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What are the Risk Factors for DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)


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WHAT DO I DO IF I GET A TELEPHONE CALL FROM MEDICARE?


 This is an alert about a telephone call you or a loved one might receive from a company posing as Medicare. Medicare only communicates with individuals via the mail. You may get a call from someone claiming to be from Medicare stating that there are many programs available to Medicare recipients which can save you money. It is not the genuine Medicare program, but instead a private company claiming to sign you up with many cost saving features. Sometimes these programs cost absolutely NOTHING and the offers look attractive. The problem is that they also pay out NOTHING and when it counts they offer little or no benefits. 


Be careful, one of our friends did sign up for one of these "fake Medicare" programs and received no healthcare benefits and ultimately died due to lack of good insurance coverage.  Sad but true. 


In my opinion, the "straight" Medicare and a good supplement should be your best bet. In terms of a supplement policy, it is generally economically more feasible to pay for a supplement which DOES NOT pay for your deductible and also a policy which will automatically "cross over" so that after Medicare pays 80% of your bill, the other financial obligation of the 20% will automatically be billed directly to your supplement, without your having to do all of the paperwork and filing claims on your own. Some of these plans which cross over are identified with a policy number of 5 9's. 99999. This website has more information about Medicare in the "videos" section. 


PAIN PAIN GO AWAY

Are you in pain? Most Americans are in pain and using some type of medication to help relieve the symptoms. The opiod addiction is in the news all the time and becoming a great concern.

There is a another product being talked about recently ... and it is CBD Oil. What is CBD Oil? Cannabidiol or CBD is a promising phytocannabinoid found in agricultural hemp. It has been recognized for its health benefits. Even though CBD is derived from HEMP, it does not produce a euphoric or "high" state. By the way, it is legal in all 50 states.

It was discovered in 1992 by researchers investigating the existence of a central regulatory system called the Endocannabinoid System, also known as ECS. I hate to get technical but it is important to understand that the ECS is made of cannabinoid receptors, self made cannibis-like compounds, and enzymes. The ECS is one of the most important physiologic systems involved in establishing and maintaining human health.

These endocannabinoids and their receptors are found throughout the body. In each tissue, cannabinoids perform different tasks, but the goal is always the same: homeostasis, maintaining a stable internal environment despite fluctuations in the external environment.

So CBD Oil is all the rage, but is it safe and effective? Dennis Thompson, in an article he wrote in HealthDay News on May 7, 2018 reports that the non-intoxicating marijuana (hemp) extract has been credited with helping treat a host of medical problems- everything from epileptic seizures to anxiety to inflammation to sleeplessness.

Cannabidiol is extracted from the flowers and buds of the marijuana or hemp plants. It does not produce intoxication, because the "high" is caused by another chemical component called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD Oil technically has no THC, but it is advisable to avoid CBD if you are drug tested at work, since the CBD could produce a false positive on a drug test.

So is it effective? Last month a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel unanimously recommended approval of the CBD medication Epidiolex to treat two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. According to Timothy Welty, chair of the department of clinical sciences at Drake University's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, in Des Moines, Iowa, the FDA has sufficient evidence to approve this new drug.

CBD's usefulness as an anti-inflammatory medication is the next most promising avenue of interest. Nevertheless, one must be careful to ensure that the hemp is grown under chemical-free farming conditions free of pesticides and herbicides. That is why the product which is for sale on our web-site is grown under food grade conditions. Just so you know, in 2014 the passing of the Farm Bill gave states the right to do research pilot projects through universities or through their Department of Agriculture. CV Science, the company that we use, is proud to provide support for university hemp projects and commercial hemp farms in Kentucky.

We will learn more and more about CBD Oil throughout the coming weeks. I must proclaim that our advice is to consult your doctor before using any of these products. Having said that, my husband and I have been using CBD/HEMP both topically and orally since May 10, and have been noticing really good results. We are sleeping better and have less pain. I do hope that it works as well for you. The recommendation is to take it for 30 days before assessing its value for your own personal well-being.

