Travel & DVT

  • Why rock a compression sock?

    Who really wears compression socks and stockings? If you’re like many, you probably think they’re for the sick, the elderly, or someone who recently had surgery. But did you know most anyone could benefit from wearing compression?

    As the founder of RejuvaHealth, I’m often asked and challenged on this topic by those who ask me what I do. When I tell them about our line of fashionable compression stockings, I commonly hear:

    “I’m healthy so I don’t need compression.”

    “I think my grandma wears those so I definitely don’t need them.”

    “I know someone who had to wear compression  - but they had a medical procedure so I’m different.”

    Did you know compression legwear actually comes in a variety of support levels for just that purpose? While some versions offer firm support designed specifically for therapeutic uses, light support variations are actually designed for preventative & general lifestyle applications – think travel, pregnancy, varicose veins, spider veins & more.  By hugging the legs with gradually lessening compression (specifically tightest at the ankle & looser above), compression socks help your legs do what they should be doing naturally - move blood upwards from the extremities and to the heart.

     

    It sounds simple – but that’s the beauty of it. Unlike an invasive procedure or risky oral medication, elastic compression garments offer a holistic remedy for the common achiness, heaviness, and fatigue that can accompany a busy daily routine.

    Still not sure whether you’re like anyone else who wears compression? Follow me on the streets of Southern California as I ask real life wearers why they love it. The results & reasons people wear it may surprise you.

     

    Can you relate to any of these interviewees? If so, tell me on our Facebook page at Facebook.com/rejuvahealth or by commenting on our videos at youtube.com/rejuvahealth.

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  • Compression Stockings 101: Q&A with a Vein Specialist

    So you have to wear compression socks or stockings? You’re not alone. Thousands of people have been in your shoes. And yet despite this – support legwear remains a topic clouded by confusion & misinformation. Who should wear it? What’s it used for? And how do you know which garment’s right for you?

    All too often, we hear stories of doctors giving the compression suggestion with no guidance beyond that. Is that something you experienced? If so, he probably scribbled an illegible suggestion on a pad & sent you on your way with little beyond that. Suddenly, in simply trying to follow his orders, you’re confronted with an overwhelming array of options, sizes, support levels, and styles.

    Or maybe a doctor didn’t tell you to wear compression. Maybe you’re healthy & think compression isn’t something you need. Do you ever travel? Sit or stand for long periods? Considering becoming pregnant? Or have a family history of varicose veins? If so, then compression may be something you should consider.

    Fortunately, regardless of your situation – there are people & resources to help. We teamed up with vein specialist Dr Bunke-Paquette, MD, FACPh to get her pro answers and insights to a few of the most common compression questions. Check out our exclusive interview & read on for some more of her  top tips and answers to our most commonly asked questions.

     

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    Click HERE to download a PDF version of this information. 

     

    Compression Stockings 101 - Tips from a Vein Specialist

     

    Who’s the pro? 

    Dr. Bunke-Paquette, MD, FACPh specializes in minimally invasive outpatient procedures for a variety of venous conditions. Board-certified & fellowship trained in Venous & Lymphatic Medicine, she was the first physician in the United States to complete fellowship training supported by the American College of Phlebology. In addition to directing her practice at La Jolla Vein Care, she’s a Volunteer Clinical Instructor of Surgery at UCSD School of Medicine, member of the Scripps Ximed Medical Group & VA Medical Center. Dr. Bunke-Paquette is also physician & scientist actively leading award-winning clinical research studies. For more information on Dr. Bunke & her practice, visit mailto:http://lajollaveincare.com/doctors/

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  • Best Compression Stockings for Hot Weather

    It’s all fun and games - until the hot weather rolls around. Long-time compression wearers know the drill. Fall leaves bring chilly temps, longer pants, and the perfect fashion opportunity to transition summer outfits into autumn with the addition of compression tights. Winter follows with even colder months & an added excuse for additional layers. October through March glides by with little inconvenience to the compression wearer’s wardrobe.

    April showers bring May flowers and rising barometers too. As hemlines shorten and winter gear is stored for the season, summer elicits longer days, welcomed sunshine, and new anxiety for support stocking users. Heat makes the prospect of layering or wearing long garments unpalatable.  Sweat + stockings anyone? No thank you.

    The irony about the heat & the effect it has in making wearing compression more challenging is that it can also exacerbate leg symptoms too. It’s not uncommon for swelling to worsen in hot, humid weather.  Travel, a common partner to summer breaks, can also wreck havoc on leg health. To prevent DVT while flying it’s recommended users wear compression stockings, stay hydrated and move frequently. So while its tempting to abandon compression come June, the occasions and environments that accompany it make wearing it just as important as ever.

