Real Men Wear Pink Compression Socks

We love hearing from our customers! We recently had a customer send us feedback on our vast selection of compression socks and customer service experience. Bruce was very excited to learn how many different styles and colors there are to choose from when purchasing compression stockings. After 25 years of wearing basic black, navy, brown and white compression socks, Bruce was thrilled to find more stylish options with the medical compression he needs.

Bruce tried out kneehigh Sockwell compression socks and was just as happy with the look as he was the feel of them. Before finding these stylish socks, Bruce would wear two pairs of socks, one for support, and one on top for fashion, and would have to keep adjusting them from slipping down. Now there’s no need. Sockwell compression socks are available in a variety of colors and styles, so you can always find the look you want.

“The look is just great, just that bit of stripe adds the fashion that I need. No more need for wearing 2 pairs of socks, no more pulling up socks, and, the [Sockwell] socks pull on so easy. The Sockwell support socks fit so nice that you don’t feel like you have the ugly support hose on.”

On top of the large selection available, Bruce was very happy with the customer service he received. He says the order shipped fast and the customer service representative was knowledgeable in the latest fashion trends, and also helped assist him in determining the correct size. They even gave him a style tip!

“The representative had the expertise to help with the right size and the latest styles and yes, I was talked into PINK knee high support socks, as I was told only real men wear PINK.”

Thank you, Bruce, for the great feedback. We take great pride in our excellent customer service and are always happy to help our customers. If you’re looking for more fashionable options, or want to share your own feedback, just give us a call at 1-877-545-8585, or send us an email with any questions or comments you may have. We are always happy to hear from you!

 

Compression Stockings For Large Legs

If you have large legs finding compression stockings that fit well can be a challenge.  For people with cone shaped legs, rolling and sliding is often a problem.  There are solutions for both of these issues.

Large or Thick Legs

Most manufacturers make wide-calf styles designed for customers with larger legs.

The largest knee high available is the Sigvaris Comfort PLUS which comes in 20-30 mmHg and 30-40 mmHg. The X-Large size in this product can fit a calf up to 28″ around and they come in short and long lengths.

Therafirm Core-Spun products are a great option for larger legs. Core-Spun Knee High Socks are available for men and women. The largest size will accommodate a 17 inch ankle with up to a 25.5 inch calf. Core-Spun Thigh Highs are now available in sizes up to XXXL. They will fit an ankle up to 19″ in circumference, and a thigh up to 39.5″. Core-Spun Thigh Highs are designed for men and women, come in three compression levels and two colors: black and white. Sizes XL-XXXL are offered in the 15-20 and 20-30mmHg compressions only. You can see where you’d fit on the size chart below:

Allegro Surgical Weight Knee Highs 20-30mmHg are available in Wide-Calf sizes that fit a calf circumference up to 26 inches and an ankle up to 15.5 inches. The Surgical Thigh High and Allegro Sheer Thigh Highs are sized up to XXX-Large to fit a 15.5 inch ankle and 36 inch thigh. A customer who purchased the Surgical Weight Knee highs said, “This product fit perfectly and I have really big calves… not too tight – comfortable. Wore them all day!” The Allegro products are a great, affordable option for most customers.

Mediven Extra-Wide Calf sizes are available in Medi PlusMedi Comfort,  Mediven for MenMedi Assure and Mediven Forte, 20-30 mmHg and higher. Medi Extra-Wide calf sizes vary by size, so be sure to check the specific size chart for the stocking you want.

Juzo has begun carrying a line of Varin Max products designed for larger legs. Size V will fit an ankle up to 14 inches, a calf up to 26 inches and a thigh up to 37 inches. The Max line is available in 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg in knee highs and thigh highs.

Jobst Full-Calf sizes are designed to fit a calf circumference of 18-24 inches and an ankle up to 14 inches. These sizes are available in Jobst for Men CasualJobst ActiveWearJobst Relief, and Jobst UltraSheer in 15-20, 20-30, and 30-40mmHg. Full-Calf sizes are available in Jobst Opaque 20-30mmHg and higher.

Cone Shaped Legs

When I first heard this term, I thought, “Well, nearly everyone has a cone-shaped leg – the ankle is always smaller than the thigh.” But, that is not the shape we’re speaking of when it comes to socks and stockings. When you measure your legs, most people will find that their knee circumference is smaller than the widest point of the calf. In a cone-shaped leg, the measurements do not decrease at any point as you move up the leg – the calf and knee are about the same measurement.

If your leg is cone-shaped, compression knee highs have a tendency to roll or slide. A sticky silicone top-band will typically solve this problem. Knee highs with silicone top-bands are available in 15-20, 20-30 and 30-40 mmHg.

