stretching and exercising to improve leg circulation

Get On Your Feet

With shelter in place in Illinois heading into its second month, it’s important to stop and think about how your health may be affected by the restrictions.

Whether you have been binging Netflix shows, trying to finish a 1,000-piece puzzle, or getting lost in a novel, sitting for long periods of time increases the risk for chronic issues such as heart disease and diabetes.

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 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.

As the spring weather turns warmer, there isn’t a better time than now to start getting on your feet every day. Keeping your blood flowing and circulating well is important for your health. You don’t have to participate in rigorous exercise every day. Movement of any kind will make an impact on leg vein health. Below are some ideas to get you started:

  • Prop your feet up on a footrest or stool to help elevate your legs throughout the day.
  • Stand up and do some calf raises (stand on your tiptoes, release and repeat) or try a few squats.
  • Take a 30-minute walk (or run) every day. This can help boost circulation and allow your veins to function properly.
  • Participate in an activity such as yoga. There are many great instruction videos available online (check YouTube or your cable provide might have yoga and other fitness resources on demand).
  • Take a bike ride with your family. This is a lower-impact activity that can improve leg health.

If you’re concerned about painful, achy legs, call us anytime or click here to schedule a virtual consultation or in office 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.

Gilvydis Vein Clinic Launches Telehealth Services

Vein disease is progressive and does not stop for a pandemic.

Gilvydis Vein Clinic is offering virtual evaluations that can be done from the comfort of your home or office. If you are experiencing the following symptoms, a virtual visit might be for you:

  • Leg pain, aches or cramps
  • Throbbing
  • Itching
  • Heaviness in your legs
  • Burning, swollen legs or ankles
  • Restless legs
  • Discoloration in your legs, ankles or feet

During our virtual appointments, you will meet with a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant who will answer your questions and discuss your medical history, vein disease, and treatment options. Our provider will do an evaluation of your lower extremities and leg symptoms. Our provider also will discuss prescription compression stockings.

After scheduling the virtual consultation appointment, you will receive an email with your appointment details and the instructions to access the telehealth visit. You can use a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Appointments are secure and HIPAA compliant and can be scheduled by calling 815-981-4742.

Untreated vein disease can affect the quality of your life and limit your active lifestyle. Don’t wait to speak to someone about your symptoms. Our virtual visits will help you determine what – if any – next steps need to happen so you can experience less downtime and more time doing what you love.

Insurance can help to cover vein treatment

Eliminating Health Insurance Confusion

Varicose veins, spider veins and other conditions cause tremendous suffering for people from all walks of life. Women and men, old and young, active and sedentary – no one is immune from vein disease. Sadly, many people don’t seek relief from these issues because they don’t realize vein treatment is typically covered by insurance. Often, that’s because they falsely believe vein disease is merely cosmetic, yet nothing could be further from the truth.

Those bulging, gnarled veins are caused by venous stasis, a condition in which old, stagnant blood pools in the legs. They can be the sign of chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), a serious disorder, which can progress to cellulitis, scar tissue, ulcers, bleeding, blood clots, and even deep vein thrombosis, a potentially fatal condition.

At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, we accept insurance from most major providers and Medicare. Our effective, minimally invasive treatments such as endovenous laser ablation and ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy are covered by nearly all plans. Just because a procedure is covered, though, that doesn’t eliminate the headaches and hassles of dealing with an insurance provider.

Navigating insurance coverage can be confusing, leaving you overwhelmed and frustrated. Don’t let that keep you from getting the treatment you need for those aching, swollen legs. Our team has the knowledge and expertise to help you obtain insurance authorization and certification. We’ll work with your insurance company to eliminate any barriers that might prevent you from getting screened and charting a path to happier, healthier legs.

Isn’t it time you sought treatment for those unsightly, painful legs? Contact us to schedule a free consultation and let us help you navigate the complicated insurance landscape, so you can focus on getting back to your favorite activities. More active time, less downtime.

Healthy Legs without Varicose and Spider Veins

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.

Insurance can help to cover vein treatment

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.

Legs without visible spider or varicose veins.

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.

Varicose vein treatment options

5 Natural Cures for Varicose Veins

If you are bothered by the appearance of your legs due to dark, protruding veins, you may want a varicose vein treatment so you can show those gams off again in confidence.

At Gilvydis Vein Clinic, we can offer you different options for managing these unpleasant veins. Here are five ideas for natural cures for varicose veins.

What Are Varicose Veins?

Varicose veins are veins, primarily in your leg, that have become bulging or twisted just under the surface of the skin. They are quite visible in appearance and are often dark blue or purple. While for some people they are merely a cosmetic nuisance, for others varicose veins may cause:

  • Itching surrounding the vein
  • Aches and pains in the leg, including a heavy feeling
  • Cramping, burning or throbbing in the leg
  • Skin tenderness or swelling

There are different reasons why certain people develop varicose veins, such as family history, excess weight, the aging process, smoking, and prolonged sitting or standing.

Many with this condition seek a varicose vein treatment to give relief from this unsightly medical issue. Luckily, various options exist, including natural cures for varicose veins.

Implement Dietary Changes

First, you want to be sure to reduce water retention in your body. While decreasing the intake of salty foods, do eat foods that are rich in potassium, such as lentils, white beans, bananas, almonds, pistachios, leafy vegetables, and potatoes.

Also, be sure to eat plenty of fiber so you can have smooth bowel movements. This avoids the straining that can occur with constipation, which can exacerbate the protrusion of the veins. Fiber can be found in whole-grain foods, oats, seeds, and nuts.

Wear Compression Stockings

When you wear compression stockings, blood is pushed towards the heart due to the pressure from the stockings. These specialty socks can be purchased from either your local pharmacy or ordered online.

