Treat yourself to healthy legs this holiday season

The holidays are a time of giving, spending time with family and friends, and preparing for a New Year.
Taking care of yourself and treating yourself to better leg vein health should also be on the to-do list this season.

It’s understandable that the busyness of the holidays means commitments such as health screenings and doctor appointments get put on the backburner. Here are a few reasons to keep them top of mind this month and heading into 2020.

Symptoms don’t need to persist

Common vein diseases include varicose veins, spider veins, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a pulmonary embolism and chronic venous insufficiency.

Vein disease is progressive and if left untreated can develop into potentially life-threatening complications such as blood clots.

Let’s take a step back, though, and talk about symptoms. You might not know you have one of these conditions, but consider these symptoms:

  • Bulging veins that are excessively visible
  • Heavy feeling in the legs
  • Calf pain and cramping
  • Discolored skin
  • Fatigue
  • Aching
  • Burning
  • Throbbing
  • Itching
  • Restlessness of the legs

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, they could be the result of leg vein issues. A simple first step is to call us to schedule a free screening or request an appointment online.

Veins issues aren’t just cosmetic

One of the most common concerns we hear is that treatment for issues such as varicose veins won’t be covered by insurance. Our team will help you eliminate insurance barriers by assisting with insurance authorization and certification.

Treatments such as endovenous laser ablation and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy procedures for varicose veins are covered by almost all plans. We also offer procedures for cosmetic purposes that are typically not covered, though we have third-party financing options available.

As we noted, vein disease should be taken seriously and treatment works. There’s no need to be embarrassed about the appearance of varicose veins, to cover them up, or to put up with the discomfort from pain, swelling and other symptoms.

Treat yourself to healthy legs this holiday and instill confidence, eliminate downtime and improve your overall health.

Lean on insurance to cover vein treatment

Navigating health insurance can feel confusing and overwhelming, to the point that we get discouraged from seeking or scheduling care for important issues.

Conditions such as varicose veins cause pain and discomfort, but, more importantly, these issues – if left untreated – can develop into more serious medical problems (such as life-threatening blood clots). That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor about leg vein health today.

At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, we accept insurance from most major providers and Medicare. Consultations and treatments are typically covered by insurance, as the conditions we treat are not just cosmetic issues.

We help with insurance

Whether you come to us by way of a free screening or a referral from your doctor, our team will help you with insurance authorization and certification. It’s our way of eliminating any barriers that might exist to getting you screened and developing a treatment plan.

Treatments such as endovenous laser ablation and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy procedures for varicose veins are covered by almost all plans. We also offer procedures for cosmetic purposes that are typically not covered, though we have third-party financing options available.

Now that it’s fall, you may have already met your insurance deductible for the year and might have lower out-of-pocket costs for treatment.

Act on your symptoms

As previously mentioned, vein disease is progressive and can lead to more serious health issues. It’s important to be mindful of and talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing some of these common symptoms:

  • Visible, bulging veins in the legs
  • Heavy-feeling legs
  • Calf pain and cramping
  • Discolored skin
  • Aching, burning, itchy or tired legs

Contact us if you have questions about vein issues, treatments or insurance. Let us help you navigate insurance so you can enjoy more active time and less downtime.

Met your deductible? Come see us

Vein Treatment Options

If unsightly leg veins kept you from enjoying summer fun, now’s the time to take action.

Vein disease is a serious medical condition where our veins don’t properly return blood from the legs back to the heart. It’s progressive and will worsen over time if left untreated.

Fall is a great time to come see us, as we accept insurance from most major providers and Medicare. If you’ve already met your insurance deductible for the year, you will likely have lower out-of-pocket costs for the effective, minimally invasive treatments we offer. These treatments are covered by almost all plans.

Vein disease presents in several different ways, the most common diagnoses being varicose veins, spider veins, deep vein thrombosis (also known as a blood clot) and chronic venous insufficiency. Vein disease is not just a cosmetic issue, so it’s important to keep track of your symptoms and talk to your doctor.

