Hot flushes, changes in mood and night sweats are just some of the well known unpleasant symptoms associated with the onset of menopause. There are also many other lesser known  or common symptoms during this stage of life, including varicose veins.

Varicose veins can affect both men and women, however, women are more highly at risk as a result of fluctuations in hormones.  

There are many hormonal changes which evolve during menopause, one of these being the natural decline of the production of oestrogen and progesterone by the ovaries. There are also increased levels of two hormones of the pituitary gland – luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone - that usually stimulate estrogen production by the ovaries in the pre-menopausal years. Other tissues in a menopausal woman’s body continue to produce estrogen, and the adrenal glands make some progesterone, but the overall levels of the two hormones become much lower during and after menopause. This brings on the familiar symptoms of hot flashes, loss of bone density and otherwise unexplained episodes of fatigue or depression.

Less well known is the fact that estrogen and progesterone have positive effects on all of the circulatory system, not just the heart. It is these hormonal fluctuations which can result in the relaxation of your vein walls and may eventually lead to varicose veins. When your vein walls relax, there is less force moving your blood back to your heart from your extremities, and if your blood starts to pool downwards, this can lead to backpressure that can cause varicose veins.

Further to this, your metabolism slows down during menopause, weight gain easier. This excess weight is said to be closely associated with an enhanced risk of vein disease as it places additional pressure on veins.

Prevention is always better than cure, it is important to understand how varicose veins develop and how they can be prevented during menopause. It is essential for all women be aware of their cardiovascular health when reaching menopausal age in order prevent or even avoid varicose veins and any other potential complications arising from other circulatory related conditions.

What can be done to reduce the risk of varicose veins during menopause?

Though, there is no guaranteed way of preventing this disease, lifestyle changes are usually the first treatment for varicose veins. These include:

  • Possibly the most powerful preventative is regular exercise for the legs – walking, running, biking and swimming all stimulate circulation in the legs. Good circulation is key to preventing the pooling of blood in veins that causes them to become varicose.
  • Avoiding sitting or standing for prolonged periods. When sitting, avoid sitting cross legged. Likewise, where possible keep legs raised when sitting, resting, or sleeping.
  • Try to lose excess weight by sticking to a regular exercise routine. This will assist in improving blood flow, and ease the pressure off veins aiding blood flow out of the legs and back to the heart. Getting your legs moving will improve muscle tone, therefore helping the movement of blood through the veins.
  • When possible avoid high heels, wear lower heeled shoes as this can help tone the calf muscles. However, if you really have to wear high heels, avoid wearing them for long periods of standing.

While menopause can increase your risk for developing varicose veins, this doesn’t mean you are fated to have them. Just follow the tips to help you prevent or treat your varicose veins.

 

Posted
AuthorNicholas Kemp

Queenslanders love summer, it's what we're famous for, but for those living with varicose veins or venous insufficiency the sunny warm months can be three months of nightmares by bringing extra discomfort or self consciousness. Varicose veins can prevent us from enjoying the months when bare legs and trips to the beach are common. Here’s what you need to know about varicose veins during the summer.

Excessive heat expands veins

Frequent exposure to high temperatures can dilate the veins, allowing for more blood to pool, thus causing them to expand or bulge, placing more stress on valves in the veins. Staying cool is the best way to prevent this from happening. Cooling exercises (like swimming or indoor yoga) can help promote blood circulation without exposure to excessive heat.

The sun can agitate varicose veins

While the sun may not cause varicose or spider veins, it can certainly exacerbate them. UV rays weaken the skin’s upper layers, depleting moisture. As a result, the skin can lose some elasticity or ability to move – which may aggravate weak veins. If you have varicose vein symptoms, avoid excessive exposure to the sun or tanning beds, wear sunscreen, and stay hydrated!

Don’t let venus problems derail your ruin plans—follow these tips for a happy, healthy, vein-pain-free summer.

  • Stay Cool. If you have vein problems of any kind, it’s a good idea to keep your body as cool as possible during the summer. Make sure you wear clothes that aren't going to have you burning up in the summer heat and think about hitting the water to cool down if you plan to be outside for a prolonged period of time.
     
  • Exercise to keep the blood circulating. In addition to offering great respite from the summer heat, swimming is one of the best ways to promote normal circulation and keep blood vessels from dilating. A low-impact exercise that saves you joint and leg muscle pain while increasing your heart rate, swimming pumps the muscles of the lower and upper body to improve circulation to the heart and lungs. Not near a pool or the beach? Keep moving by taking an evening walk around our beautiful city - the walkways along the river and around Kangaroo Point and the Story Bridge are really enjoyable this time of year.
     
