By David Martin, RN, CRNFA

If your grandmother or grandfather complained of aching legs and feet, wore heavy “support socks” or stockings, and had gnarled and distended veins, you may have a genetic predisposition toward venous insufficiency, or the failure of delicate valves in your legs. These valves are meant to keep blood from flowing backward as it is being pumped back up the legs to your heart and lungs. compression sleeve

This failure causes some blood to reflux, or flow backwards. Blood may pool, causing legs to feel heavy, tired and restless. The condition may also cause veins to collapse and become ropey and swollen. Treatments for venous insufficiency have changed dramatically in just the last dozen years. And when it comes to those therapeutic hose and socks your grandmother may have worn – let’s just say she might not even recognize today’s compression wear.

Old-fashioned compression stockings or socks, while effective in providing symptom relief, were not very attractive and were sometimes uncomfortable. Today, you can enjoy therapeutic levels of support in “intelligent sportswear” – garments that provide support as well the promise of increased performance to runners. Perhaps equally as important to fashion-conscious athletes: this compression sportswear looks great. So while you’re enjoying reduced times on your 5Ks and marathons, you’re also wearing a hot trend in athletic wear with the colorful compression “sleeves” for your calves or running tights on your entire lower body.

Likewise, today’s vein treatments have improved too. Old-fashioned treatments for varicose veins were horrific, involving surgery and several days in the hospital, but today’s treatments are office-based, requiring little or no downtime, with insurance covering most procedures.

With these easier, next-generation treatments for venous insufficiency, 50- and 60 year-olds won’t just “live with” leg pain, swelling, restlessness, or the varicose and spider veins that make them feel and look older. Instead, they will seek treatments that can make the next third of their lives healthier and happier. Bottom line? New products and procedures make leg health an easier way than ever to outrun aging.

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Condition Kettlebell Gym’s Delaine Ross is here to give you her best advice on how to get in shape for summer!

Delaine Ross

What aspects of fitness should people pay extra attention to for spring and summer?

People sometimes neglect just getting outside and playing, It’s important to get out, move and have fun.

If someone is looking to revamp her health, where can she start?

Although exercise is necessary for revamping your body, diet is a huge piece of the puzzle. Start by keeping a food journal so you are conscious of exactly what you put in your body.

What should someone avoid overdoing?

People should avoid overdoing cardio. Weight training is very important for calorie burning. People who spend all their time on an elliptical and never hit the weight room won’t reach their fitness goals!

What do you do to personally to get ready for summer?

I do kettlebell swings and get-ups to prepare for the summer months. Swings offer strength and cardio at the same time, and get-ups give strength and mobility.

What fitness trends will be hot this summer?

For recovery, Icebox Cryotherapy is where it’s at. You spend three minutes in a chamber to reduce inflammation and muscle soreness. Also, get out and walk or bike the BeltLine.

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By Cynthia S. Rudert, MD, FACP

Through closer attention to your medications and diet, you can enhance your digestion and avoid common digestive complaints.yogurt

The Good

Ninety percent of the cells responsible for our immune system are found in the digestive system. Our immune system is enhanced by the presence of good bacteria, which should number in the trillions. When we’re in balance, our bodies contain approximately 10 times more bacteria than our own body cells.

The Bad

When these organisms are not in balance (dysbiosis), this may result in a commonly missed condition called small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Bacterial overgrowth can result from antibiotic therapy and may also be found in people with lactose intolerance, celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and decreased gastric acid production. Unfortunately, symptoms of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth such as gas, bloating and loose stools are easily confused with irritable bowel syndrome.

The Solution

Evaluate your medications. Many medications have gastrointestinal side effects like constipation to diarrhea or fecal incontinence, and virtually all antibiotics can negatively affect normal bacterial balance. In addition to taking stock of medicinal influences, people should examine their diets. Patients should avoid high fructose corn syrup, which can aggravate bacterial overgrowth. To restore that balance naturally, nothing beats yogurts and other fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickles, all of which contain a variety of good bacteria.

