Approximately 40 million Americans have varicose veins. About 30-40% of pregnant women and about 50% of people over the age of 40 will develop varicose veins during their lifetime.
Graduated Compression Hosiery is widely recognized by doctors as an effective non-surgical remedy for prevention and treatment of venous disorders.
Initial symptoms of venous insufficiency that all of us experience from time to time are swelling, tiredness and aching of the lower legs. If you don't take any preventive actions, there is a very high probability that this initial insignificant discomfort will turn into more serious problems such as varicose veins and other venous disorders.
Improving your circulation and muscle tone can reduce the risk of getting varicose veins or developing blood clots.
To improve circulation and muscle tone, follow these steps:
- Wear Graduated Compression Stockings as often as you can. These stockings will compress your lower legs promoting blood circulation and increasing oxygen flow throughout your entire body, in effect acting as a "second heart".
- Avoid long periods of sitting or standing in the same position. Make a point of changing your position frequently to encourage blood flow. If your job or hobby requires you to stand, shift your weight from one leg to the other every few minutes. Get up and move about every 35 to 45 minutes when taking at least every 45 minutes when taking long car rides.
- Exercise regularly to get your legs moving. Walking and swimming are great ways to encourage blood circulation in your legs. Your doctor can recommend an appropriate activity level for you.
- Control your weight. Shedding excess pounds takes unnecessary pressure off your veins.
- Watch what you wear. Avoid high heels. Low-heeled shoes work calf muscles more, which is better for veins. Don't wear clothes that constrict your waist, calves or groin. Tight panty-leg girdles, for instance, can restrict circulation.
- Elevate your legs. To improve circulation, once or twice a day try to elevate your legs above the level of your heart. For example, lie down with your legs resting on three or four pillows.
- Eat high-fiber foods like bran cereals, whole grain breads, fresh fruits and vegetables to promote regular bowel movements. (Constipation contributes to varicose veins). To prevent swelling, cut your salt intake.
How Graduated Compression Hosiery Work and How They Help
Graduated Compression provides firmer support at the foot and ankle, where you need it most, and gradually decreases up along the leg to the knee and thigh. This unique construction keeps your blood pumping and circulating, in effect acting like a "second heart". You'll feel more energetic and less fatigued all day long. Looking your best means giving your body the best treatment available. When it comes to taking care of your legs, it's never too early to give them all the support you can.
ITA-MED Graduated Compression Hosiery offer the support you need yet are sheer, elegant and comfortable. They are designed for the fashion conscious person who feels the physical pressures of an active lifestyle. Whether you are on your feet all day or flying for hours in an airplane, ITA-MED hosiery will reduce aching and swelling in your feet and lower legs, and will help prevent the onset of varicose veins.
If you already have varicose veins, graduated compression hosiery will help alleviate pain and discomfort and will treat the symptoms of the other venous disorders. Our support hosiery are available in a variety of styles, colors and in several compression levels, depending on your needs. Best of all, ITA-MED hosiery products are a great value. They are an investment in your health and will last a lot longer than conventional hosiery. Try on a pair today and feel the difference that graduated compression makes.
Varicose Veins – Why Do We Get Them?
Arteries carry blood away from the heart and veins carry blood back to the heart. The pressure in the arteries is high and the pressure in the veins is low. When we are standing the blood in the veins of our legs must flow against the force of gravity back to the heart. This causes pressure to build up in the veins of our legs. To overcome this problem our leg muscles act as pumps and the veins have one-way valves. Leg muscles pump blood back up to the heart, and the one-way valves prevent the blood from flowing back into our legs. However, sometimes the valves malfunction. The vein wall begins to weaken and when dilated, the valves cannot close. When this happens, blood may flow backward and stay in the veins of lower legs. Blood pools in the veins, they enlarge and become varicose.
Factors that increase your risk of developing venous disorders:
- Age: varicose veins usually appear between ages 30-70 and get progressively worse.
- Gender: women are twice as likely as men to develop this condition. Hormonal changes and weight gain during pregnancy, premenstruation, menopause and using oral contraceptives may be factors. Female hormones tend to relax vein walls.
- Heredity: if other family members had varicose veins, there’s a greater chance you will, too.
- Obesity: being overweight puts added pressure on your veins.
- Standing or sitting in the same position for long periods of time: your blood doesn’t flow as well if you’re in the same position for long periods. For example, flying in the economy class can potentially cause blood clots.
If any of the above factors apply to you and you still don’t have venous disorders, consider yourself lucky. But don’t tempt fate. You are twice as likely to develop venous disorders as those who don’t fall into the above categories.