Nutrition is Important for Vein Health Too

It’s true: We are what we eat. Most people know that a balanced diet is vital to overall good health. But does nutrition affect the circulatory system? Yes. There are foods and nutrients that are known allies to your arteries and veins. But it’s important to be aware of the foods that can negatively affect your veins.

Certain “bad” foods can stress and constrict the arteries that carry blood from the heart and other major organs to the tissues and cells throughout the body. Those same foods can also damage the veins, which move blood back to the heart. Eventually, the vein valves that move the blood weaken, causing blood to pool in the legs. The result is often the appearance of varicose veins.

Good nutrition for veins: What not to eat

When you think of food as fuel for your healthy veins, it’s a little easier to make smart nutritional choices. The key is recognizing the foods that cause:

  • Water retention
  • Constipation
  • Weight gain

Water retention and your veins

If your body retains water, it adds pressure to your veins, stressing the tiny valves inside, which can eventually lead to vein problems. Avoid water retention by steering clear of these sodium-packed foods:

  • Canned foods
  • Processed meats
  • Pizza
  • Pickles
  • Certain cheeses

Constipation negatively affects your veins

Constipation also places undue pressure on the veins in the lower legs where varicose veins are more likely to occur. To stay regular, avoid:

  • Refined starches
  • Red meat
  • Dairy products
  • Chocolate
  • Bananas

Weight gain and vein health

Excess weight is another source of added pressure on leg veins. To prevent gaining weight, keep these foods off your plate:

  • Foods packed with refined starches and artificial ingredients
  • Soda, processed juice drinks and alcohol
  • Deep fried foods
  • Foods high in sugar

Advanced vein care for effective results

If you are bothered by your varicose veins or spider veins and are concerned about your vein health, Gilvydis Vein Clinic can help. Our dedicated team of nurses, surgical techs and vascular ultrasound techs is lead by Dr. Rimas Gilvydis — a board-certified vein specialist. Among the first to perform advanced, minimally invasive treatments as soon as they were available, Dr. Gilvydis has more than 20,000 successful procedures to his credit.

To schedule an appointment, call 815-981-4742 or click here to use our online form.

Cold Weather and Your Veins

By the first official day of winter, December 21, much of the nation has already been experiencing teeth-chattering temperatures. If you live in a part of the country where you are knee-deep in cold weather, and you have varicose veins, spider veins or other forms of venous disease, you may have noticed some changes to your condition.

How cold weather affects your veins

Let’s start with the good news. Cold temperatures can cause veins to shrink, making it easier for valves inside the veins to function properly and keep pressure from mounting around your ankles and calves. This should mean fewer cramps and swollen ankles. Still, winter weather presents some specific challenges to managing varicose veins. Some factors to be aware of include:

  • Change in atmospheric pressure – When the temperatures drop enough for it to snow, the atmospheric pressure temporarily changes. This can cause your circulatory system to become less efficient, which can aggravate vein problems.
  • Weight gain – Not surprisingly, weight gain is common during the holiday months, which means your legs are under more stress to pump blood back to your heart. Despite the cold weather, try to stay active indoors — this will keep the valves actively pumping the blood through the veins.
  • Cold weather – Beyond putting a damper on your outdoor workouts, cold weather slows down bodily functions (such as the circulatory system), making them less efficient.

Counter the cold: Pamper your veins

Here are a few ways to keep the symptoms of varicose veins in check:

  • Elevate your legs for 30 minutes before you go to sleep
  • Eat high-fiber foods for good circulation
  • Stretch in the morning, at midday and before bed
  • Massage your ankles and lower legs when possible

Specialized vein care in Geneva and Sycamore

As a Midwesterner, you’re all too familiar with the challenges of winter. And if you suffer from varicose veins, the cold weather can compound your discomfort. So why not make this season the last season you endure with varicose veins?

At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, comprehensive, non-surgical treatments for varicose veins and vein disorders are on your doorstep. At our clinics in Geneva and Sycamore, Dr. Rimas Gilvydis leads our team of highly trained, caring specialists. Using ultrasound diagnostics, our experts pinpoint the source of your vein problem, so Dr. Gilvydis can most effectively treat varicose and spider veins. He has helped thousands of people return to the activities they love through the results of minimally invasive treatments.

To learn how our team can help you, call 815-844-8607 or click here to use our online form.