Common symptoms include:

  • Visible bulging veins
  • Restless legs
  • Itching, burning, aching and/or throbbing
  • Fatigue
  • Heavy feeling in the legs
  • Calf pain and cramping
  • Discolored skin

You can contact us anytime for a free vein screening, but today – or any day – is a good time to prioritize your own health.

With fall on its way, our wardrobes will also shift, with more layers, jeans, sweaters and warm clothing. If varicose veins are severe enough, compression therapy (wearing compression socks or stockings) may be recommended as part of treatment. These stockings support the legs, improve circulation and prevent excess fluid from accumulating. They can easily be worn under pants or other layered clothing.

Schedule Your Appointment

Talk to your doctor about vein disease or contact us today. Vein treatment can be a life-changing solution that resolves both the appearance and physical symptoms of conditions such as varicose and spider veins, improving your quality of life.

Movement in Your Job for Better Leg Vein Health

Whether you work in an office or on a factory floor, your job likely dictates how much sitting and standing you do on a regular basis.

We’ve all read the news about the dangers of sitting and how it increases the risk for chronic issues such as heart disease and diabetes. Some of the same issues that make sitting for long periods of time unhealthy also apply to stand too long.

Varicose veins are another medical condition that can develop when veins no longer sufficiently send blood from the legs back to the heart. Our veins have valves that enable the blood to flow forward toward the heart, but those valves can become damaged and weakened over time.

Damaged and weakened valves result in blood pooling in the legs, and sitting and standing too long helps gravity push that blood further down in the body. That’s when we increase our risks for serious, life-threatening conditions such as blood clots and deep vein thrombosis.

Which professions stand and sit the most?

Sitting and standing can take a toll on the body, but maybe it wasn’t your first concern when accepting a job or starting your career.

With it being back-to-school time, it’s a good reminder that elementary, middle and secondary school teachers are on their feet 70 percent of the day, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor & Statistics. Other jobs that involve standing for most of the day include waiters/waitresses, welders, retail workers, electricians, pharmacists, physical therapists, and childcare workers.

On the flip side, IT professionals such as software developers, accountants, insurance sales agents, human resource (HR) managers, lawyers, and mechanical engineers do much more sitting on average during the day.

What can I do?

Just being aware of sitting and standing too long is a good start. If you’re concerned about varicose veins, watch for and track some of the following common symptoms:

  • Burning, throbbing or cramping in the legs
  • Tired, achy or heavy-feeling legs
  • Itchy feelings around the legs
  • Skin surface ulcers on the lower legs (only in severe cases)

Movement is really key in breaking up long blocks of sitting and standing while you’re working. Walking around and stretching every 30 minutes is ideal but not always feasible if you’re in a meeting or heads-down on a project. Consider some of these additional tips:

  • Prop your feet up on a footrest or stool to help elevate your legs.
  • Stand up and do some calf raises (stand on your tiptoes, release, and repeat) or try a few squats.
  • Wear compression stockings or socks.
  • Ice swollen veins, or alternate a hot compress.

It’s also important to continue these best practices at home after work. If you sit for most the day, try not to come home and continue sitting. After standing all day, make sure to elevate your legs when you do sit down. In both cases, maintaining regular exercise and eating a balanced diet can help lower your risk for vein disease and other chronic conditions.

If you’re concerned about painful, achy legs, call us anytime or click here to schedule a free vein screening. You can also hear directly from patients about how our minimally invasive treatments helped their leg pain caused by too much standing and sitting on the job.

What Does a Blood Clot Feel Like

What Does a Blood Clot Feel Like?

Blood clots occur naturally in the body; they are responsible for sealing up wounds. A blood clot forms to halt the bleeding, and once it has done its job, it breaks up. They are essential for proper healing, but sometimes, things go wrong. Each year, 600,000 cases of non-fatal blood clots occur, a majority of which occur in the legs. It is paramount to seek a deep vein thrombosis treatment immediately if you believe you are having a blood clot.

Signs of a Blood Clot

You are more likely to get a blood clot in the legs if you have not moved for a while. Many people suffer from blood clots after long plane rides, or after they have had surgery. It is for this reason that surgeons recommend standing up after surgery even if you don’t feel your best. You need to get medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms.