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Dr. Anna Paré from Dermatology Consultants, PC is here to answer a reader’s question about the new FDA approval for Botox.

dr anna pare

Q: I recently heard about a new FDA approval for Botox. How is it different than others?

A: In addition to FDA approval for treating frown lines, Botox Cosmetic is now FDA-approved for the treatment of “crow’s feet.” The appearance of crow’s feet is the number one are of concern in women for wrinkles. The average woman spends over $500 a year on products trying to reduce the appearance of crow’s feet. Botox Cosmetic provides quick results that eliminate wrinkles within five to seven days of treatment.

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Dr. Anthony C. Carantzas from Resurgens Orthopaedics answers a reader’s question about her soccer playing daughter’s ACL.

Dr Anthony Carantzas

Q: My teenage daughter has taken an interest in soccer, but I’m concerned about her tearing her ACL. Is there anything she can do to prevent this?

A: Injuries to the anterior ligament (ACL) in the knee are common in soccer players. Females actually have a slightly higher risk of tearing their ACL than males. While no one can prevent an ACL tear entirely, important things to do to minimize injury are to keep the quadriceps and hamstring muscles strong, avoid landing knock-kneed (knees pointing inward) and stop playing when your muscles are feeling fatigued. Bracing has not been shown to prevent ACL injuries and is therefore not routinely recommended for prevention.

Do you have questions for our doctors? If so, please email them to

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Guest blogger Alexa Lampasona, from the blog Active Tasty Life, ( gives us an inside look into her interview with Irene Lewis-McCormick about why women need to be building their strength. 

“We’ve worked so many years to challenge the fear that strength training is bad for women, yet the myth still exists. Women believe they have to be rail thin. They think that by lifting a load more than ten pounds will make them look bigger, but research has shown that is not the case.”

-Irene Lewis-McCormick, certified NSCA-CSCS, ACE, AFAA, YogaFit, Pilates and AEA

Irene Lewis-McCormick

We’ve seen it before- men with muscles bulging out their cut-off shirts, sweat glistening off their shoulders, rows of intimidating dumbells lining the wall- and why do the fluorescents seem to be dim and uninviting? The weight room is often dominated by Y chromosomes and bulky muscles, causing women to avoid the area and head straight for the cardio machines.

But strength training is highly beneficial to women, leading to increased muscular strength and endurance, stronger bones, definition, and leaner fat-free body mass. We talked with Lewis-McCormick about her book, “A Women’s Guide to Muscle and Strength” to get her opinion on the importance of incorporating strength training into a woman’s daily fitness regime.

In your book, you talk about women that appear to be thin but are actually “skinny fat.” What makes this unhealthy?

Depending on a woman’s genetic make-up, she can remain thin until her mid-30s.
But if she doesn’t exercise, she tends to have lower levels of lean mass and higher body fat percentages, even if she looks skinny. Lean mass is more important for your health- it is your muscles, bones, connective tissue and organs.

So why are you not an advocate of the scale?

It gives women the wrong message. Research shows that the quality of tissue, for example having more muscle content, is more important than the size of a person.

As women age, what kinds of consequences can inactivity cause?

Fast-twitch muscles decrease over age. If you are always doing the same slow-twitch cardio daily, such as the elliptical, then you never address fast-twitch muscle fibers. Your body adapts over time and you will have to work harder and longer to get the same results.

How is resistance training different?

Weight-bearing aerobic exercise will help with bone formation, making it beneficial for aging women. You can manipulate you muscle fibers based on the type of training you do. And yes, it is possible to do an anaerobic strength workout that will make you breathless.

What kind of weekly workout regime would you prescribe to women looking to incorporate this strength workout?