As always, consult your physician before implementing any ideas or suggestions in this article.
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"URINE" LUCK Part Three

  
We are in a whole new world from the "olden days" or perhaps I should say "Olden Daze." Back in the day, no one ever even talked about urinary issues; and there were no medications to treat bladder disorders and for sure there were no products as wonderful as the collection of pads, briefs and bladder control products we have today for women who experience bladder leakage,
 
 
 
There are many medications on the market today which address frequent urination, or an overactive bladder (OAB). Google can tell you all you need to know about these many products. Of course, it goes without saying that each individual is different and the side effects of these drugs should require your scrutinization even before you consult your doctor about your own particular bladder issue.
 
 
 
Consult your doctor if you have any bladder leakage that is a concern. One exercise invented by Dr. Arnold Kegel, is the Kegel exercise. It is a very natural way to control urinary incontinence. This exercise helps to strengthen the muscles that help control the urethra. When these muscles are weak you can't control the flow as well.
 
 
 
Here is one type of Kegel exercise. Pretend that you are trying to stop the flow of urine. Pull in and squeeze these muscles. Hold the squeeze for about 10 seconds. then rest 10 seconds. Try 3 or 4 sets of 10 contractions every day. Doing these exercises everyday for 1 to 3 months faithfully should hopefully hold up the bladder.
 
 
 
The good news is that the manufacturers are acutely aware of the urinary leakage problem which affects most women over the age of 60. As the population ages there are more and more products to assist with aging gracefully. We have many many products on this site to help you cope with bladder issue to help you maintain the active life style that becomes you.
 
 
 
As always, please consult your doctor before implementing any ideas or suggestions in this article. 





"URINE LUCK" Part Two



In "URINE LUCK" Part One we talked about the 4 basic and most common types of incontinence. Actually, there are 7 types of incontinence. We shall now enumerate the other additional 3 types.



5. Transient Incontinence. This is a temporary form of incontinence usually caused by a short-lived medical condition--or the treatment of a condition. People who have severe constipation, or irritated or inflamed bladder, or those recovering from surgery or taking a diuretic or sleeping pill are more apt to suffer from transient incontinence.



6. Reflex Incontinence. Harvard Medical School published an article December 2014, naming another form of incontinence called Reflex Incontinence which occurs when the bladder muscle contracts and urine leaks out without any warning or urge. This can happen as a result of damage to the nerves that normally warn the brain that the bladder is filling. Reflex incontinence usually occurs in people with serious neurological impairment from injuries, spinal cord damage, or possibly radiation treatments.



7. Total Incontinence. According to the editorial staff at HealthCommunities.com published in April of 2014, individuals who suffer from total incontinence may have a vesicovaginal fistula, an abnormal connection between the urinary tract and the vagina. Also spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis or other disorders that affect nerve function can cause total incontinence.



 Dr. Linda Brubaker, MD director of the division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery at Loyola University Health System in Chicago, states that a combination of symptoms often involves characteristics of both stress and urge incontinence, when weakened pelvic floor muscles and poor connective tissue make you susceptible to leakage.


Once again, the above is just a general overview of information and is not intended to diagnose a condition. Ask your doctor about any incontinence issues which you or a loved one may be experiencing.


So why the title about "URINE LUCK"? Obviously, we ladies and gentlemen who have experienced any form of incontinence can take comfort that we are not alone. Whether it is a tiny dribble of urine while laughing or a more serious quantity of leakage due to some other issue .... there is a brief for that.


Not to change the subject, but as that commercial said many years ago, "We've come a long way baby!" Are there any ladies out there who remember the sanitary belt? OH MY... WHAT A HOOT! My mother gave me a sanitary belt in preparation for my "big day" along with pads that had long tails on each end which were used to make fancy knots in which to engage the belt. Thank God for the new types of adhesives invented to secure those pads, along with so many other personal products available to us these days, especially incontinence briefs.


