated with spider veins, don’t waste another minute.  Schedule a diagnostic vein scan to determine the best treatment course to resolve your venous insufficiency. Remember, it’s not just about how you look. It’s about protecting your long-term health!

Sources: news.llu.edu, healthline.com, clevelandclinic.org,

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