Summer is moving along, and so are my legs. Thanks to healthy veins.

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EVLT was a great experience, as I mentioned in May. I have already noticed a difference in leg cramping (no more!) and a decrease in spider veins. The only remnance left from the procedure is a slight tenderness and slightly numbing sensation up my left inner thigh. That may take another 6-9 months to go away, but overall, I am really pleased with my progress.

The next step in my vein care plan was medical sclerotherapy. I have had cosmetic sclerotherapy before, much to my disappointment, so I was eager to see what medical sclerotherapy was all about — the next level version, where a stronger liquid agent is injected into the spider vein, causing the vein walls to swell, stick together and seal shut. The unsightly and unwanted veins then die off and your body absorbs them over time.

Dr. Wang and his team at Charlotte Radiology Vein Centers rock! Not only did the procedures go smoothly, the results have been amazing. Only one leg is done at a time, and I get why. One leg is a lot and there is some pain involved. And then there's the swelling and bruising afterwards. My appointments were scheduled 3 weeks apart, wearing a compression stocking for 7 days after each procedure. Single compression stockings are critical. Trust me, I did the whole compresssion hose thing before and it was miserable. The compression stockings in addition to keeping my legs covered with pants, jeans or long dresses and skirts, wasn't as bad as I anticipated. Even on a hot, sticky lacrosse field.

What does it feel like? Well, like fire ants running through your veins. Though that feeling doesn't last long. I did need decompression on both legs (squeezing/releasing the blood from the dead veins) a few weeks after each sclerotherapy treatment. It doesn't hurt and it provided much relief.

Now that I am almost 8 weeks out from the medical sclerotherapy treatments, I can really see a difference in the appearance of my legs. Initially, 3 treatments per leg were scheduled. However, I only needed one. I may choose to get cosmetic sclerotherapy on the areas around my ankles in the fall, but overall, I am thrilled with what I am feeling and seeing. It is important to note, these procedures rid of existing spider veins but do not necessarily prevent future spider veins from popping up.

If you are curious about vein treatment options, I strongly encourage you to consult with Dr. Wang. It has been a far easier process than anticipated. And besides, I fell in love with the entire staff right out of the gate!

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These may not be my legs this summer. However, next year, watch out!

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My timing couldn't be worse. Yet, I am thrilled to finally approach vein health the right way. As the next step in my journey to rid of my unsightly spider veins and treat the underlying, and at times painful, cause, I received EVLT (endovenous laser treatment) a few weeks ago.

Impressed doesn't begin to describe how I feel about Dr. Wang and his phenomenal team at Charlotte Radiology Vein Centers. The procedure itself was a breeze. And quite fascinating! Honestly, the most difficult part was in the planning — lining up a driver and getting my mind wrapped around the 'no workouts for two weeks' rule.

I find it's better not knowing what you're in for. As if you're just along for the ride. Somehow this is calming to me. Prior to the procedure, I opted for no sedation, as I didn't want to be down for the day. The team prepped me, which is quite the set up, and probably takes longer than the actual procedure. I received a stress ball (I will have you know I didn't squeeze it once) and I got to pick the music in the room. I was shocked to learn that I was the first patient to pick Christian music. The best part, everyone was singing along (warmed my heart). Side note: it's nearly impossible to sing laying down.

Dr. Wang started the procedure by numbing the injection site (inside knee). A catheter was inserted in and up the vein. I was then injected with Lidocaine along the vein from the injection site to the groin area. A thin laser was inserted into the catheter and pulled down the saphenous vein to the injection site, which took about 3 minutes. I did not anticipate the burning smell. I liken it to the smell of shaving off part of a tooth during dental work. Yikers! And they have to smell that everyday.

With all that said, no pain. And the fun that was had in the room! We talked and laughed the entire time. It made me want to join their team! It was awesome. Their level of knowledge goes beyond expectation, and they are so compassionate and nurturing.

It wasn't until a week later that I experienced any pain, which is normal. And I had the expected bruises from the injection site up to the groin area. I have to admit, I totally thought I would sneak in a Pure Barre workout by the end of week one. However, I didn't even want to attempt it. I walked a ton every day instead. Once I was cleared, I resumed my workout regimen, with the exception of running (I will slowly add that back in as I get through my sclerotherapy sessions).

If you have vein issues or have been contemplating EVLT, put your trust in Charlotte Radiology Vein Centers. Consider scheduling a consultation with Dr. Wang to get the information you need to make an informed decision.

In the meantime, stay tuned for my upcoming articles on sclerotherapy.

Spider veins. I have them. I despise them.

So much so, that over 10 years ago I had several skin laser sessions done. And just 2 years ago, I had two sclerotherapy sessions. All this to no avail.