This was a serious subject, discussing the 7 types of incontinence. So let's lighten things up a bit: Can you name the 7 dwarfs? I'll start off with Doc, he is the only dwarf who name is not an adjective! Then there is Happy, and Sneezy ... Dopey ... Sleepy ... Grumpy ... and Bashful. I confess I usually can never get all seven at one shot. I always have to Google it. Thank God for Google! As a matter of fact, to learn more about incontinence, Google can be a great source of information for you.


As always, please consult your doctor before implementing any ideas or suggestions in this article.

Next time: "URINE LUCK" Part Three 





"URINE LUCK" Part One

 
Actually, if you are an adult and experiencing any type of bladder leakage, or urinary incontinence, "YOU'RE IN LUCK", as never in the history of the universe has there been more products to address bladder control issues. 
 
There are several degrees of urinary incontinence:
1. Urge incontinence due to any over active bladder
2. Stress incontinence due to poor closure of the bladder. 
3. Overflow incontinence due to either poor bladder contractions or blockage of the urethra.
4. Functional urinary incontinence

 
According to www.simonfoundation.org/bladder-and-bowelhealth Functional incontinence is a form of urinary incontinence in which a person is usually aware of the need to urinate, but for one or more physical or mental reasons they are unable to get to a bathroom. The loss of urine can vary from small leakages to full emptying of the bladder.
 
According to www.healthharvardedu/bladder-and.../types-of-urinaryincontinence, the most common type of urinary incontinence is Stress Incontinence . This occurs when there is unexpected leakage of urine caused by pressure or sudden muscle contractions on the bladder. This often occurs during exercise, heavy lifting , coughing, sneezing or laughing. Stress Incontinence is the most common bladder control problem in young and middle aged women. 

I remember seeing a weight lifting competition on TV in which a young lady lifted a significant amount of weight successfully. The crowd cheered and then a stream of urine ran down her leg and there was silence. This must have been simultaneously the most triumphant and the most embarrassing moment of her life. This was about ten years ago, when the variety of incontinent products were not so readily available as they are today. Additionally, the technology of absorbent material and virtually invisible briefs was not available then either. 

 
In today's world, there is no excuse for embarrassment due to bladder leakage, as there are so many products available for both men and women. There are products that are made of cotton called "control garments" made specifically to hold insert pads in place. There are many styles of absorbent underwear briefs, in large sizes, and even male external catheters. There is a device called a male catheter strap to hold the catheter in place and prevent unsightly bulges. The industry has come a long way from the original style paper diaper products that had tabs on the ends like an infant diaper.
 
We shall continue exploring urinary incontinence next time with "URINE LUCK" Part Two
 

As always consult your doctor before implementing any ideas, or suggestions in this article. This article is for information only and is not meant for self-diagnosis. Personally, I would suggest using Google to find more facts from reliable sources if you have any interest in this subject.







WATER WATER EVERYWHERE, BUT HOW MUCH SHOULD WE DRINK?


Hydrating has become the "buzz word" of this decade. Everywhere on the news and elsewhere people are talking about HYDRATION. What is up with that? Can you drink too much water? OH YES YOU CAN!

Drinking too much water can result in a condition called HYPONATREMIA, a condition in which you don't have enough sodium in your blood. Hyponatremia can be serious and even fatal, but it's rare.

My motivation for writing this article is due to my Grandma Irene who in the 1970's had heard about this water diet. Every time she felt hungry, she drank water. Consequently, it put so much stress on her heart that she caused herself to get CHF (Congestive Heart Failure), as her heart could not pump sufficiently to accommodate all of the water she drank. Don't let this happen to you.

Consult with your doctor about your fluid consumption and do not fall into the trap of drinking more water than you should.

So how much water should you drink in a day? I Googled this question, and have answers. Be aware that there are many conditions, which require fluid restrictions; therefore, again, you should consult your doctor before following the guidelines below.