Varicose veins can lead to health problems during long trips

It’s that time of year, when traveling and the holidays go hand in hand for millions of Americans. Long trips of four hours or more by car, train or plane can be challenging for people in general. But these days, air travel is uncomfortable for just about everyone, and sitting in a cramped seat for hours is even more challenging for those traveling with vein disease.

Vein disease and blood clot risk

If you suffer with vein disease, especially bulging veins, the chances of developing a blood clot during air travel is increased by:

  • Use of oral contraceptives
  • Pregnancy
  • Cancer
  • Recent surgery
  • Older age
  • Obesity
  • History of previous blood clots
  • Genetic predisposition to blood clots

Take these precautions when traveling with varicose veins

These simple steps can help you protect yourself from blood clots while traveling:

  • Pump it up – Lift up your heel like you’re getting on your tippy toes to engage your calf muscle. This allows blood to pump from the leg to the heart, which is key for vein health. Do as many “heel lifts” as possible, especially if it’s inconvenient to get out of your seat during the flight.
  • Avoid tight pants – Keep things loose around your waist area. A tight fit in the waist creates a tourniquet effect, increasing pressure on the abdomen and hindering the venous system’s purpose of moving blood from the legs back to the heart.
  • Water rules – When traveling, it can be tempting to indulge in alcohol, sweets and other foods and drinks that can dehydrate you. But make water your top choice. Staying hydrated keeps vein walls from narrowing and can prevent constipation, which also stresses the venous system.
  • Keep things flowing – Wear compression stockings to improve blood flow from the legs back to the heart.

If you plan to travel soon, have varicose veins and are concerned about getting a blood clot, talk with your doctor.

Advanced, specialized vein care is close to home

If you have varicose veins or spider veins and you’re concerned about traveling for the upcoming holidays or anytime soon, contact Gilvydis Vein Clinic in Sycamore and Geneva, Illinois today. With advanced diagnostics and individualized, leading-edge treatments, we’ve helped thousands of Midwesterners overcome vein disease and varicose veins to look and feel great.

To learn more or schedule an appointment with one of our vascular specialists, call 815-844-8607 or click here to use our online form.

What Could Be Causing Leg Sores?

It often begins with a discolored spot on the skin near the ankle. Or maybe a minor injury breaks the skin. In most people, the bruising or broken skin heals up within a week or two. However, when there’s an underlying vein problem, the wound doesn’t heal and may increase in size, or reappears after a short period of time. That’s when chronic leg ulcers develop.

Venous leg ulcers are painful, raw, shallow wounds that can develop over time from long-term buildup of fluid in the tissues. For most people, they require wound clinic treatments and compression socks, along with prescription medications to ease the pain. The most common underlying problem causing chronic leg ulcers is disease of the leg veins. In fact, venous leg ulcers are the most common type of leg ulcers, accounting for over 90% of all cases.

Why Leg Ulcers Appear

The veins in your leg are tubes that carry the blood back from your foot to your heart. They have one-way valves that make sure the blood flows up the leg and not back down. If the valves are damaged, blood can flow backward and pool resulting in a very high pressure in the vein. The constant high pressure against the valves makes them weak and unable to effectively transport blood back to the heart. That’s what leads to leg ulcers.

The term we use to describe this condition is chronic venous insufficiency (CVI). The most common cause is high blood pressure in the leg veins (varicose veins), but other factors could put you at increased risk, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Aging
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Phlebitis (inflammation of varicose veins)
  • A job that requires standing and/or sitting for long periods
  • Deep vein thrombosis or blood clots in the veins of the legs
  • Family history of varicose veins or blood clots
  • Trauma, injury or surgery to the legs

Signs to Look for

CVI can be life-threatening if not treated and can lead to more serious conditions such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Most patients have no symptoms of CVI, so if you experience any of these symptoms, you should see a vein specialist right away:

  • Pain
  • Leg or ankle swelling
  • Pain while exercising or walking that subsides when you rest
  • Tight sensation in the legs or a feeling of itching in the legs
  • Discolored or brown skin near the ankles
  • Varicose veins or spider veins
  • Leg cramps and muscle spasms that are painful
  • Restless leg syndrome or an irresistible sensation to move the legs
  • Ulcers on the legs that are difficult to treat and slow to heal

You can decrease your risk of CVI by eating healthy (avoiding foods high in sugar and carbohydrates), maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising, avoiding sitting and standing for long periods of time and avoiding smoking.