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I am like many of you. Wanting that quick fix to rid of hideous spider veins. However, in order to truly address vein health, you have to get to the root of the problem or the problem will continue to persist. That is exactly why my previous vein treatments did not work. They only focused on the surface. 

So what’s the right way to approach painful, unsightly veins? I highly recommend scheduling a consultation with Charlotte Radiology Vein Centers like I did. You will gain a full understanding of your particular vein situation and how to address it. And education is key.

Vein health is important to understand. Whether you have varicose veins or spider veins — right of passage or not — they are a drag. They can cause aching or cramping in the legs. The affected areas may throb, burn, tingle or feel heavy. Severely inflamed veins can be tender to the touch and may reduce circulation.

Varicose veins are the bulging, bluish cords running just beneath the surface of your skin. They almost always affect legs and feet. Spider veins are small, twisted blood vessels that are visible through the skin. They may be red, purple or blue and most often appear on the legs or face. They take their name from their striking spiderweb pattern.

How does this happen in the first place? Healthy veins carry blood to the heart through a series of one-way valves. These valves allow blood to flow in the right direction from superficial veins to deeper veins and to the heart. The vessels are surrounded by muscles which contract and help pump blood to the heart. Normally, the veins have a one-way valve to prevent backflow. However, problems with the valves, muscles or blood itself can allow blood to pool inside the vein. As blood pools within the vein, pressure builds and the vessel wall weakens. As a result, the vein tends to bulge and twist. Depending on the size of the blood vessel and extent of swelling, the result is a spider vein or varicose vein.

What an eye-opening experience it has been consulting with Charlotte Radiology. The staff is absolutely wonderful — a happy group of professionals that make you feel at home. They do an excellent job of explaining what they see and how that relates to your symptoms, in addition to treatment options. It was definitely the right path to go down. Everything I learned made sense, too. Especially why the aforementioned treatments never worked.

After my consultation, an ultrasound was scheduled and performed. It was determined that 5 veins (3 in one leg, 2 in the other) are affected, and the cause for one of my hot spots — a bruise-looking clump of spider veins at the back side of my knee that I’ve had since 7th grade. My previous treatments never worked because the feeder vein is the culprit. Oh, how I wish I would’ve known this years ago! 

My treatment will consist of compression stockings (before and after treatments), endovenous laser treatment (EVLT) and, once the veins are properly treated, sclerotherapy. Endovenous Laser Treatment is a quick, minimally invasive laser procedure for patients that has shown a 98% success rate. EVLT uses laser energy delivered in a thin fiber-optic probe to treat the underlying cause of the affected veins. Essentially, the laser goes inside your vein to eradicate the problem.

As I begin my journey to healthy veins and healthy legs, I am relieved to know that I am headed in the right direction. The freedom to wear shorts is finally in sight!

 

We are mineral deficient. And the main culprit in this disturbing nutritional trend is soil depletion.

Unfortunately, modern agricultural methods have stripped increasing amounts of nutrients from the soil in which the food we eat grows. Worse yet, each successive generation of fast-growing, pest-resistant produce is truly less good for you than the one before (*Scientific American).

The key to healthier produce is healthier soil. That's why buying organic is important. However, that may not be enough. To ensure my body absorbs the nutrients it needs, I take Dr. John Gray's Mars Venus Super Minerals. This vitamin offers a large amount of minerals for healthy brain chemistry, preserving memory and helping you feel happier each day. It contains potassium, calcium, Vitamin D3, magnesium, zinc, chromium, lithium, boron, ginger root powder, apple cider vinegar powder and Ionic AlfalfaTM, and is delivered directly into my cells. Coupled with other important supplements, I feel confident my ever-so-boring annual doctor checkups will continue to be boring. Which, as my doctor says, is actually quite perfect.

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While item is shown bundled with other products from Dr. John Gray, I am happy to order the single bottle of Super Minerals for you if you like.

Don't be jealous. My cortisol levels rock. All thanks to the addition of this powerhouse adaptogen.

When we are under any sort of pressure, we release cortisol, often called the primary stress hormone. Most people think of cortisol as a bad thing, contributing to acne, weight gain or high blood pressure. However, we can't live without it. It helps keep us motivated, awake and responsive to our environment. The danger lies in abnormally high circulating cortisol levels. Chronic, high cortisol production is tied to symptoms and ailments including weight gain, anxiety, sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances and fertility problems, among others. Thank goodness there are natural ways to get your cortisol levels in check. Adaptogen herbs are known to lower cortisol and reduce inflammation in the body, resulting in an energized and happy you.

Ionix Supreme is a nutrient-rich herbal tonic infused with natural vitamins, minerals and plant-based adaptogens, perfect for combating the effects of stress and fatigue. This herbal supplement energizes cells, helps neutralize free radicals, buffers the body from environmental toxins and stress and supports clarity and focus — with no artificial stimulants.

Daily grind — what's that?

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