This is a direct quote from the Mayo Clinic


How much water do you need?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel

movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water

supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

*About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men

* About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women


These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20 percent of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.

WebMD states that "a common recommendation is to drink six or eight 8 ounce glasses of water or other fluid everyday, but some adults might need more or less, depending on how healthy they are, how much they exercise, and how hot and dry the climate is".

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends adding 12 ounces of water for every 30 minutes of work out.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition water is essential for survival. It keeps your organs functioning properly, particularly the kidneys. If you sweat a lot due to heat or intensity of exercise, you may wish to consider taking supplemental electrolytes to replace minerals you lose through perspiration.

One way to check your hydration is through your urine color. I Googled urine charts and came up with hydrationchart.com. It is a simple way to check your hydration.

I seriously hope that this article will raise your awareness regarding your fluid intake. In the past, the only reference to hydration were the words "fire hydrant". At that time fire hydrants and fire engines were red, not that fluorescent lemon-lime color around today. Times are changing, but let's not get caught up in the hype of hydrating if it is not in your best interest.

As always, consult with your doctor before implementing any ideas or suggestions in this article.





THE CRUSHING NEWS ABOUT PILLS

Once upon a time virtually all pills and capsules could be mutilated and crushed into applesauce with the use of a pill crusher or cut in half with a pill splitter. Then the time released capsule was invented and it was easy to see those cute little mesmerizing colored pellets through the gelatin capsule. Then it became forbidden to mess with it in any way, shape or form.

We were still able to crush a tablet or split it with that handy little pill splitter. BEWARE: Suddenly, SHAZAM, many tablets now are time released as well. Therefore, do not use a pill crusher or pill splitter on any pills or vitamins unless you ask your doctor or pharmacist. My pharmacist said it is safe to split a pill if it is scored. That is it! Short and sweet! Ask your own pharmacist for a second opinion.

Please read the little information packet, which is provided with your medication. Some drugs need to be taken with food, others on an empty stomach and believe it or not some pills should not be placed in a pill box as it needs to remain in its original bottle with a desiccant to avoid moisture. There are also some medications, which should be refrigerated until opened. Pay attention to these life extending drugs, please.


As always, do not implement any ideas or suggestions in this article until you talk to your doctor.






Gravity and You Part 5

 

Working with Gravity

 

What has gravity done for you lately?

 

Thus far we have discussed gravity and its effect on your body while standing, lying down and sitting. Now let's explore ways in which gravity can actually help you. 

 

My first experience with the expression "work with gravity" was in a doctor's office, many years ago.. As a doctor was applying a 2x2 gauze bandage to my son's leg, he pressed the gauze to the wound and then muttered under his breath as he reached for the adhesive tape and said "let's work with gravity" as he applied the adhesive tape to only the top part of the gauze pad. The gauze bandage held in place but sort of shimmied toward the earth while staying in place very neatly. Then he proceeded to apply the adhesive to the sides and then finally the bottom of the gauze pad. "How clever!" I thought. 

 

Now throughout my life I have learned to use gravity in many ways without even thinking about it. Drug companies are very well aware of the effects gravity can have on your esophagus and stomach. For example, the website for the drug Fasomax, used in the treatment of osteoporosis (which literally means porous bones), explains that one should not lie down at least 30 minutes until after the first food of the day. "Failure to follow these instructions may increase the risk of esophageal adverse experiences". The word gravity never comes into play, but it is obvious to me that gravity helps get food to the stomach, where it belongs, as opposed to lounging around in the esophagus. 

 

I have been told by a gastroenterologist to sit up rather than lie down if there is any stomach discomfort. When learning about diabetic gastroparesis, a stomach disorder, which creates very slow digestion, I discovered that it takes a normal person 45 minutes for food to leave the stomach. So do not eat in bed unless you are sitting up so that you and your tummy can work with gravity.