Both Jobst and Mediven have launched a new design of the silicone top band where they use sticky silicone fibers that are woven through the top band. This creates a more gentle hold against the skin. The Mediven product is called Vitality and Jobst is called SoftFit.

If you still have difficulty keeping the silicone top band in place, using a light adhesive at the band is a great option. It Stays is a water-soluble skin glue that is hypo-allergenic and safe for all compression stockings. It’s available in a 2oz roll-on bottle. A dab or two of It Stays will keep your knee highs and thigh highs up all day.

Father’s Day Gift Guide + Giveaway!

With Father’s Day right around the corner, we have the ultimate gift guide for last minute shoppers, plus a chance to win him a gift! Dad’s can be difficult to shop for, but we searched the internet to find some gifts that every dad will love and use! Plus, one lucky winner will bring home a BrightLife Direct gift card for their dad this Father’s Day – giveaway details & entry below.

Father's Day Gift Guide

Instead of going out for dinner, prepare a nice barbecue for your dad this Father’s Day. Pick up his favorite snacks, grill some burgers, and sit back and relax. If your dad is a sports enthusiast, throw around the football or play some backyard baseball. If you really want to surprise him, pick up some tickets to see his favorite sports team, or head over to see that movie he’s been talking about.

When it comes to getting presents, for my dad I always find my mind blanking. I want to get him something that I know he will love and use. Every dad always tells you it’s the thought that counts, but every now and then it’s nice to get him a gift that “wows” even him! For the fitness-friendly dad, pick him up some accessories for his next game or workout, like a golf bag or weightlifting gloves. You can even cheer him on from the sidelines in a customized beach chair.

SIGVARIS MICROFIBER SHADESFor the dapper dad, think of Mad Men’s Donald Draper, and ask yourself what he would like for Father’s Day. If your dad has a beard, introduce him to beard oil or conditioner – it’s all the rage in the beard community these days. No beard? No problem. The Art of Shaving has you covered on travel accessories, aftershave and all the shaving essentials your dad could want. When it comes to grooming, you can’t really go wrong and your dad will appreciate one less stop on his list of errands!

Let’s face it. All dads can use a watch. Whether it’s to be on time to that board meeting or to pick the kids up at school, time is of the essence. If your dad frequently says “if you’re not five minutes early, you’re late,” a watch is a great present for him. Or on the other hand, if your dad tends to run a little late, a watch is a perfect Father’s Day gift to help him keep track of time. You can even get a watch with a built-in GPS and fitness tracker if your dad is focused on being healthy or active. Another practical gift he’s sure to love is a new wallet. Hopefully your dad isn’t rocking the George Costanza wallet from Seinfeld, but if he is, definitely do him a favor and help him get organized. He will be very thankful!

Another thing every dad will be thankful for? Compression socks! If your dad has a bold style, pick him out a pair of Sigvaris Microfiber Shades compression socks. Available in four striped colors and two new shades – heather navy and heather graphite, these socks provide 15-20 mmHg compression to prevent fatigue and swelling while energizing legs. Microfiber is moisture-wicking, so it will keep him cool and dry. These socks are great to wear while exercising, or afterwards to promote muscle recovery.
Sigvaris Shades compression socks in pink  sigvaris shades compression socks in onyx  sigvaris shades compression socks in graphite heather  sigvaris shades compression socks in graphite  sigvaris shades compression socks in navy heather  sigvaris shades compression socks in navy

Give your dad the gift of comfort. The Allegro Milk Socks aren’t your average compression socks. These socks are ridiculously soft and come in a variety of solid colors to pair with suits or jeans. The Milk Socks provide 15-20 mmHg of compression for travel and everyday wear. If your dad sits at a desk all day or is standing for long periods of time, these socks will prevent his legs and feet from being sore and tired at the end of the day.
milk sock in black  milk sock in navy  milk sock in white  milk sock in grey

Lastly, don’t forget a personal touch. A handmade card or nice picture frame goes a long way. Handmade gifts are always worth more than any present. A nice dinner at home, swapping old stories and spending some time together will make a memorable Father’s Day. Plus, it will give him a chance to reminisce about the “good ol’ days.”

And finally, the part you’ve been waiting for – enter below to win a $50 gift card for Father’s Day! Share the giveaway on social media or leave a comment on this blog post to win. The winner will be announced on Friday so you can surprise your dad with a gift card on Sunday. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shop These Gifts For Father’s Day:

Must-Have Socks of 2015: Best Sellers

Allegro_horiz_generalWith the end of the year rapidly approaching, it’s time to take a look at our customer favorites this year. Allegro continues to be our most popular brand – with consistently great prices and styles, it’s hard for customers to pass up! Jobst, Medi, Sigvaris and Juzo also make appearances in our best-sellers list.

Check out our best selling socks, armsleeves and braces below!