How to Stop the Sores from Coming Back

After a leg ulcer has developed, treatment to heal the sore can take several weeks. But once your leg ulcer is healed, it doesn’t mean your problems are over. The only effective way to prevent future leg ulcers is to treat the cause. If that underlying cause is varicose veins, there is hope. There are many non-invasive treatments available today for varicose veins – and they’re covered by most insurance companies. Click here to view the before and after gallery. You can find leg ulcer images in the “Severe Case Gallery.”

Long gone are the surgically intense vein-stripping procedures. Today, varicose veins are effectively treated using Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA) or sclerotherapy. EVLA is an advanced technique that uses a laser to dissolve problem veins, and Dr. Gilvydis is among the most experienced EVLA physician in the Midwest. Sclerotherapy uses a series of small injections to close bad veins, including smaller varicose veins and spider veins. Both are non-invasive, allowing most patients to return to normal activities the same or next day.

Are you ready to put an end to wound care clinic visits, compression socks and pain medication? If you have leg ulcers due to varicose veins or CVI, we can help. Contact Gilvydis Vein Clinic to schedule a consultation.

Compression Therapy for Varicose Veins

If you suffer from varicose veins, you probably know how unsightly they can look and may have experienced the fatigue, cramping and aching they can cause in the legs. These symptoms can cause significant problems in daily life, and the cosmetic effects can cause a loss of confidence and enjoyment in life. But fortunately, with new medical advances, there are treatments available.

Causes of Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are a symptom of a larger problem known as venous insufficiency. Unlike arteries, veins only have one way to prevent blood from flowing the wrong way. They have one-way valves to fight gravity and keep blood flowing back toward the heart. For multiple reasons, these valves can begin to fail and allow blood to flow backward through the valve.

When this happens, blood collects behind the valve, and as it sits, it thickens. More blood continues to collect and coagulate causing the vein to bulge and twist, giving it the all-too-familiar look of a varicose vein.

These twisty and lumpy vessels can have a number of different causes including:

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity or excessive weight gain
  • Surgery or injury to the leg
  • Sitting, laying or standing for long periods without moving around or walking
  • Blood clots in the veins
  • Aging

Thankfully, there are varicose vein treatments available that can help alleviate both the cosmetic look and physical symptoms of varicose veins. Endovenous Laser Ablation Therapy (EVLT) and sclerotherapy are common treatments that are minimally invasive and provide excellent results.

Compression Therapy for Varicose Veins

Compression therapy can help alleviate symptoms of fatigue and achiness caused by varicose veins. It consists of wearing compression stockings on the legs that help support the veins and prevent excess fluid from building up. They improve circulation and offer proper support, making it easier for the blood to flow back to the heart against gravity.

Although compression stockings will not cure or improve the unsightly look of varicose veins, it can be a successful way to manage the problem before seeking treatment. However, varicose vein treatment will eventually be required as symptoms progress.

If you have varicose veins, contacting the right vein doctor to help is crucial. At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, our knowledgeable and friendly staff will work with you to develop a treatment plan that provides the results you want. Contact the Gilvydis Vein Clinic today to schedule an appointment. We have two locations in Sycamore and Geneva, IL for your convenience.

Does Yoga Improve or Prevent Varicose Veins?

Yoga is often promoted as a cure-all for many aches, pains and other alignments. It’s said to improve the immune system, protect your heart and decrease your stress levels, but is it true that yoga can improve or prevent varicose veins?

The short answer is no. Yoga isn’t going to make your varicose veins go away, heal more quickly or even prevent them. Yoga can, however, alleviate swelling and pain that’s caused by varicose veins. Many people who suffer from painful varicose veins (dark purple bulges under the skin caused by faulty valves), find relief through specific yoga poses.

Explore the top yoga poses we have listed below or contact Dr. Gilvydis directly for long-term varicose vein pain relief and treatment.

Yoga for Varicose Veins

Yoga stretches and strengthens the body which can help alleviate swelling and pain caused by varicose veins. Yoga can also help maintain your fitness and flexibility as you get older and help keep swelling and pain at bay.

