Healthy, Sexy Legs

February 2019

By Christine Cheng, R.Ph. and Fred Cheng, R.Ph.

Sometimes sexy legs are not just about the skin seen on the outside. Helping keep our blood vessels healthy and working properly on the inside can keep your legs looking slim and of a healthy colouring from the outside. Compression therapy is a well-known method of supporting the natural flow of blood and can be used in conjunction with supplements, which can improve the health of your blood vessels.

The most common forms of compression therapy are stockings, whether they are knee-high, thigh-high or pantyhose. These stockings are specially designed to improve blood flow from the lower parts of the body back to the heart via the use of graduated compression, i.e., the pressure or compression felt at the ankle is greater than that felt higher up in the stocking. Over-the-counter compression stockings come in two levels of compression: 8-15mmHg and 15-20mmHg. These lower levels of compression can benefit those whose feet feel tired at the end of the day and/or those who spend a lot of time sitting and want to prevent future problems. These lower levels of compression do not require a prescription from the doctor and are beneficial for introducing one’s legs to compression stockings. For those who spend a lot of time on their feet (e.g., nurses, pharmacists, flight attendants, traffic control persons, bank tellers, construction workers, etc) and notice that their feet are a little bit swollen at the end of the day may benefit from higher levels of compression. Pregnant women who experience swelling in the ankles and legs may find compression stockings very useful. Any compression above 20mmHg requires a prescription from the doctor as the actual need and then the level of compression should be properly assessed. Keep in mind that higher levels of compression require a proper fitting by a certified fitter who can also help you choose from the growing styles and fabrics that are available.  

There are many natural supplements that can benefit venous health.  A few common ones include VEINSMART® by Lorna Vanderhaeghe, CIRCUVEIN® by Flora Health, and WOBENZYM®N.  They work through different mechanisms so they can be used together. Both VEINSMART® and CIRCUVEIN® are combinations of herbal astringents, including diosmin, horse chestnut, butcher’s broom, and hesperidin which work together to help tighten the veins in your body to help return blood to the heart.   WOBENZYM®  N is a collection of enzymes that can reduce inflammation and swelling as well as improve blood properties for enhanced flow throughout the circulatory system.  An interesting tidbit about all these products is that they can also benefit hemorrhoid sufferers. This is evident in that the same ingredients in CIRCUVEIN® are also sold under the tradename, HEMORAID®, which is indicated to help with the symptoms of hemorrhoids. In a class of its own is PYCNOGENOL ™, an extract of maritime Pine bark that has been shown to be as effective as compression stockings for reducing low levels of edema. It works by increasing the strength of capillary walls so that fluid cannot “leak” into the tissues, which would otherwise result in swelling or edema.

Due to their therapeutic nature, it may be beneficial to speak with your doctor or pharmacist regarding compression products as well as the supplements mentioned above to make sure you are using these products safely and effectively. Also keep in mind that extended medical coverage may apply to compression products that offer a compression of 20mmHg or greater if they are prescribed by a physician.

***All information posted and shared by Cloverdale Pharmasave is offered to provide information and choices regarding nutritional support for various health concerns, none of which is intended to be a treatment protocol for any disease state. The information does not replace seeking professional advice from your physician. Consult your health care practitioner before taking dietary supplements.

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