● Pain: The pain you experience around the blood clot can range from a dull ache to extreme illness.

● Swelling: The swelling will form in the precise area where the blood clot develops. It is also possible for the entire leg or arm to swell.

● Difficulty Breathing: Trouble breathing is a sign the clot could have moved from your leg or arm into your lungs.

● Alteration in Color: The area around the clot will take on a blue or red tinge. It may also feel itchy or warm.

● Lower Leg Cramp: In the event, the clot has formed in the lower leg or calf, then you will likely feel as though you have a charley horse.

It is important to note that these symptoms only apply to the limbs. A blood clot can also form in the heart where you will experience difficulty breathing, sweating, and extreme pain in the arms and chest. The brain is also an area to be concerned with as the symptoms include weakness, seizures, and issues with speech or vision.

Any of these signs is a good enough reason to call 9-1-1 immediately. Finally, the kidneys can form clots, which prevent them from removing waste properly from the body. This type of clotting manifests itself in forms of high blood pressure, vomiting, nausea, blood in urine and pain in the thighs or belly.

The Best Course of Action to Take

It can be challenging to diagnose pulmonary vein thrombosis or deep vein thrombosis. One report from the Center for Disease Control states that roughly 50% of people with DVT experience no symptoms. That is why you should call a professional even if you only suspect you have a problem. You should especially call if the symptoms seem to come out of nowhere, especially chest pressure.

Your doctor will be able to perform tests, such as a non-invasive ultrasound to determine the problem. Even if it is not a blood clot, you still want the peace of mind knowing that everything is alright. These tests can only be performed in a clinic, so you need to go immediately. Time is of the essence when dealing with a blood clot, so you should seek a diagnosis posthaste.

Know Exactly Who to Call If you have any questions about your vein health, do not hesitate to contact Gilvydis Vein Clinic in Geneva through our online form today. Our team can perform a screening to ensure your veins and arteries are healthy.

Prioritize leg vein health in the summertime heat

The increased temperatures of summer have finally hit after a rainy, cooler spring. That warmer weather is a reminder to prioritize leg vein health, especially because your legs will likely be more exposed in shorts and swimsuits.

Conditions such as heat stroke and sunburns might be more top of mind this time of year, but intense heat can worsen the pain and discomfort associated with varicose veins.

The summer heat can intensify common varicose vein symptoms such as a burning or throbbing sensation in the legs; tired, achy or heaviness in the legs; swelling, especially as the day progresses; chronic pain similar to muscle cramps; itchiness; and skin discoloration in the areas of pain or discomfort.

If you recognize any of these symptoms, call us anytime at 815-981-4742 to request an appointment or come to one of our free vein screenings. Screening is crucial to fully understand what’s going on with your veins.

If treatment is necessary, we offer innovative, minimally invasive procedures for varicose veins that don’t require lengthy recovery time. There’s still time to get your legs summer-ready and no need to suffer the pain and frustration of bulging, unsightly veins.

In the meantime, here are some general tips that will promote good leg vein health (and help the rest of your body!) during the summer.
Remember to hydrate. This is important all year-round but especially when spending more time outside. Heat and humidity can zap your energy quickly, so have plenty of water around – whether it’s at the beach or while working outside in the garden. This can prevent the cramping associated with dehydration that can worsen varicose vein symptoms, and staying hydrated helps with overall blood flow.

Maintain a healthy diet. It’s OK to indulge in some cool treats such as ice cream, but including foods such as blueberries, avocados and beets can improve leg vein health.

Don’t forget the sunscreen. This is good advice for protecting all of your skin and, in this case, the skin and veins just beneath the skin. Avoid direct sun exposure during midday and grab a coverup if you plan to be outside for a long period of time.

Exercise – and relax. It’s usually easier to stay active during the summer, so make sure to maintain movement and exercise. Elevate your legs when you’re relaxing to promote better circulation in them. Remember to wear comfortable shoes during extended periods of summer activity – aka swap the flip-flops for sneakers or supportive sandals when you can.

With special attention to some of these steps, you’ll have more fun in the summertime and less worry about your legs. Don’t let varicose veins make you keep those shorts and swimsuits packed away. Call us today to request an appointment online.