Best Selling Sheer Compression Lines

  1. Allegro Essential Sheers
  2. Jobst UltraSheer
  3. Medi Sheer & Soft

Best Selling 20-30 mmHg Compression Socks

  1. Allegro Essential – Unisex Cotton Compression Sock 20-30mmHg – # 111
  2. Allegro Essential – Mens Ribbed Support Socks 20-30mmHg – # 102
  3. Allegro Surgical Knee High 20-30 mmHg – # 200/201
  4. Jobst Relief Knee Highs 20-30 mmHg
  5. Medi Assure Knee High 20-30 mmHg

Best Selling Compression Accessory

  1. It Stays – Body Adhesive
  2. Hosiery Mate Revitalizing Washing Solution
  3. Sigvaris Ridged Donning Gloves

Best Selling Diabetic Socks

  1. Jobst Sensifoot
  2. SmartKnit Seamless Diabetic Socks
  3. Juzo 5760 Silver Sole Socks

Best Selling Lymphedema Armsleeves

  1. Jobst Bella Lite Armsleeves
  2. Juzo Soft Armsleeves
  3. Juzo Varin Armsleeves
  4. Mediven Harmony
  5. LympheDivas Stylish Armsleeves

Best Selling Athletic Compression Socks

  1. Allegro Athletic Support Sock in 15-20 and 20-30 mmHg
  2. Allegro Athletic Recovery Sock #387 (15-20mmHg)
  3. Sigvaris Merino Outdoor Sock in 15-20 and 20-30 mmHg
  4. Jobst Active Socks
  5. Sigvaris 401 Athletic Recovery Socks

Best Selling Knee Braces and Supports

  1. Medi Seamless Knit Knee Support
  2. Therall Joint Warming Knee Support
  3. Solidea Silver Compression Knee Support

What were your favorite products from 2015?

Holiday Gift Guide 2015!

It’s that time of year again! With Christmas right around the corner, here are some ideas to start crossing people off of your list. Let’s start with the guys.

Holiday Gift Guide For Men!

If you’re drawing a blank on what to get your male friends and family members, think about useful and functional presents. Guys tend to like practical gifts, so look for something they can use often. H&M has a lot of great shirts and jackets at great prices right now. You could also look for a nice bag or wallet to keep his things organized. If your man tends to run on the late side, get him a watch as a funny way to help him keep track of the time.

Now that “No-Shave November” is over, it’s time to break out the razor! Celebrate by getting him a nice grooming set. You can find these at Target, Walmart or your local mall. Another great must-have item this season is a comfy, warm hat. They even make hats with speakers in them now!

Compression socks are great for any guy who travels, exercises or for someone who sits or stands for long periods of time. They help to reduce leg fatigue and blood clots, which is important to keep him happy and healthy. The socks shown above are made by Sockwell. This brand is great for casual wear. Compression socks are available in tons of styles, fabrics and colors for any occasion. Comfort is everything these days, so make sure he has a comfortable pair of boots during the winter months!

Get the look:

1. H&M Parka / 2. H&M Shirt / 3. H&M Button Down Shirt / 4. Target Gift Card / 5. Beats Headphones / 6. Slouchy Hat / 7. August Steiner Stainless Steel Watch / 8. Sockwell Men’s Circulator Stripe 15-20mmHg Compression Sock / 9. H&M Leather Messenger Bag / 10. H&M Boots / 11. Buxton Men’s Grooming Set

 

If the men on your shopping list love technology or STAR WARS, here are some of our favorite picks:

Gifts for the Techy

If you have friends or family who are anxiously awaiting the new Star Wars movie, get them a Darth Vader toaster, Death Star cutting board or an R2D2 USB Flash Drive. For the cold commute to work this winter, pick him up a pair of driving gloves or a scarf. You can’t go wrong with sunglasses – they are a necessity in any season. Compression socks are also a must to keep his legs energized all day long and eliminate the feeling of tired, achy legs. Those commutes can be pretty lengthy and let’s face it – nobody likes cramps!

For your man on the go, a portable charger is a great idea so he can charge his phone or any other USB-charging device from anywhere. You can also pick him up a briefcase or backpack to carry around his new gadgets! If you’re looking for some other technology gift ideas, try a nice camera for that vacation you’ve been hinting at, wireless bluetooth speakers or an fitness armband to hold his phone while working out.

Get the look:

 

Now for the ladies. If you are completely stumped on what to get the special woman in your life, try some spa-inspired gifts. Here are our favorite products to help her relax after a long day.

Gifts for Her

For your leading lady, pamper her with the beauty essentials – makeup, nail polish, body lotion, bubble bath and chapstick. These gifts are great for her friends too! A lot of stores offer gift baskets with different kinds of foods and small items that are tailored towards different interests. These are easy last minute gifts as well.