    We can’t promise it will be more comfortable wearing compression stockings than it would be to rock shorts & flip flops, but there are a few tricks for making it more bearable in hot weather.  Here’s our top RejuvaHealth tips on how to survive wearing compression in spring, summer, & beyond:

    Best Compression Stockings for Hot Weather

    Consider fabric finish – Knit from a finer denier of covered yarns, sheers offer a bit more breathability than opaques in the hot summer months. We also love the small hint of skin they allow to glimpse through the garment. Consider them a subtly sexy way to get the support you need while still appearing seasonally appropriate. If varicose veins or spider veins are of concern, sheer compression stockings are also a great way to provide coverage & smoothness while also sporting your favorite dresses, skirts, and shorts.

     

    Seek out moisture-wicking materials – Certain compression socks are knit with special moisture-wicking fibers to help with moisture control & temperature management. We particularly love CoolMax, but select variations & brands may include the likes of silver ions, and other materials too.

     

    Try open toe options – For days sandals are a must, opt for an open-toe compression stocking in a nude color way. We love pairing open-toe nude thigh highs with a maxi dress in summer as a sneaky way to get support while looking effortlessly chic.

     

    Step out of the black box – We all love a basic black but summer’s the perfect time to mix it up. Reflect light & repel heat by opting for lighter hues. Ashy grays, subtle nudes, and pretty plums are versatile but fun ways to incorporate compression knee-highs into your wardrobe without looking seasonally inappropriate.  And with the resurgence in popularity of fashion socks, a pair with shorts & your favorite ankle boots (or rolled up jeans & tennis shoes) is an adorable and heat-friendly option too.

     

    Want more of our hot weather picks? Check out Kelsey's RejuvaHealth favorites + tips for wearing & pairing them here:

     

    What's your favorite tips for surviving the heat while wearing compression? Tell us by commenting below or joining us on Facebook at Facebook.com/rejuvahealth.   Until next time ... stay cool!

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  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): What it is & what you can do to lower your risk

    Did you know March is DVT Awareness Month?

    Do you know what DVT even is?

    Rejuva-DVT-compression-stockings

    If not, you’re not alone. Many are shocked when they find out what this term means and even more startled when they learn how many people are diagnosed with this condition in their lifetime.

    DVT, a common term used to describe a blood clot occurring in one of the lower extremities, is a very serious matter that can lead to death if not treated promptly. Earlier this month, Melanie Bloom, national spokeswoman for the Coalition to Prevent DVT, went on the TODAY show to spark awareness and encourage education about the “silent killer” that took her late husband’s, NBC correspondent David Bloom, life in 2003. (Click here for a direct link to the clip which originally aired March 7, 2012). David, like many other victims of DVT, died unexpectedly after a blood clot in his leg broke off and traveled to his lungs causing a pulmonary embolism, or PE. Complications such as the one Bloom encountered take the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people every year. Most victims are often completely unaware of the havoc occurring within their bodies, thus explaining the coined term “silent killer.” This silent epidemic is quickly becoming widely publicized and shared by families & doctors aware of the deathly consequences associated with DVT or PE.

    Around 2 million Americans are diagnosed with DVT annually, while 300,000 of those die from pulmonary embolisms every year - that’s more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined!

    We want everyone to be aware of the risks and know what to look for. The statistic above isn’t meant to frighten you, but rather alert and educate you about DVT. We hope you will share the information with family, friends, and even enemies… because everyone deserves a chance against this “silent killer.”

    • People of all walks of life can develop a DVT - young, old, woman, man, fit or unfit.
    • More often than not individuals go without having any severely alarming symptoms. Be aware of unusual leg cramps or unexplained swelling.
    • Pulmonary Embolisms may be the most preventable cause of death in a hospital. What we do know for sure is that they are the leading cause of maternal death at childbirth.
    • DVTs most commonly occur in the legs; however, there are rare cases where DVT is diagnosed in the arms.
    • Regular movement or exercise can help lessen your chances of developing a clot. Stay active by exercising, or just walking.
    • Keeping blood flow moving will help eliminate your chances. On long drives or flights be sure to get up, stretch, and walk a few steps at least every hour.
    • Birth control and smoking do NOT go together. Smoking while on birth control greatly increases your chances of developing a blood clot.
    • Blood clotting disorders are often genetic. If someone in your family is prone to blood clots get yourself checked out as well. About 5 to 8 percent of America’s population has a genetic risk factor.
    • Drinking lots of water and maintaining a healthy weight is a very important step in lowering your risk. Compression garments can also help encourage blood flow & prevent DVT when worn properly.
    • Cancer patients and anyone who has recently undergone surgery are more likely than the average person to develop a DVT or PE during recovery.
    • One-third of people who have previously been diagnosed with a DVT or PE will develop another within the first 10 years following onset.