The Importance of Good Blood Circulation

The Importance of Good Blood Circulation

Good circulation is essential for good health. The body’s circulatory system carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body by delivering blood to the organs and tissues. Chronic health conditions, such as type two diabetes, can lead to poor blood circulation. When circulation is limited, other health problems will result. Fortunately, lifestyle changes can help improve circulation and prevent potential complications.

What Causes Poor Circulation?

Limited blood circulation is usually related to an underlying health condition. Some of the most common illnesses that affect circulation include:

  • Venous insufficiency ― Veins become damaged and are unable to circulate blood effectively.
  • Peripheral artery disease and atherosclerosis ― Blood vessels and arteries are narrowed down and, in turn, prevent blood from flowing to the extremities.
  • Blood clots – particularly those that develop in the arms or legs
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) ― a type of blood clot that occurs deep in a leg vein.
  • Type 2 diabetes ― This can cause problems with the heart and circulatory system when blood sugar is uncontrolled.
  • Raynaud’s disease ― A condition that causes narrowing of the small arteries in the fingers and toes.
  • Obesity ― This puts increased stress on the circulatory system.

What Are the Symptoms of Poor Circulation?

People with poor circulation usually experience symptoms that affect the legs and arms. These feelings can include tingling, numbness, muscle cramps, cold hands, cold feet, painful throbbing or stinging. Other symptoms are related to the underlying cause of poor circulation. For example, peripheral artery disease can affect erectile function, and those who have diabetes may notice that wounds heal more slowly.

How Is Poor Circulation Diagnosed?

If you experience any of these symptoms, your doctor will take a complete health history to look for the underlying cause of poor circulation. He or she may also conduct blood pressure testing, blood tests and ultrasound imaging to diagnose health problems that cause poor circulation.

What Are the Treatment Options for Poor Circulation?

Often, treating the cause of poor circulation will help resolve symptoms. Varicose veins can be removed with endoscopic or laser surgery. Compression socks can help improve blood circulation and reduce the uncomfortable symptoms associated with poor circulation. Your doctor may also recommend exercises to improve circulation.

You can also make lifestyle changes that improve circulation. Losing weight when overweight or obese reduces stress on the blood vessels. Smoking can damage the blood vessels and is a significant risk factor for circulation problems. It also raises the risk for peripheral artery disease.

If your blood pressure is too high, take steps to control it. Your doctor may recommend blood pressure medication if you are unable to lower your numbers with diet and exercise.
Drinking enough water and getting regular exercise can help blood flow more freely. If you spend a lot of time sitting, try to get up and walk around every so often.

What Complications Are Associated With Poor Circulation?

When left untreated, poor circulation can damage the nerves and tissues because they are not getting the blood and nutrients they need. This is especially prevalent among people who have type 2 diabetes because they may also have numbness that affects the ability to feel symptoms of poor circulation.

When peripheral artery disease is the cause of poor circulation, the person is at increased risk for a stroke or heart attack. This can occur when the blood vessels to the brain or arteries leading to the heart become blocked. Blood clots can also cause a stroke if they break free and travel to the brain, while DVT can lead to a pulmonary embolism.

Improve Your Vein Health

Do you need help with vein health near Batavia? If you have issues with your veins that are affecting circulation, visit the team at the Gilvydis Vein Clinic. Contact us to make an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Geneva and Sycamore today!

Varicose Veins vs. Spider Veins The Difference

Varicose Veins vs. Spider Veins: The Difference

Varicose veins and spider veins are problems you want to treat quickly should they arise as they are both uncomfortable and unsightly. Spider veins and varicose veins are often thought to be the same condition; however, several subtle differences can affect how each problem is treated. If you want to check your vein health near Batavia, the Gilvydis Vein Clinic can diagnose the problem and help you find the right treatment plan.

Vein Conditions

Varicose veins occur in legs when the valves in your veins malfunction and allow blood to flow back and forth through the valve. When the valve is functioning properly, it keeps blood flowing towards the heart, so it does not build up inside your veins. If the valve is not working correctly, it allows blood to flow both ways, leading to trapped blood that causes your veins to swell and bulge.