For a more sentimental gift, pick out a picture frame and put an image of your favorite memory with her in it. Or, you can fill the frame with a picture of a future trip to take together. You can even get her a passport case to go with it! You can also pick up a nicely scented candle and dinner for a relaxing evening at home.

Cold weather items like scarves, hats and gloves are nice generic but meaningful gifts. To me, a great gift is something people will actually use and not just shove to the back of their closet. For women who frequently work out, travel, or for those who sit or stand for long periods of time at work, compression socks are a must. The Sockwell Women’s Chevron Compression Socks shown above increase circulation to prevent varicose veins and spider veins. Plus, they make her legs feel amazing, even after a long day on her feet. Finally, Sockwell provides a fashionable and functional solution to the health and beauty dilemma.

Lastly – Remember, you can never go wrong with jewelry.

Get the look:

 

SHOP TRAVEL SOCKS

 

Compression Socks for Arthritis

Arthritis causes pain, swelling, stiffness and limited range of motion. There are hundreds of different types of arthritis that can affect men and women of all ages. Here are some tips for managing arthritis and some products that will help prevent and sooth the pain.

First things first, comfortable shoes are a must. Forget the cute flats with the pointy toes and ditch the heels for shoes with arch support. Invest in shoes that provide shock absorption and stability to keep your ankles from rolling. Shoes with an open toe box help to alleviate pressure. You can also use shoe inserts for comfort and protection. If you have arthritis in your ankles, start wearing shoes that protect your heel and prevent you from rolling your foot inward.

A lot of the time, injury can be a factor in developing arthritis. When you sprain your ankle, the ligaments are stretched. Depending on how bad the strain is, the ligament fibers can be damaged or even completely torn. Ankle fractures may also contribute to arthritis. To prevent ankle pain and injury, take it easy instead of pushing yourself. If you are injured, make sure to rest, apply ice, keep the limb elevated and wear compression socks to reduce swelling. If you do not experience swelling, apply heat to relieve soreness.

Wear ankle braces or compression socks to reduce ankle swelling, joint stiffness and pain. If you have swollen, weak or injured ankles, try wearing an ankle brace or wrap. Choose from top of the line ankle braces and wraps by manufacturers like Therafirm, Juzo, Mediven, Solidea and more to find the best product for your condition. If your arthritis makes it hard for you to get your compression stockings on, consider trying the Sigvaris Select Comfort line. These socks are designed for easy donning, which is ideal for those with arthritis or limited hand strength. Sigvaris Select Comfort includes knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose for men and women in 20-30mmHg and 30-40mmHg compression levels. You can also use the Jobst Stocking Donner to get your socks on without the hassle. This is ideal for those who have a hard time bending at the waist or have a hard time getting the sock on their foot. If you have arthritis in other areas of the body, here are some other awesome products for all types of arthritis. The Therall products are very popular because they use heat to provide soothing relief to painful areas.

Try to walk on flat, even ground instead of gravel or sand to avoid ankle pain or injuries. When you are sitting down, keep your feet flat or use a foot rest. Sitting with your feet pointed behind you or crossing them is bad for your ankles because it puts pressure on them, which can cause stiffness and discomfort. It is important to strengthen your ankles with exercises. Use a resistance band to strengthen your shin and foot muscles, which support your ankles for stability. You can also go for a swim to strengthen your ankle muscles without experiencing as much pain. You can also try The Foot Gym, which incorporates seven exercises in one device for foot, ankle and calf strengthening and rehabilitation. This clever device is designed to help you achieve stronger and more stable feet and ankles.

Resources

Understanding Arthritis

14 Foot Health Tips

Look Up Arthritis Symtoms By Body Part

Arthritis & Your Feet

Products

Shoe Inserts, Foot Braces & Supports

Ankle Braces & Supports

Other Arthritis Products

The Foot Gym

Jobst Stocking Donner

Sigvaris Select Comfort Line – Men & Women

Diabetic Socks

Dr. Comfort Shoes

Stop Snoring and Start Wearing Compression Socks

Did you know that there are a few simple things you can do to stop snoring loudly at night? It’s as easy as wearing compression socks during the day, or changing the position you typically sleep in. If you’re sick and tired of snoring and keeping your loved ones awake, here are some tips to help you sleep better, without modifying your routine much.

Although snoring is a somewhat normal occurrence, your body is trying to tell you something. Most people don’t recognize the symptoms of a sleeping disorder early on to be able to treat it properly. If you often snore loudly when you sleep, it can be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that occurs when you stop and start breathing while you rest. This may happen hundreds of times a night and can last for 10-20 seconds each time. This prevents you from getting a good night’s sleep, which is why you feel slow or tired the next day, no matter how long you slept the night before.