  • Mountain Pose: The mountain pose helps strengthen your legs, knees and thighs. This pose is designed to help you relieve pressure in these target areas.
  • Boat Post: The boat yoga pose involves sitting on the floor with legs outstretched, focusing on the core area of the body. Strengthening the core will take a lot of pressure off the legs which can help alleviate swelling and pain.
  • Legs Up the Wall: The legs up the wall pose have you lying flat on the floor while walking your feet upwards until they’re perpendicular to the ground. This outstretched position removes pressure from your legs and promotes blood flow. This elevation helps the lymphatic system remove any excess swelling because it doesn’t have to fight gravity.

Varicose Vein Treatment

While yoga won’t treat your varicose veins, it can help reduce the swelling and pain you’re experiencing. If you’re searching for a treatment plan for your varicose veins, connect with Gilvydis Vein Clinic in Sycamore and Geneva, Illinois. Dr. Gilvydis will help determine the best treatment possible for your veins. Our non-invasive endovenous laser ablation and sclerotherapy treatments will reduce your pain while targeting the source.

Ready to make an appointment? Schedule your visit online or contact us directly. Dr. Gilvydis will work with you one-on-one to create the right treatment plan for you that gets you the results you want.

compression socks

How Effective Are Compression Socks at Treating Varicose Veins?

The occurrence of varicose veins is widespread among many Americans and can happen for numerous reasons, including pregnancy, age, working conditions and heart problems. In fact, 60 percent of all men and women suffer from some variation of vein disorders. Gnarled and swollen in appearance, varicose veins can span over a significant portion of the leg and can cause massive discomfort to those experiencing them.

No matter what the cause, each person’s case is different. Spending time with a professional is the best way to find the source of the issue and devise a solution. With varicose veins becoming more common, modern at-home treatment methods and pain relief options have become available. One of the most popular at-home remedies among sufferers are compression socks.

Easy Availability
Unlike remedies for other disorders, compression socks are easy to afford and can be found at local drug stores. They are an excellent option for people looking for everyday relief.

Encourages Blood Flow
One of the major reasons varicose veins appear is due to blood flow. The tightness of the socks helps push blood back up from the legs and improve circulation.

Reduces Swelling
Using compression socks also reduces general swelling of the leg, making movement and everyday tasks, like putting on shoes, a much easier.

Eases Pain
Pain, aching and restlessness are reduced when wearing socks.

Reduces Vein Appearance
Compression socks help reduce the overall appearance of veins, giving legs a smoother and more natural look.

Compression socks are a great way to help symptoms and improve the appearance of varicose veins, but they are not a cure or a substitution for treatment through a professional vein specialist. No matter what the cause, each person’s case is different. Spending time with a professional is the best way to find the source of the issue and devise a solution. 

When treating your varicose veins, our professionals at Gilvydis Vein Clinic create a vein map and then decide the best procedure depending on your specific case. We offer a variety of minimally invasive treatment options with incredible results and little downtime. If you’re suffering from the pain and discomfort of varicose veins, request an appointment today and get a professional opinion.

blood pressure

3 Foods That Will Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

Varicose veins end up affecting the appearance of your leg, but the main problem can root from issues with your blood pressure. Taking care of the muscle that pumps blood and your heart is essential when you’re working to prevent varicose veins. Though the best method for treating varicose veins is the diagnosis and help of a professional, cutting back on sodium and refining your diet to add more potassium, magnesium and fiber can help prevent worsening an already existing problem. A healthy diet can also prevent the appearance and recurrence of varicose veins. Here are three foods that will help stabilize your blood pressure:

Leafy Greens

With their high levels of potassium, “leafy greens” help the kidneys get rid of excess sodium, lowering high blood pressure. Consuming foods such as lettuce, kale, collard greens or spinach may not be appealing at first, but there are a variety of fun recipes that are easy to incorporate into your diet.

Fresh Fruit

Fruits including berries and bananas add numerous different vitamins, minerals and fiber to the body that help lower blood pressure. Adding these foods to your breakfast or even as a daily snack are a quick fix that can positively impact your blood levels.

Spice it Up

Adding spices to your meals surprisingly helps your heart health. Garlic, as well as other common spices such as cinnamon, basil, thyme, or rosemary, can boost your body with nitric oxide as well as helping cut back salt intake by adding extra flavor. Next time when cooking, don’t be afraid to search the cabinet for a few extra spices to help your body balance it’s pressure levels.