Spider veins can appear anywhere on your body and typically look like a red or blue spiderweb that resemble bruises. This condition is usually more unsightly than it is uncomfortable because swollen or bulging veins do not cause them.

Risk Factors

Both varicose veins and spider veins have similar risk factors. All of the factors listed below increase the likelihood that you will develop one of these two conditions.

  • Gender: Women tend to develop more vein conditions than men.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: Less active people are more likely to have vein problems because of decreased blood flow.
  • Age: The older you are, the greater the risk that you will develop problems with your veins.
  • Genetic history: if vein problems run in your family, you have a higher chance of developing one of these conditions as well.
  • Pregnancy: Your body pumps more blood during pregnancy, making it more likely for your veins to bulge and become visible through the skin.
  • Obesity: Being overweight puts more strain on your veins and could cause them to swell and bulge.

Common Symptoms

Varicose veins are often uncomfortable. In addition to visibly bulging veins, the condition also causes pain and swelling in the leg. Your legs may also feel itchy or heavy, and you could begin to experience restless leg syndrome.

Spider veins usually have minimal discomfort. The primary symptom of the condition is the colored spiderweb pattern that appears on your skin. Occasionally, you may feel a mild burning sensation at the site of your spider veins.

Secondary Problems

Because varicose veins are actually swollen vessels, they have the potential to lead to several other conditions, including pulmonary embolism. Pain and swelling are also common problems, with the potential to even develop an ulcer.

There are a few secondary conditions associated with spider veins. The primary concern is bleeding both underneath and above the skin, although it is usually minimal. Occasionally, untreated spider veins lead to chronic burning and itching.

Treatment Options

There are a few treatment options that benefit both varicose and spider veins. Depending on the severity of the condition, your doctor may prescribe compressions or conservative care. For minor problems, compression wraps can constrict blood flow to keep your veins from bulging. Conservative care involves monitoring your weight and increasing your activity level so you can keep blood flowing through your veins easily.

If you have a moderate or severe case of varicose veins, sclerotherapy may be recommended. For larger veins, ablation or an ambulatory phlebectomy may be required. For spider veins, compression wraps and sclerotherapy are the treatment options of choice. Compression wraps often eliminate the appearance of the veins without requiring surgery, but sclerotherapy is an effective option for many people.

Treat Varicose and Spider Veins Today

If you suffer from spider veins or varicose veins and are located near Elburn, contact Gilvydis Vein Clinic today to discuss your treatment options. We can help you determine the treatment option that is most effective for relieving your symptoms to improve your quality of life.

Foods that Fuel Healthy Veins

June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month, the perfect time to celebrate the positive influence of nutrition on the body. Eating for healthy veins is easy with these simple tips.

Fight varicose veins and spider veins with smarter nutrition

“Cleaning up” your diet can reduce the pressure on your veins and even reinforce them. Adding these nutritional allies to your diet can result in healthier veins:

  • Soluble fiber helps you avoid constipation, which puts pressure on veins and can result in the development of varicose veins. Excellent sources of soluble fiber include:
    • Oats, flaxseed and barley
    • Peas and carrots
    • Apples and berries
    • Beans
    • Psyllium
  • Water is a vital nutrient for healthier veins. If you’re not drinking enough water, fiber can have the opposite effect and cause constipation. To stay optimally hydrated, limit alcohol, coffee and tea (each has a dehydrating effect on the body).
  • Flavonoids are linked to strengthened blood vessel walls. Some studies even connect flavonoids to diminishing the appearance of varicose veins. Rutin is one of the most powerful flavonoids and can be found in:
    • Cherries
    • Red grapes, blueberries, and blackberries
    • Apples, especially the skin
    • Apricots
    • Buckwheat

Foods that fuel healthy veins

These foods are naturally designed to help you keep varicose veins and spider veins at bay:

  • Blueberries are packed with flavonoid pigments, and they’re a great source of soluble fiber. These power berries help repair damaged proteins in blood vessel walls and promote vascular health.
  • Avocados contain vein-friendly vitamin C and vitamin E. They’re also high in glutathione, which guards the heart, veins and arteries against oxidant damage.
  • Rosemary stimulates circulation and contains ursolic acid, which strengthens the capillaries.
  • Fresh ginger is capable of improving circulation by dissolving the blood-clotting protein, fibrin, in blood vessels.
  • Beets are rich in betacyanin, the phytochemical compound responsible for their color. Betacyanin is known to decrease levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that can damage blood vessels (leading to varicose veins).
  • Asparagus strengthens veins and capillaries and can prevent them from rupturing.