Some of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, irregular breathing while sleeping, morning headaches, memory or learning problems, waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat, being unable to concentrate, and feeling tired or have trouble staying awake during the day. Sleep apnea may also be the reason why you feel depressed, irritable or experience mood swings. It is important to understand the difference between snoring and a sleeping disorder to make sure there isn’t a serious problem going on. Sleep apnea can cause diabetes, heart disease, weight gain and even increase your risk of a stroke if left untreated.

Whether you have a sleeping disorder or if you are just a loud snorer, there are tons of things you can do to get a better night’s sleep. Start by wearing compression socks during the day. Those with chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) wear compression socks to reduce the how much fluid builds up in their legs during the day. At night, this fluid moves into the neck area, which can lead to sleep apnea and snoring. If you have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom a lot, wearing compression socks will also help to reduce this. Compression stockings are also great to energize tired, achy legs, reduce swelling, improve blood flow and to wear while traveling or exercising. Choose from tons of everyday and dress styles in knee highs, thigh highs and pantyhose options. After a long day of being on your feet, you will love how great your legs feel.

“The Toronto study found that by the end of two weeks, patients with CVI who used compression stockings cut the number of apnea episodes in half while patients who didn’t use the socks showed no change.”

Some quick and easy things you can do to stop snoring is to use a humidifier when you sleep, take a shower or change your sleeping position. Taking a shower helps to open your nasal passages, which eliminates a stuffy nose and helps you breath better. Dry air can lead to snoring, so try using a humidifier to cut down on snoring. One of the best solutions to stop snoring is to change how you sleep.  Start sleeping on your side instead of your back. When you lay on your back it makes it harder to breathe as the airway narrows, which may be the source of your snoring. Use nasal spray before you go to bed to keep your nasal passages open so you can breathe better at night.

A couple of other things you can do for a more long-term solution are to stop smoking and maintaining a healthy weight. Another key factor is to keep a clean house because dust often stirs up allergies and can also lead to snoring. Talk to your doctor to find the best sleeping solution for you. Over 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, and most aren’t even aware of it. For more information, check out the resources below.

Resources

What Is Sleep Apnea?

American Sleep Apnea Association

BrightLife Direct – Compression Socks

Click Here If You Are New To Compression

Men’s Health: The No-Snore Sleep Solution

Blog: Sleep Through The Night With Compression Socks

National Lymphedema Network #LymphChat on CDT

Yesterday, the National Lymphedema Network (NLN) hosted its first ever #LymphChat on Twitter to discuss treatment and surgical options for people with lymphedema. Special guests Nicole Stout and Dr. Jay Granzow led the discussion covering Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), compression garments and other treatment options. Nicole Stout is a lymphedema therapist, researcher and NLN board member. Dr. Jay Granzow is a microsurgeon who specializes in the surgical treatment of lymphedema, including Lymphatic Venous Anastomosis (LVA), Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer (VLNT), Suction-Assisted Protein Lipectomy (SAPL) and more. This chat provided great insight as people shared their lymphedema experiences, questions and management tips.

The first topic covered the components of Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT), which is the most common non-invasive lymphedema treatment. CDT is the first thing that the National Lymphedema Network recommends. Overall, a lot of people found CDT to be effective but difficult. Nicole Stout noted that using compression garments and taking good care of yourself can reduce the number of sessions needed. “CDT has many components and requires intervention from a skilled therapist. After treatment, patients keep up with CDT on their own,” she added. Complete Decongestive Therapy has four components: Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD), compression bandaging, skin care and exercise.

Manual Lymph Drainage is a big part of lymphedema care. It is very time consuming, but can make patients feel a lot better. Depending on the patient, some do their MLD routinely, others use pumps at home, and some don’t practice MLD at all. Using compression garments and pump therapy are very beneficial, as well as practicing deep breathing to help stimulate the lymphatic system. Check out this video on manual lymphatic drainage for more information. Remember to stay hydrated before and after MLD to avoid feeling sick or tired.

There are a lot of compression options you can use to manage lymphedema, including elastic/day garments, bandages and bandage alternatives. One #LymphChat participant shared that a custom Juzo armsleeve and glove work well during the day, and wears the JoViPak armsleeve at night. Compression armsleeves help to prevent and treat lymphedema in the arm, but brands like Juzo, JoViPak, and Solaris offer compression garments to treat lymphedema in other body parts – including the legs and trunk area. BrightLife Direct offers tons of brands, colors and compression levels to choose from so you can find the perfect garment for you.

Skin care is also extremely important for Complete Decongestive Therapy and preventing infections. You can also wear silver liners, or compression stockings that are made with silver to fight off bacteria and prevent infections. During the day, you can use Medi Day Gel to moisturize your skin. Apply it before you put on your compression garment to make it easier to don. Don’t worry, this gel will not damage your garments like other lotions may. Some moisturizers break down the material due to the lycra in the garment and reduce its effectiveness and breathability, so make sure you use a garment-friendly gel! Medi Day Gel quickly absorbs into your skin to avoid sticky or greasy residue. At night, you can sooth your legs with Medi Night Creme. It also helps to treat venous insufficiency.