 

One more thing that has worked for me while using gravity is swallowing pills. My husband can take a handful of pills or vitamins and swallow them all with only a sip of water. It amazes me and scares me at the same time. I was terribly anxious taking pills and vitamins, until I decided to work with gravity. 

 

Here is what I have done. I have told other friends and it has worked for them as well, but as I always say, talk to your doctor before implementing any ideas or suggestions presented in these articles. Now, I can tell you that I place one pill on my tongue and instead of drinking from a glass or a cup, I use a water bottle, which is half full. This forces my head to go back and then I have a straight pipe from my throat right to my stomach and the pill with the help of gravity goes down easily. I have also noted that my tongue position is important too. If I place the tip of my tongue where the front of my teeth meet the gum line, the tongue helps push the water down. Sometimes my tongue just flounders around and does not do the job of getting the water down, so the pill swims around a bit in my mouth. I now have that under control. 

 

Next, gravity can help you sleep, by using an inclined pillow, such as a pillow wedge. A 45 degree angle or less can keep snoring at a minimum and help with sleep apnea. If a condition warrants it, then a CPAP machine can be prescribed by your doctor after having a sleep study. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. We can talk about that at a different time.

 

Another way that gravity can assist you is if you have GERD, (acid reflux) or actually gastroesophageal reflux disease . A friend thought she had a sinus issue, but her doctor told her that her stomach acids were so bad it was reaching up into her sinuses. The pillow wedge helped her a lot. If you have never seen this test, it is fascinating. I had it performed on me once a long time ago, and since I am in the medical supply business the technician permitted me to watch. At the point where it mattered I was told to watch the screen and saw my stomach was quiet and still. Then, as I drank the medication, the tech explained that the meds would hit the stomach and then rise quickly. Lucky for me when the meds hit my stomach there was just a tiny ½ inch movement upward, like a tiny stone dropped into a glass of water. The tech said that she has seen the stomach fluid actually rise up to the throat and beyond. So I can surely understand that sleeping on a wedge can assist gravity in helping with GERD.

 

So gravity can help with the throat and stomach. What about the other end? If you have ever given anyone that horrible word an “ENEMA”, you may recall that the protocol is to lie on the left side. This is so that gravity can work with the colon! 

 

So we have covered the anatomy from top to bottom! If you have a suggestion of how gravity has helped you, please feel free to email me about it at: diane@bracesbandagesandbeyond.com

Browse products here

 

As always, do not implement any ideas or suggestions in this article until you talk to your doctor.






Gravity and You Part 4


So we now know that standing too long is no good and lying down
 for long periods of time is also a hazard. What about sitting? You
 guessed it! NO... not for long periods of time. There has been so
 much publicity about people sitting in a tiny airline seat for 4 or more
 hours and then getting a blood clot. 

 There is a solution, the simplest of which is to pump your feet in
 place while seated, twist your ankles around, get up and walk up and
 down the aisle to keep the blood circulating. Personally, my own
 observation is that when the world talks about ““EXERCISE””, they
 really mean circulating the blood.

 Another smart option is a battery operated portable vascular unit
 which fits around each calf providing pressure at 50 mmHG
 (millimeters of mercury). It has no tubing or wires to trip you up on
 your trip! lt is available by RX only and we have it in stock.
 In conclusion, being active helps so much! So standing, lying down,
 and sitting are all potential hazards. What can you do? Whenever you
 sit down, do it with you legs elevated. Always try to elevate your legs
 so that gravity will work with you.

 Oh My I have been sitting too long!!! Got to go!



 Next time: Gravity and You Part 5



 As always, before implementing any of the ideas or suggestions in this article, talk to your doctor.




Gravity and You Part 3

 

Gravity can get you if you are standing a lot, but it can also mess you up if you are lying down too much. Anyone, especially a person over the age of 65, who is bedridden (or otherwise “non-ambulatory,” for more than 3 days) can become a candidate for a blood clot. 