Eating healthy is always a good idea, but diet may not be enough to fully eliminate varicose veins or spider veins. Left untreated, these problems can lead to ulcers or other painful complications.

At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, Dr. Rimas Gilvydis, a diplomat of the American Board of Venous and Lymphatic Medicine, uses advanced diagnostic and minimally invasive technologies to treat venous disease. And with little to no downtime, you can return to a more active routine faster. To schedule your appointment, call 815-981-4742 or click the “Request an Appointment” button on the lower left of your screen.

Tips for Men with Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are not only a female issue. More than a quarter of men are currently suffering from the pain and discomfort of these bulging, twisted veins. At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, about 45 percent of our patient base is male, and the severity of the disease is similar among genders.

Men should not let the stigma around varicose veins being a female concern prevent them from addressing the pain and discomfort they may be feeling. The following information will help men understand where varicose veins come from, symptoms they should be aware of and the different ways to reduce or eliminate them altogether.

Why do I have varicose veins?

Don’t feel afraid or embarrassed about your varicose veins. You are not alone. According to the American Vein and Lymphatic Society more than 25 million Americans have varicose veins. The following outlines the main caused for the development of your varicose veins – issues that don’t discriminate based on gender.

  • Family History – Vein disease is hereditary, so if there is a family history of varicose veins, you are more likely to have this condition as well.
  • Age – Men and women over the age of 50 are more susceptible to suffering from varicose veins.
  • Obesity – You are more likely to develop varicose veins if you are overweight. Being overwait puts additional pressure on your blood as it returns blood back to the heart.
  • Prolonged Sitting or Standing – Jobs that require you to sit or stand for long periods of can negatively impact blood flow.
  • Smoking – The chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage the structure and function of your veins, increasing your risk.

Is there anything I can do to get rid of my varicose veins?

A good first step is recognizing the symptoms. Varicose veins often look like twisting, bulging “cords” that are blue in color and appear near the surface of your skin – primarily on the feet and legs. They are caused by weakened or damaged valves in the veins that restrict blood flow. Symptoms include burning or throbbing sensation in the legs; tired, achy or heaviness in the legs; skin tenderness; swelling; chronic pain similar to muscle cramps in the legs; itchiness; and aching.

You can reduce the effects of varicose veins by making the following lifestyle changes:

  • Move more. Standing and sitting for too long inhibits blood flow.
    • If you sit most of the day, prop up your feet on a footrest or stool.
    • If you stand most of the day, try calf raises or work in a couple of squats when you have the chance.
    • Shift your standing position as often as possible.
    • Walk around at least once every 30 minutes.
  • Maintain a healthy weight by prioritizing a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly to improve circulation.
  • Quit smoking or using tobacco.

If you’re looking to get rid of your varicose veins and your symptoms altogether, there are minimally invasive laser treatments available today. Patients report little to no pain or complications and these treatments are also covered by insurance, and we accept most plans.

  • Compression Stockings: The first line of defense is the use of compression stockings or other devices, which can reduce symptoms, but are not a permanent solution.
  • Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA): A cutting-edge technology that has replaced the need for open surgery. EVLA is a minimally invasive lasering technique used to shut down varicose veins.
  • Sclerotherapy: While EVLA can be used to treat larger problem veins, it is also common to have smaller tributary veins that don’t function properly. These smaller tributary veins can be shut down through the injection of a sclerosing solution.

Men, you are not alone in living with varicose veins. It’s not a sign of weakness to seek treatment for a condition that’s causing you pain and discomfort. Call us today at 779-696-8346 or sign up for a free screening to get your quality of life back.