It is best to wear compression stockings that come up to your knees. Be sure to put the stockings on first thing in the morning, while you are still horizontal in bed, for best results.

Elevate Your Legs

Whenever you can, elevate your legs to redirect blood flow to the heart. Optimally, legs should be at or above heart level for maximum effectiveness.

Placing pillows on a coffee table or sofa arm and then propping your legs atop is one comfortable varicose vein treatment using items currently found in your house. This remedy is especially important if your job requires you to be on your feet all day.

Watch Your Health

Maintaining a healthy body is one of the best ways to avoid varicose veins or to keep them from getting worse. Exercise is vital to keep your blood circulating throughout your body and also helps to reduce inflammation.

Whether you walk, swim, or play tennis, keeping your blood flowing is good not only for your vein health but also for your overall health. Supplement low or high-impact cardio with strength, stretching and flexibility exercises, too.

Try Essential Oils and Plant Extracts

It turns out that not only do essential oils and other plant extracts smell good, but they may also have beneficial medical properties, too. One main cause of varicose veins is chronic venous insufficiency, and one study found that horse chestnut seed extract to alleviate the symptoms of this medical condition.

Other promising natural cures for varicose veins include yarrow, grapevine and sea pine essential oils. You should talk to your doctor about these options to confirm that there will not be an interaction with any medication you are taking.

If you are tired of looking at your varicose veins, contact Gilvydis Vein Clinic to request an appointment today. Our experienced, professional staff can discuss these natural treatments along with ultrasound vein mapping, sclerotherapy, and endovenous laser ablation to find the best varicose vein treatment for you.

 

Leg Vein Health and Work

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?

What Is a Blood Clot?

Blood clots occur naturally in the body; they are responsible for sealing up wounds. A blood clot forms to stop the bleeding from the affected area, and once it has done its job, the blood clot disperses and breaks apart. Blood clots are essential for proper healing, but sometimes, things can 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 & Symptoms of a Blood Clot in the Leg:

You are more likely to get a blood clot in your legs if you have not moved for a while. Many people suffer from blood clots after long plane rides, or after they have recently undergone 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 pain and 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 and chest pressure is a sign the clot may 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. This discoloration 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.

Treating a Blood Clot

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 or see the relevant symptoms of a blood clot. You should especially call for an evaluation if your symptoms seem to come out of nowhere, especially chest pressure.

Your doctor will be able to perform tests, such as a non-invasive vein mapping ultrasound to determine the problem. Even if it is not a blood clot, you still want peace of mind knowing that everything is alright. These tests can only be performed in a vein 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.

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.

difference between veins and arteries

The Difference Between Veins and Arteries

With every passing second, complex processes take place inside our bodies to keep it both healthy and alive. One of these processes is the transportation of blood to and from the heart – veins and arteries are the major blood vessels charged with this task. Veins typically bring oxygen-depleted blood to the heart, while arteries transport oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

Understanding the difference between veins and arteries will help you learn more about your possible diagnosis relating to varicose and spider veins. If you’re concerned that you may be suffering from one of these conditions, make sure to reach out to Dr. Gilvydis at Gilvydis Vein Clinic immediately.

The Characteristics of Veins

To better understand the difference between arteries and veins, it is important to identify their characteristics. Here are some of the features of veins, including their functions:

  • Veins transport blood that has been depleted of oxygen back to the heart.
  • Pulmonary veins transport oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart’s left atrium.
  • Veins have valves that ensure blood flows in the right direction.
  • Veins have thin walls and can often be injured, leading to varicose veins or vein disease.
  • Veins are usually close to the surface of the skin but do not give off a pulse.

There are four types of veins, including deep veins, superficial veins, pulmonary veins and systemic veins.

The Characteristics of Arteries

Below are some of the characteristics of arteries, including their functions.

  • Arteries transport blood rich with oxygen away from the heart and to other parts of the body.
  • Pulmonary arteries transport deoxygenated blood from the heart’s right ventricle to the lungs.
  • Arteries do not have valves and rely on blood pressure to keep blood flowing in the right direction.
  • Arteries have thicker muscular walls to withstand the high pressure of blood rushing through them.
  • Arteries are usually found deeper in the body, but provide a detectable pulse.

There are three types of arteries, including elastic arteries, muscular arteries and arterioles.

What are Some Diseases that Affect Arteries and Veins?

Like any other part of the body, arteries and veins are subject to disorders that may be caused by birth deformities, poor health or older age. Here are a few you should know about:

  • Deep vein thrombosis is a condition where a blood clot develops in a large vein.
  • Pulmonary embolism describes the situation where a blood clot breaks off and makes its way to the lungs.
  • Lymphedema occurs when there is a blockage in the lymph vessels.
  •  Chronic venous diseases include on-going conditions like leg swelling, spider veins and varicose veins.
  •  Peripheral artery disease is a fairly common condition stemming from narrowed arteries, which then prevent the proper flow of blood to the arms and legs.
  •  Coronary artery disease occurs when the arteries supplying your heart with blood develop abnormalities or become damaged.

How to Keep Your Arteries and Veins Healthy

Age and genetics often play a role in the health of your arteries and veins. However, making healthy life choices does help promote vein and artery health. Some additional tips include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise. Stay active by working out at the gym, riding a bike, walking the dog or hiking with friends.
  • Refrain from taking high doses of calcium supplements, if possible, as recent studies find that the body stores excess calcium in the artery walls.
  • Get your cholesterol checked and work with your doctor to keep it at a healthy level. Too much cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries. This, in turn, can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

Meet with Dr. Gilvydis at Gilvydis Vein Clinic

If you or anyone you know may be at risk for artery or vein disease, contact Gilvydis Vein Clinic. We help diagnose and treat patients of all ages and will provide you with a plan of action to keep you healthy for years to come.