 

This is where pneumatic compression therapy has a place in the prevention of clotting, which can cause a Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT. Doctors refer to these devices as SCD’s which stands for Sequential Compression Device. The compression starts with the multi-chambered pneumatic sleeve inflating at the ankle and moves up toward the knee, and then the cycle starts over in the same sequence. 

 

 The other style of compression is called intermittent. I think of it like a light switch, with two settings … “On” fills the single chambered leg sleeve with air with a compression of about 50mmHg, and “Off” decompresses the air in the wrap. Both means of compression are effective, it just depends upon your doctor’s preference. This type of equipment is available by prescription only, and when we rent it or sell it, we always make certain that the patient does not have CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) or a current DVT. If there is a clot, usually starting in the leg, it can break off and travel to the lungs, heart or brain. No fun at all! We often require that a patient has a Doppler ultrasound study to insure the nonexistence of clots. 

 

If you think that you or a loved one might be at risk for a clot, there is a wonderful website that can assess the risk using a number system. It is a worthwhile assessment presented by the University of Michigan Health System. www.med.umich.edu/clinical/images/vte-risk-assessment.pdf By the way, our sister company, www.VascularPRN.com has a wealth of information for the patient, as well as for the health care professional, and provides a video about the Plexipulse machine, showing the Doppler ultrasound study which is fascinating. 

 

So now we know that standing too long is no good and lying down for extended periods of time is also a hazard. So then how about sitting? NOPE! 

 Next: Gravity and You Part 4

 

As always, before implementing any of the ideas or suggestions in this article, talk to your doctor.

 



Gravity and You Part 2

 

Just as gravity will pull a glass of spilled milk to the center of the earth, it also works on other liquids such as your blood, and pulls your blood toward your ankles where it can pool. 

 

If you have a job where you are standing all day, it is important to flex your ankles and sort of march in place (while no one is looking) to keep the pumps under your feet forcing the blood back up to your heart. Your feet have a bundle of veins in the sole which act as a pump with every step you take.

 

This simple exercise can help alleviate the issue of varicose veins in some cases. I inherited venous insufficiency from a dear grandma who did not have the advantage of the luxuries like compression stockings which are inexpensive and yet effective to a certain degree. In my case, marching in place has helped me only a little, I must admit. 

 

What has helped me is compression stockings. Stocking pressure is measured in mmHg which stands for a millimeters of mercury. Wikipedia defines a millimeter of mercury as a manometric unit of pressure, formerly defined as the extra pressure generated by a column of mercury one millimeter high and now defined as precisely 133.32387415 pascals. Your blood pressure is also measured in mmHg.

 

You only really need to know that the higher the mmHg, the stronger the pressure. 8- 15 mmHg is considered light pressure in the stocking arena. Naturally, the higher the mmHg, the stronger the compression. The strongest compression stockings I have seen are 50-60 mmHg. Believe me, I think it takes a super-hero to be able to don these higher levels. There are, however, devices available to assist when higher pressures are necessary. 

 

If you have been advised by your doctor to use compression stockings, one simple rule is to put them on as soon as you get out of bed to prevent gravity from pulling your blood to your ankles. The next helpful hint for an “easy on” called “donning” is to put them on using plain yellow rubber gloves, or in my case, I use garden gloves with rubber-like finger tips. They provide traction, prevent poking holes in the stockings and the gloves can also be used for “doffing”, a new word for me, which of course means removing the hose. 

 

I never understood why it was said that a rocking chair can improve circulation, until I got into the vascular business and realized that the pumping action of the feet hitting the floor in a rhythmic pattern keeps the blood from pooling and helps the blood move up the leg.

 

As we get older the calf muscles also get weaker and lose their ability to pump as hard as they once did. So ROCK ON baby!

 

Next week Gravity and You Part 3

 

As always, before implementing any of the suggestions or ideas in this article, talk to your doctor.