    Number ONE point to be made: Don’t take pain in your legs lightly. If your legs are hurting or they just don’t feel right get to the doctors right away. Lastly, be more aware of your risk factors!

    For more information or resources visit the following websites by clicking on their titles:

    National Blood Clot Alliance - A nonprofit organization with whom we work closely.

    Stock up, save, and support a great cause! On purchases made between March 25th-31st, we’ll provide a 10% discount & also donate 10% to the NBCA in support of DVT awareness. Use coupon code DVTAWARE at checkout. More details available here.

    Coalition to Prevent DVT -

    Tune in this Saturday, March 24th to Peter Greenburg’s  weekly radio show to hear Kelsey, our founder, and the coalition’s spokeswoman, Melanie Bloom, discuss DVT, travel, and fashionable compression stockings.

    Clot Care -

    This website is a helpful resource that gives DVT patients and health care professionals access to information regarding anticoagulation therapy.

    Prevent PTS -

    An informational website for DVT survivors fighting Post-Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS).

    Venous Disease Coalition

    An organization dedicated to increasing public and health professional awareness of venous disease.

  • Travel & DVT: How to Decrease Your Risk of Developing Blood Clots on Your Next Trip

    Did you know travel can increase your risk for developing blood clots?

    How To Reduce your Risk of DVT Blood Clots

    Studies have shown that traveling for extended periods of time (or longer than 4 hours) can elevate your chances of developing a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) or PE (Pulmonary Embolism). Many have even coined the term “economy class syndrome” to describe DVT symptoms that occur during and following long flights. While these symptoms aren’t directly related to where you’re sitting on the plane, they are associated with the inactivity that comes with sitting in a cramped seat for longer periods of time during travel. But don’t worry we’re not going to tell you to stop enjoying those vacations abroad and impromptu weekend getaways! Instead, we’re going to give you all the facts & tips we know for an overall effort to keep you healthy and happy during future travels.

    Taking all the necessary precautions you can before and during a flight is key:

    • Stay away from alcoholic and caffeinated drinks, stick to water and lots of it. Alcohol and caffeine dehydrate your body and elevate your risk.
    • Get up and stretch regularly. The RejuvaHealth Team makes a point to get up and walk around the cabin every hour. (This goes for road trips too- get out of that jam-packed car and take in the scenery)
    • Absolutely NO sleeping pills. Short-lived sleeping “comas” keep you from recognizing the onset of leg pains and cramps.
    • Watch your salt intake. Too much salt elevates your blood pressure which may cause blood clots. Note: This is an all around useful tip to use in everyday life as well.
    • Do NOT sit with crossed legs. Remember to increase blood flow in your legs when sitting by performing stretches. Try rotating your ankles in a circular motion to help keep them from getting stiff (see picture A below). Raising your toes with your heels, (or vice versa), while on the floor and in the air is also a great stretch (pictures B & C).
    • Wear loose fitting clothing. Skinny jeans and tight waist belts are super constricting. If you have a meeting or someone special to see immediately following the flight consider changing before landing or while you wait for your baggage.
    • Invest in a pair of compression tights. Knee high compression stockings alone can make a world of a difference. Compression is designed to distribute the greatest amount of pressure at the ankle and gradually less as it advances towards the thigh. This pressure aids in the reduction of blood pooling in the legs, consequently reducing leg pain and swelling associated with air travel.

     

    So you’ve made it through the delayed flight and filed your lost baggage claim, but something still isn’t right. Be aware of these deep vein thrombosis symptoms that can set in immediately following or even days after travel:

    DVT – A clot in the legs

    • Warm to the touch
    • Pain or tenderness
    • Swelling in one leg
    • Skin discoloration- blue or red

    PE – A clot in the lungs

    • Chest pain that gets worse with each breath
    • Shortness of breath
    • Unexpected coughing with blood
    • Increased heart rate

    Are YOU more likely to develop clots while traveling? See the list below for other factors that increase your chances:

    • Cancer patient
    • Overweight
    • Pregnant
    • Age 65 or older
    • Smoker
    • Recent surgery
    • Hormonal birth control
    • Blood clotting disorder

    For more facts about DVT ad PE please visit the National Blood Clot Alliance at stoptheclot.org. There you’ll learn more about blood clot awareness and treatment. Also, be sure to check back with us next the week of March 25-31 for a special opportunity we’re hosting to help support the organization.

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