The last component of CDT is exercising, which helps to stimulate the lymphatic system.  Lymphedema patient, Amy Santiago says that opening up the Lymph channels (neck/collar, armpits, stomach and breathing) help her before starting cardio or training. One way to open up these channels before exercising is with Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD). Swimming, yoga and snowshoeing are all great exercises for lymphedema patients.

Towards the end of the #LymphChat, participants discussed surgical treatments for Lymphedema. According to Dr. Jay Granzow, Suction-Assisted Protein Lipectomy (SAPL), Lymphatic Venous Anastomosis (LVA) and Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer (VLNT) are the most effective lymphedema surgeries. SAPL greatly reduces excess volume in chronic lymphedema patients, and is generally performed in later cases when solids accumulate in the leg or arm. Frequently after SAPL, the use of a compression garment allows you to significantly cut down on CDT, or eliminates the need for it altogether. Other patients, usually in the earlier stages of lymphedema, undergo LVA and VLNT due to excess fluid buildup. You can also combine VLNT and LVA after healing from SAPL to treat solid and fluid components. Compression therapy after these procedures are vital.

Dr. Jay Granzow believes that depending on the patient, each type of surgery can be a success, based on the stage they’re in. As Nicole pointed out, “not just any surgeon can perform these surgeries. Special expertise is needed.” There is a limited number of surgeons that are trained in lymphedema surgery. Although most of Dr. Jay Granzow’s patients have had their surgeries covered by insurance, it depends on your insurance plan. To determine if you qualify for surgery, see a surgeon that specializes in these treatments for an evaluation, as well as a lymphedema therapist to figure out what the best treatment options are for you. Click here for more information on SAPL, VLNT and LVA procedures.

On the first Tuesday of every month, the National Lymphedema Network will continue to host a Twitter Chat, so make sure you follow them on Twitter at @lymphnet and include #lymphchat in your tweets to participate! If you think of any other questions that you would like to ask, email nln@lymphnet.org. The next Twitter Chat will be on Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 about lymphedema and exercise. Don’t miss it!

Additional Resources

Chat with us on Twitter! #LymphChat

BrightLife Direct  |  Nicole Stout  |  Dr. Jay Granzow  |  National Lymphedema Network

MANAGING LYMPHEDEMA

For Lymphedema Awareness Month, we are donating to the Lymphatic Education and Research Network (LE&RN) to support the education and research of lymphedema and lymphatic disease. We are working with blogger Britta Vander Linden to make a difference. During the month of March, you can help us donate 1% of the total purchase price to LE&RN by using the coupon code “DONATE” at checkout.

Britta Vander Linden writes an inspiring blog about her experience with lymphedema. She was diagnosed with primary lymphedema when she was 23 years old. Since then, she has juggled a demanding job and keeping up with her blog, Lymphedema Diary.com, in her spare time. She was inspired to start a blog to connect with others struggling with the same illness. Her blog serves as a network for her and her readers to support and comfort one another. “I felt it was time to share my experiences with others in an effort to try to make their life easier. I hoped to make Lymphedema Diary the resource I wish I had when I was first diagnosed.” Each month, thousands of readers spanning across over 100 countries read her blog. Check out her inspiring story and get tips on how to manage lymphedema.

Before she started Lymphedema Diary, Britta turned to local support groups for help, but they didn’t regularly meet and were located at inconvenient places. A lot of them were made up on breast cancer survivors, so she had a hard time connecting with them because she didn’t feel like they were going through the same thing. Once she got involved on social media, she was able to connect with people all around the world to share tips on anything from finding good therapists to lymphedema management.

Her most recent addition to Lymphedema Diary is a new blog series called “A Leg Up: Compression Stocking Tips–What the Doctors Don’t Tell You.” Those with lymphedema use compression garments every day to manage their condition. Britta says, “No matter the difference in type or severity of lymphedema from one person to another, all of us are struggling to deal with compression garments.  I think that’s why the series has been so popular.”

Britta has been a customer with us for about a year because we have all “Four P’s,” or what she refers to as the four key things every stocking dealer should have: people, price, perks and policies. Juzo Soft Pantyhose in 30-40mmHg is her go-to compression garment because of how soft the fabric is, and because they don’t look like compression tights. According to her, the fabric is very susceptible to snags, however. Britta also suggests the Juzo Dynamic Pantyhose for exercising because they are much more durable. The downside is that they aren’t as fashion-friendly as the Juzo Soft pantyhose, and the thickness of the fabric makes it harder to get the stockings off.