Gravity and You Part 1

I never hear much talk about gravity. When was the last time you used the word “gravity” in a sentence? Gravity is such a powerful force and a LAW which is obeyed by us all: young, old, rich, poor, and actually the entire planet, including the Queen of England!

 

Why are we not giving it more attention as it relates to our bodies? Well, it is tasteless, odorless, untouchable and above all invisible. But sometimes, what you can’t see CAN hurt you. We shall be focusing our attention on gravity for the next several weeks to examine ways to work with gravity, an inevitable force.

 

As it relates to braces starting from the top: head braces, neck braces, shoulder braces, arm braces, elbow braces, finger braces, leg and knee braces, ankle braces, and foot braces, it is important to take gravity into consideration. If we talk about the knee, I have been advised to place the brace slightly higher - about half an inch to account for the gravitational pull. 

As the day wears on, the brace will slide closer to the center of the earth. Therefore, it is a good idea to take it off and readjust it during the day. While you are at it, you should examine your skin and look for pressure points. For our patients who are using pneumatic compression therapy, it is protocol for the nurse to check the skin on a regular basis during the day. If there is evidence of pressure sores, consult your doctor immediately. The brace should be snug but NOT tight.

 

If you are skeptical about the gravitational force on your own body, try this experiment. While your right arm is hanging down with your fingers pointed to the center of the earth, raise your left arm with your fingers pointed toward the sky for two minutes. After two minutes compare both hands and notice that your right hand is more pink than the hand which has had the gravitational pull force blood to the center of the earth! 

 

 Next time...Gravity and You Part 2

 

As always before implementing any ideas or suggestions in this article, talk to your doctor.


Gravity and You Part 2

Just as gravity will pull a glass of spilled milk to the center of the earth, it also works on other liquids such as your blood, and pulls your blood toward your ankles where it can pool.

If you have a job where you are standing all day, it is important to flex your ankles and sort of march in place (while no one is looking) to keep the pumps under your feet forcing the blood back up to your heart. Your feet have a bundle of veins in the sole which act as a pump with every step you take.

This simple exercise can help alleviate the issue of varicose veins in some cases. I inherited venous insufficiency from a dear grandma who did not have the advantage of the luxuries like compression stockings which are inexpensive and yet effective to a certain degree. In my case, marching in place has helped me only a little, I must admit.

What has helped me is compression stockings. Stocking pressure is measured in mmHg which stands for a millimeters of mercury. Wikipedia defines a millimeter of mercury as a manometric unit of pressure, formerly defined as the extra pressure generated by a column of mercury one millimeter high and now defined as precisely 133.32387415 pascals. Your blood pressure is also measured in mmHg.

You only really need to know that the higher the mmHg, the stronger the pressure. 8- 15 mmHg is considered light pressure in the stocking arena. Naturally, the higher the mmHg, the stronger the compression. The strongest compression stockings I have seen are 50-60 mmHg. Believe me, I think it takes a super-hero to be able to don these higher levels. There are, however, devices available to assist when higher pressures are necessary.

If you have been advised by your doctor to use compression stockings, one simple rule is to put them on as soon as you get out of bed to prevent gravity from pulling your blood to your ankles. The next helpful hint for an “easy on” called “donning” is to put them on using plain yellow rubber gloves, or in my case, I use garden gloves with rubber-like finger tips. They provide traction, prevent poking holes in the stockings and the gloves can also be used for “doffing”, a new word for me, which of course means removing the hose.

I never understood why it was said that a rocking chair can improve circulation, until I got into the vascular business and realized that the pumping action of the feet hitting the floor in a rhythmic pattern keeps the blood from pooling and helps the blood move up the leg.

As we get older the calf muscles also get weaker and lose their ability to pump as hard as they once did. So ROCK ON baby!

Next week Gravity and You Part 3

As always, before implementing any of the suggestions or ideas in this article, talk to your doctor.

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