Peripheral Vascular Disease
Of the many things that may be of great concern to your life, one and the most important issue is your health. Even if you doing well in other sectors of life such as career or social life, poor performance in health would pull all other high-flying areas down and in general make you live in misery regardless of how rich you are.
Modern lifestyle that many people have adopted has led to the rise of many lifestyle diseases which in the past were no that rampant. Apart from cancer, heart diseases have been on the increase and one of the major reasons that has been cited to have caused the surge in heart diseases is laziness where the only exercise that people do is walking to the washrooms.
One of the most deadly heart diseases which is known for leaving a trail of destruction behind it is peripheral vascular disease. This is the reduction of blood circulation to a body part apart from the brain and the heart as a result of a blocked blood vessel. The main cause of this blockage is atherosclerosis which is the build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of the blood vessel hence causing it to be narrow.
This in turn affects the flow of blood to the associated body part where the vessel is linked to. Body parts which are mostly affected by Peripheral vascular disease include kidneys, legs and even arms. There are high chances that you will have heart attack if you have this disease.
Symptoms of peripheral vascular disease
With my experience as a vascular consultant, I have interacted with many patients who have been suffering from this health condition and by now I can just look at you and tell if you have it or not. Most of the patients come to me when the disease is at an advanced stage but I cannot point a finger on them because most of the symptoms stay dormant and reveal themselves when the disease reaches extreme end.
The symptoms also depend with the body part that is not getting enough blood. From my keen observation, here are the most common symptoms of peripheral vascular disease;
- Excruciating pain on the legs during exercise.
- Numbness in the affected part.
- Muscle fatigue especially in the legs, they feel heavier.
- The affected body part becomes colder than usual.
- General muscle weakness.
- Everlasting wounds commonly known as ulcers.
- Some parts of the skin turn into black and you may start experiencing skin loss. This condition is known as Gangrene and it occurs when the tissues at a specific part of the body die and decay due to lack of nutrients and oxygen that were to be supplied by a blocked blood vessel. Because the condition does not have cure, the only remedy that can be done to the affected person is amputation of the affected part.
What causes peripheral vascular disease?
By now you might be asking yourself what are the causes of this monster that seems to be merciless to the human kind. As mentioned earlier, the most common cause is atherosclerosis which is the build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of the blood vessel. Here are other conditions that can cause this disease.
- Blood clot in the blood vessel.
- Diabetes as a result of blood sugar which may weaken the blood vessels.
- Inflammation of the arteries commonly known as arthritis.
- External infections such as Syphilis which can cause the blood vessels to narrow.
- Inborn defects on the blood vessels.
Other factors that can put one at high risk of getting peripheral vascular disease include smoking, old age, overweight or obesity, leading unhealthy lifestyle, breast cancer and family history of the disease.
There are also several kinds of treatment for this disorder ranging from surgery as in your case which was pretty aggressive, medication is also available to help slow or even reverse the effects of arteriosclosis. The best way recommended however is to have a healthy lifestyle change. Consider changing your diet to consume less cholesterol and fats, daily exercise will also do wonders for your arteries keeping them healthy so the rest of your body functions as it should. An apple a day will keep the doctor away. With that he excused himself from the room.
Here are some of the treatments that I would personally recommend.
- Medication: You can take medications such as statins to treat atherosclerosis and drugs that reduce the blood pressure.
- Take drugs that treat blood clots and such drugs include anticoagulants.
- Surgical insertion of stent to open up the narrowed blood vessels.
- Angioplasty: This process involves threading a thin tube into the narrowed blood vessels. The tube has a small balloon on its tip which inflates when that reaches on the blocked area.
- Atherectomy: This is the cutting out of the fatty deposits from the blocked blood vessels
It is always good to take early steps so as to avoid getting peripheral vascular disease. Here are some of the important guidelines that will help you to kep this disease away.
- Avoid smoking.
- Ensure that you properly manage serious diseases such as diabetes, breast cancer and high blood pressure.
- Eat a healthy diet that is full of fiber and avoid the junkies.
- Do regular exercise so as to burn out excessive fats.
- Keep your body weight in check so that you don’t get overweight.
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