Some other things that Britta has found that help her to manage her lymphedema are regular exercise, getting a healthy amount of sleep, eating a low-sodium diet and staying hydrated. “If I don’t keep up on any one of these habits, I feel it in my legs. For exercise, I prefer swimming, yoga and anything that gets me lifting the legs up and down. In the winter, I enjoy snowshoeing.” She developed a few techniques that help keep her legs stay happy and healthy during a long day at work.

Snowshoe

Check out Britta snowshoeing! This is one of her favorite ways to keep lymph fluid flowing in the winter.

When she was first diagnosed, she underwent six weeks of complete decongestive therapy (CDT). Although she is happy that she did this therapy on both of her legs, the process was exhausting. Between waking up early in the morning and the long commute before work, it wasn’t a good long-term solution. Overall, it was beneficial because she learned a lot about lymphedema care. One thing she doesn’t believe helped her was the acupuncture treatments she tried at about the same time.

There are hundreds of millions of people around the world who are suffering from lymphedema, but there is no cure. LE&RN has done an amazing job over the years in the advocacy, research and education of this condition. You can become a member for only $5 a month and help support the cause year-round. March is a very important month for spreading the word about lymphedema. Many doctors and patients do not know what symptoms to look for in the early stages of lymphedema. LE&RN is working to change this through education. Many people are not aware that the most common cause of lymphedema is cancer treatment. The removal of lymph nodes significantly increases your risk, but there are a couple of things that you can do after cancer treatment that can reduce your risk of lymphedema.

 

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March is Lymphedema Awareness Month!

In honor of Lymphedema Awareness Month, BrightLife Direct is donating part of this month’s sales to the Lymphatic Education and Research Network (LE&RN). This organization utilizes education and research to fight lymphedema and lymphatic disease. We are teaming up with lymphedema blogger, Britta Vander Linden to support the cause. Find out more about LE&RN, Britta’s inspiring story, and some of the causes and symptoms of lymphedema below.

Lymphatic Education and Research Network (LE&RN)

Wendy Chaite founded LE&RN when she became frustrated with the lack of resources available for her daughter, who was born with systemic lymphatic disease. This organization is fighting to find a cure for lymphedema, while assisting in the education and research of this condition along the way. Kathy Bates is currently the spokesperson for LE&RN, and recently appeared on The Doctors to talk about her experience with lymphedema. This summer, Kathy is celebrating her birthday by hosting a 5k Run/Walk to Fight Lymphedema and Lymphatic Diseases in Santa Monica, CA on June 28th. There are tons of events you can get involved with to make a difference. If you live on the east coast, check out the 6th Annual Walk on September 19th on the Brooklyn Bridge!

Every day, LE&RN is helping to find the answers that hundreds of millions of people worldwide who are affected by lymphedema are looking for. Check out their website for the latest research, information and events. You can even ask the experts to find the answer you need. LE&RN is dedicated to answering the questions that most doctors can’t. To this day, there is not much information on lymphedema, and LE&RN is actively working to change this.

LEARN_DinnerCheck out Britta (second from left), her husband, Luke (far left), fellow honorees and members of LE&RN’s staff at a LE&RN event last year. She was honored for her remarkable work on her blog, Lymphedema Diary, and also for her years in support of the LE&RN organization.

About Britta

Britta was diagnosed with primary lymphedema in both of her legs when she was 23 years old. When she first found out she had lymphedema, she was panicked and worried. She had questions about her condition that doctors couldn’t figure out the answers to. Instead it was her dad who came to the rescue to find the answers she was seeking. “He is my Lymphedema Hero” she says. More often than not, when someone is diagnosed with lymphedema, they feel like they are left in the dark. Britta defines lymphedema as “a medical condition that many medical professionals cannot diagnose, do not understand, and are incapable of advising patients about, leaving patients to seek guidance from strangers on blogs.” She thinks that anyone with lymphedema can relate to this statement. LE&RN is working to change this by promoting the education of lymphedema to teach people about the symptoms early on, and about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The same year Brita was diagnosed was the year that LE&RN was founded. Since then, Britta has relied on LE&RN for medical information, resources and hope for a cure. She feels that “LE&RN has done more to put lymphedema on the medical radar and to directly sponsor lymphatic research than any other organization that she is aware.” To this day, LE&RN has done an incredible job of educating and advocating lymphedema.

Although Britta sarcastically describes her condition as mild, it significantly affects her daily life. “I cannot stand up for more than a few minutes without the help of compression stockings.  I begin experiencing pain, swelling, heaviness and sometimes feelings of pins and needles in my legs.  Even when I have the stockings on, I can’t stand for long periods of time.  Lymphedema factors into every aspect of my life –what I wear, how I sleep, when I take a shower, what kind of car I drive, what exercise I do…So no matter the severity level, the effect of lymphedema on a person’s life, self-esteem and pocket book never feels mild.”

