When you think of the Olympics you probably think of elite athletes, exciting competitions and emotional medal ceremonies. Varicose veins probably don’t factor in. Or do they?
Well believe it or not, even the world’s best athletes can and do get varicose veins. Just ask Summer Sanders, a gold-medal winning Olympic swimmer turned sports commentator and reporter, TV show host and actress. This year Summer is sharing her story as the spokesperson of a campaign called “Rethink Varicose Veins,” which aims to educate the public about this common condition and help to dispel some myths.
“Like many moms, my lifestyle requires me to be on my feet constantly. I noticed my legs were heavy and achy after a long day, but I assumed these symptoms were just something I had to deal with,” says Summer. “My doctor and I decided the best path for me was a minimally-invasive treatment. The procedure was quick and I was back to my regular activities within a short period of time. Now my legs feel great!”
Summer’s experience helps shed light on the real story of varicose veins – that people from all walks of life and of all shapes and sizes get varicose veins. In fact, the single biggest determining factor is heredity. Other major risk factors include standing or sitting for long periods of time, being pregnant, being overweight, getting older or having a history of DVTs.
“My own mother suffered from varicose veins most of her life,” says Summer. “She was often on her feet due to her work as a flight attendant and would find herself in pain during long trips. She began to notice her varicose veins when she was pregnant with me and always joked that varicose veins are hereditary; according to my mom, you get them from your kids! It soon hit me that, even though I was active, I was starting to get my mother’s legs.
“Now my legs feel awesome again. Varicose veins are not just a cosmetic issue; you don’t have to live with them anymore.”
Learn more about Summer’s story by visiting the campaign website at www.rethinkvaricoseveins.com And enjoy the Olympics!