Leading an active and healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise can significantly improve your overall health, hypertension as well as the occurrence of varicose veins. In the long run, the extra work pays off without the return of a painful vein disorder. Adding these elements to your life is a tremendous personal step, but doesn’t replace the help of a professional. If you are already suffering from varicose veins, it’s important to diagnose the problem because every person is unique in their specific case. Having a professional examine your varicose veins can find the underlying cause, and determine if the problem lies deeper as well as where and how to begin treatment. Contact Gilvydis Vein Clinic to receive specialized care for your varicose veins.

varicose veins

Best Treatment to Remove Large Varicose Veins

When dealing with large varicose veins, one of the best treatment options for patients is EVLT. Endovenous laser ablation is a method in which a professional inserts a small catheter into the affected vein and light energy is pushed to the vein wall, causing the varicose vein to close down. In addition to the noticeable results that follow the procedure, there are many benefits to having a microphlebectomy.

Benefits of EVLA Treatment:

● The procedure improves blood flow and circulation. To battle common misconceptions, this removal method doesn’t stop the blood flow of the patient.

● Patients report low to no discomfort after the procedure. In fact, many patients report going back to work the next day! Since endovenous laser ablation is minimally invasive, patients can continue their day immediately post procedure. Although the patient can continue normal tasks, we recommend avoiding strenuous activity two weeks post procedure. There is no need for anesthesia, and over the counter medication like Advil can be used to treat any discomfort.

● The positive effects of EVLA are immediate. Once the vein has been treated, the leg once again returns to a smooth and ordinary appearance many patients long for. Scarring and downtime is minimal.

Dealing with large varicose veins is uncomfortable and hindering everyday life, but completely reversible. The first step to treating your varicose vein is seeing if EVLA is the option for your unique case. A vein specialist can check to make sure that the vein isn’t affecting anything deeper within the leg.

Dr. Gilvydis will examine and diagnose your specific varicose vein problem with a method called vein mapping to locate the cause of the particular issue. If you are suffering from a large varicose vein, endovenous laser ablation can help you live a better life. Contact us to get a professional’s opinion at Gilvydis Vein Clinic about how to properly treat your varicose veins.

How your job affects your veins

More than 40 million Americans suffer from varicose veins. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not just a cosmetic, female or elderly problem – the bulging, twisted veins can affect anyone at any age and can lead to serious medical issues such as blood clots.

Varicose veins are a medical condition in which the veins cannot sufficiently send blood from the legs back to the heart. There are many factors that increase your risk for developing varicose veins, and your job can be one of them. If you’re required you to sit or stand for extended periods of time, it’s possible your job is contributing to the development of varicose vein problems which can be painful and cause the following symptoms:

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

 The connection between your job and your veins

Our veins are equipped with tiny internal valves that enable the blood to flow forward in one direction, upward back to the heart. When these valves become damaged or weakened, the blood cannot sufficiently flow upward, flows backward (reflux) and results in pooling of blood and increased pressure on the other valves. Long periods of sitting or standing add to gravity’s pull on the blood, further contributing to inhibited blood flow.

So, if you find that you’re consistently sitting at your desk or standing on your feet while working, your job may be having adverse effects on your veins.

Tips for healthier veins on the job

  • If you’re sitting most of the day, prop your feet up on a foot rest or stool
  • If you’re standing 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
  • To improve circulation, wear compression stockings while working
  • Wear appropriate footwear with cushioned socks or insoles
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to prevent circulation restriction
  • Ice swollen veins or legs, or try a hot compress if ice isn’t helpful

Don’t just leave the healthy habits at work

Maintaining a healthy weight with regular exercise and consuming a well-balanced, low-salt diet can also help reduce your risk of developing vein disease. Regular exercise will promote healthy circulation, a low-salt diet will reduce high blood pressure, and a healthy body weight will reduce the strain on your veins.

Elevating your legs while at rest is one of the best ways to prevent blood from pooling in your calves and ankles. When resting, especially in the evening hours, prop your feet up on a couple of pillows or relax in a recliner chair. This will ease pressure and aid in healthy circulation.

If you suffer from varicose veins, you’re probably familiar with the embarrassing and painful signs and symptoms that come with the condition. You may have asked yourself why you’ve developed varicose veins, or if there was something you could have done to prevent it. There are many reasons why you may be suffering from vein disease, and you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are things you can do on your own to help reduce your risk or lessen symptoms.

Dr. Gilvydis and his team of experts at Gilvydis Vein Clinic can help identify the presence of vein disease and tailor treatment specifically to your needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.