You can’t go 100 percent in every workout, but you can work out every day of the week if you combine different stimuli. Focus on two high-intensity workouts, like HIIT (high intensity interval training), then do cardio two to three days a week, and once a week do a mind/body discipline like yoga or pilates. This will connect strength with flexibility and range of motion.

What muscles do you believe are most important for women to strengthen?

Women usually focus on chest and quads, because that is what they see in the mirror, but I suggest women do lats and glutes because that has more influence on overall body strength.

What about women who are worried about being bulky and big?

You have to have the genetics to become “big,” and if that is the case, then you focus on other parts of the body to become balanced. For instance, if you get big thighs, do upper body weights.

If you had to choose a favorite workout, what would it be?

I love suspension training, like TRX. You manipulate the intensity based on what you want. By changing loads, it keeps your body fresh.

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Lavender Beauty Bar’s Meia Walton is here to give you her best advice about makeup trends for the summer.

Meia walton

What element of makeup application should people pay extra attention to for summer?

I’ve noticed that we’re neglecting to moisturize or exfoliate year round. Those are key to healthy skin and glow for our makeup regimen.

If someone is looking to revamp her makeup, where can she start?

Change your current habits. Go for a tinted moisturizer, nude lip shades and sexy lashes. Very basic, but it can change your look dramatically.

What should someone avoid overdoing?

Stop caking makeup on. Natural looks are so much more appealing.

What do you do personally to get ready for summer?

I start with a body scrub. Next, Nars Body Glow multipurpose body oil is my secret weapon for my bronze look. My favorite glam touch is my link lashes.

What are the must-have summer products?

Rodial Bee Venom moisturizer, Nars blush and bronzing powder, Elf lip exfoliator, Clarisonic Deep Pore Brush and MAC Well Loved Lipstick.

What makeup colors will be hot for this summer?

“Natural beauties” are totally in. Pastel eye shadows, nude skin and lips are perfect on any woman.

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Play racecar driver for a day at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. On May 23 and 24, drive a real NASCAR racecar for the Richard Petty Driving Experience, exotic drivingor wait until June 13 through 15 for the Exotic Driving Experience. Take your pick from Ferraris, Lamborghinis or a Porsche that you can drive for six luxury laps around the racetrack. If the passenger seat is more your speed, sign up for their thrill rides with a professional driver. Prices vary depending on which drive you choose.

Details: 1500 Highway 19 and 41, Hampton, GA,

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Dr. Taz Bhatia from Atlanta Center for Holistic Medicine answers a reader’s question about multivitamins.

Dr Taz Bhatia

Q: Do I need a multivitamin?

A: I am often asked by my patients if they need to take a multivitamin. I am not a huge believer in multivitamins, as I feel that the absorption of all those micronutrients is often ineffective. Instead, I believe supplementation should be targeted and individualized to meet specific health conditions, rather than sporadic or excessive.

Do you have questions for our doctors? If so, please email them to 

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Bloomingdale’s Sheila Frey is here to give you her best advice on how to get your closet ready for summer. Sheila Frey

What fashion statements should people pay extra attention to for summer? 

Since your skin will be more exposed during the summer, get your feet in condition for wearing pretty sandals by breaking out the exfoliating scrubs, moisturizers and sunscreen.

If someone is looking to revamp her wardrobe, where can she start?

Try a new bra that fits right. It can give you the results of plastic surgery but with a lot less pain.

What do you do personally to get ready for summer?

I buy a pair of new white jeans, and I purchase a new trend of the season – this year it will be palazzo pants.

What is the must-have summer accessory?

Trade those skinny pants for a flowy silhouette that can be paired with a tee or dresses up with a sequin tank or silk halter top. A panama hat is also a sassy and functional look to try.

What wardrobe colors will be hot this summer?

According to Pantone, the official colors are placid blue, violet tulip, paloma, hemlock, sand, freesia, cayenne, celosia orange, dazzling blue and radiant orchid. Mix and match these colors and throw in a few floral patterns to create an interesting summer palette.


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