  • Keep hydrated! Keeping your body properly hydrated will help it effectively circulate blood, heal injuries faster and allow for healthier skin. Anyone with vein problems should pay close attention to their hydration levels during the summer, when the heat can easily dry anyone out. If you plan on being outside, take a water bottle everywhere.
     
  • Flatten out for summer! Opt for summery flats and sandals rather than high heels that keep your calf muscles from effectively pumping blood out of the leg. There’s a major beauty and fitness plus to this one – wearing lower heels makes your calves work a little harder, keeping them curvy and strong!
     
  • Remember the basics. We've been hearing it for years, but always remember to SLIP, SLOP, SLAP - especially in the summer months! Slather on the sun block and high SPF moisturisers, not just on your legs, but also on your face and nose, where thinner skin is more prone to developing spider veins, and cover up or seek shade if you’ll be outside for long periods of time.
Posted
AuthorNicholas Kemp

Are you not coming for treatment of your spider veins because you are afraid of needles or pain? The Leg Vein Doctor in Brisbane and Toowoomba can help reassure you that treatment may not be as scary as you think. 

Posted
AuthorNicholas Kemp

Horse chestnut, grape seed, Ginko biloba, coumarins and flavonoids. Pills, lotions and even skin wraps for those unsightly vascular marks and promises to make your legs healthy again ot give you your best legs ever! 

There seems to be any number of herbal and home remedies which are available for the treatment and removal of spider veins and varicose veins they can be found online and in the chemist.  Some of these products are cheap and others not so cheap but all seem to guarantee pain free removal of your veins with quick results.

These products are termed Veno-active drugs (VAD) or Phlebotonic drugs.  They are mostly derived from plant extracts.

Such groups include:

·         Benzopyrones (Coumarine, Flavonoids, Oxerutin, Rutin, Rutosides, Diosmine)

·         Saponins (Horse chestnut and Butcher’s extract)

·         Other plant extracts (Gingko Biloba, Maritime Pine extract, grape seed)

·         Synthetic products or the Quinons ( naftazone and calcium dobesilate)

·         Xanthine derivatives (Pentoxifylline )

There seem to be various modes of action depending on the individual drug.  Beneficial effects include reduction in capillary leakage and anti-inflammatory effects by scavenging free radicals. Improvements in venous tone and on the lymphatic system have been proposed.

But what is the level of scientific evidence?

At a recent International Phlebology conference that I attended, Veno-Active Drugs (VAD) were one of the topics of discussion.

Pentoxifylline, Sulodoxine and micronized purified flavonoid fraction (Daflon®) have demonstrated some benefit to patients with Chronic Venous Disease in a few trials.

However “strong recommendations with Level 1 evidence” cannot be made about the use of any of the wide range of Veno-active drugs available in the treatment of Chronic Venous Disease at the moment.

Until more evidence is gathered sclerotherapy and Endothermal ablation remain the most successful and proven methods of removing varicose veins and spider veins. 

Posted
AuthorNicholas Kemp
CategoriesVaricose Veins

If you are at all worried about your leg health or are in pain, winter is a great time to book in at our leg vein clinic for a initial consultation. You will receive a complete medical examination and ultrasound investigation on your legs, I will discuss the findings with you and the best course of action. From there you will have a treatment plan is put together outlining all costs and any Medicare and health fund rebates.   

Most patients require multiple sessions, usually over a few months in order to achieve optimal results. From start to finish you will be taken care of by me (Dr Nicholas Kemp) and we also offer complementary post treatment reviews for a year in order to ensure procedures are fully successful and that you are happy with the results.

Booking in advance offers you the freedom to choose treatment days and accommodate work and family commitments. At The Leg Vein Doctor after-hours sessions are particularly popular as the nature of our treatments means there is NO downtime and you can go straight back to work or home to cook dinner for your family!

Modern varicose vein treatments are designed to be walk-in walk-out and this is the model that has practiced in Europe and the United States for many years. General anesthetics are discouraged because they prevent a patient from being mobile following a procedure, therefore putting them at greater risk of  DVTs.  Not to mention the inconvenience of not being able to drive and requiring someone to collect you from the hospital.

Early booking also allows you to complete your treatment before it gets hot, which is most patients preference as the compression stockings can be hidden under trousers or worn as tights (black available). Perhaps most importantly it means your legs will be ready for the beach before the next heatwave.

Call our friendly receptionists at our varicose vein clinic on 37209912 to book an appointment for Brisbane or Toowoomba. 

Source: Brisbane Body Expert