About Lymphedema

LE&RN defines lymphedema as “an abnormal collection of high-protein fluid just beneath the skin. This swelling, or edema, occurs most commonly in the arm or leg, but it also may occur in other parts of the body including the breast or trunk, head and neck, or genitals.” The lymphatic system helps to maintain your immune system. It can develop in any area of your body where the lymph nodes are not getting enough lymph, which is the fluid in the tissues that builds up due to abnormal flow. Lymphedema usually begins at the farthest part of your limb such as your hand/wrist or in your foot/ankle. If your limbs feel heavy, swelling occurs, your skin feels tight, or if you experience decreased mobility and flexibility in your foot, ankle, wrist or hand, you should contact your doctor immediately. These symptoms may be the start of lymphedema. If this has happened to you before, do not ignore it! Just because the problem may take a backseat for a while, it doesn’t mean that the issue is solved. There is not enough research at this point in time for doctors to immediately point to lymphedema as the cause. A lot of the time, it takes multiple doctors to figure out the problem. LE&RN is working to teach people about lymphedema to catch it early on.

PRIMARY LYMPHEDEMA – People who have primary lymphedema like Britta are born with an abnormal lymphatic system. Although primary lymphedema is rare, many people are still affected by it. A lot of the time it is hereditary. Primary lymphedema can occur when the lymph nodes form abnormally. This is called congenital lymphedema, or Milroy’s disease. Lymphedema praecox, also known as Meige’s disease, is the most common form of primary lymphedema. It is usually noticed in the lower extremities around puberty, especially in girls, or during pregnancy. Another form of primary lymphedema that occurs around the age of 35 or later is called lymphedema tarda (late-onset lymphedema), which appears in the lower extremities in men and women.

SECONDARY LYMPHEDEMA – When you damage your lymphatic system from trauma, surgery, radiation or infection, secondary lymphedema can occur. This condition is often caused by cancer treatment. Radiation can damage your lymph nodes, which can decrease lymphatic flow. When you are undergoing this type of treatment, make sure to keep an eye out for any changes in skin color, redness or blistering. Secondary lymphedema occurs when the flow of lymph is blocked or altered. When your lymph nodes are removed due to melanoma, colon, prostate/testicular, bladder or breast cancer, your risk of secondary lymphedema significantly increases. Scar tissue can also be a factor.

Treatment & Prevention

While there is no cure for lymphedema, there are a couple of things you can do to reduce discomfort and swelling. Try elevating your limb and keeping it clean and dry to decrease swelling and irritation. Maintaining a healthy weight, eating foods that are high in protein and avoiding salty foods are also important. When you have lymphedema, it is extremely important to stay as active as possible to keep the lymph fluids moving. Do not sit or stand for long periods of time without moving around. If you work at a desk, make sure you wear compression socks! If you have lymphedema in the lower extremities, it is important to wear compression stockings to increase circulation, decrease swelling and discomfort.

After surgery for breast or prostate cancer, avoid injections into the area. You should also try to keep your arm or leg elevated, and do not apply heat. It is also important not to do any heavy lifting with the arm and to avoid constricting the area with tight clothing. Make sure you keep the area protected from injuries and infection. Wear a compression arm sleeve to increase circulation and decrease swelling. LympheDIVAs is an amazing company that makes fashionable compression arm sleeves. The company was founded after two breast cancer survivors decided to change the game and make compression sleeves fun, comfortable and elegant for people who will wear them every day for the rest of their lives. To them, wearing beige, rough textured, bandage-like arm sleeves was a bore. Now, they have tons of cute patterns and colors to choose from! LympheDIVAs also works with LE&RN to promote education and awareness about lymphedema.

Together, We Can Make A Difference

The Lymphatic Education and Research Network has made great strides in lymphedema awareness, education and research. With your help, we can make a difference. During the month of March, Brightlife Direct is donating 1% of the total purchase price to LE&RN. To participate, enter coupon code “DONATE” at checkout. Stay up to date on our blog this month for more information on lymphedema. Comment or share this post and tell us what you are doing for Lymphedema Awareness Month! Special thanks to Britta for her inspiring story and support! Check out her blog below: lymphedema_diary Additional Resources

Lymphatic Education & Research Network

Lymphedema facts, treatments and guidelines

Kathy Bates – Life With Lymphedema

Occupational Therapy Case Study – Primary Lymphedema

Great Lymphedema Blogs and Communities

Compression Products

Juzo

Farrow Medical

LympheDIVAs

Armsleeves

Gloves & Gauntlets

Custom Compression Garments

How We Became Breast Cancer Thrivers

All Lymphedema Products