What is Peripheral?
The circulatory system is vital for all living things. Oxygen and nutrients required for all tissues and organs can easily move through the body, thanks to the circulatory system that enables fluids to be transported throughout the body. At the same time, another important task of the circulatory system is to remove wastes such as carbon dioxide from the body. The circulatory system has three main components. These are the heart, blood and veins. Circulatory disorders occur in case of problems in the parts of the circulatory system. Peripheral arterial disease or peripheral vascular disease is one of the health problems that concern the circulatory system. So what is peripheral? What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease? For detailed information about peripheral diseases, you can read the rest of our article.
What is Peripheral Vascular Diseases?
Veins are one of the most important parts of the circulatory system. They differ according to their location and duties. Blood vessels can be divided into three classes: arteries, veins, and capillaries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood pumped from the heart to all tissues and organs in the body. Arteries, one of the most important components of the circulatory system, allow nutrients and hormones to circulate throughout the body. Like every tissue and organ in the body, some health problems may occur in the arteries.
Peripheral vascular disease is one of them. Peripheral literally means environment. Peripheral means peripheral. Peripheral artery; Defines the arteries that go to all other tissues and organs except the heart. Peripheral vascular diseases, that is, peripheral vascular diseases, are a circulatory system disorder. Peripheral vascular diseases are a disease that is common in the society and can cause more serious health problems such as heart attack and stroke if not treated in the early period.
Peripheral vascular diseases are the slowing of blood transport to parts of the body other than the brain and heart. Peripheral vascular disease can originate from any vessel outside the heart and brain, including arteries and lymphatic vessels. Peripheral vascular disease is also often called peripheral arterial disease. Peripheral vascular disease is a health problem that mostly affects the kidneys, arms and legs.
What are the Causes of Peripheral Artery Disease?
Various factors can cause peripheral arterial disease. The most common cause of peripheral arterial disease is atherosclerotic disease, also known as arteriosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs as a result of the accumulation of cholesterol, that is, fat, in the arteries and the narrowing of the vessels by forming plaques. Constriction of blood vessels by plaques causes decreased blood circulation to other tissues and organs of the body. Although atherosclerosis sometimes affects the neck and head vessels, it is more common in the legs and feet.
The causes of peripheral vascular disease other than atherosclerosis can be listed as follows:
Diabetes: Diabetes mellitus can cause damage to the blood vessels. Damaged vessels can narrow, causing peripheral arterial disease.
Infection: Some infectious diseases can damage the veins and cause narrowing and blockage in the veins.
Vasculitis: Vasculitis, known as vasculitis, can damage the vessels and cause slowing of blood flow in the vessels.
Autoimmune diseases: Autoimmune diseases such as Behçet’s disease can affect different parts of the body, including the vessels.
Congenital anomalies: Although the cause is not known exactly, some babies’ veins may be narrower than they should be. This can cause peripheral vascular disease.
Coronary artery disease: Coronary arteries are the arteries that supply the heart muscle. Various factors, especially atherosclerotic, can cause coronary artery disease. Peripheral artery disease and coronary artery disease often occur together.
Use of tobacco and tobacco products: According to studies, smoking is one of the most common causes of peripheral arterial disease. These studies reveal that people who last longer than 20 years have a higher risk of developing atherosclerosis. According to these studies, the risk of peripheral artery disease is much higher in people who use tobacco and tobacco products, such as cigarettes, compared to other people.
Hypertension: Like diabetes, hypertension is a chronic health problem that can cause peripheral arterial disease. Long-term high blood pressure on the veins can damage the veins and cause narrowing and blockage in the veins over time.
What Are the Symptoms of Peripheral Vascular Disease?
The symptoms of peripheral artery disease differ from person to person. At the same time, some patients may not have any symptoms. One of the most common symptoms associated with peripheral arterial disease is pain in the legs while walking. Patients usually state that this pain subsides after resting for a short time. Pain that starts in the legs during walking can affect one leg, or sometimes it can occur in both legs. The pain, which decreases with rest at first, may continue even when the disease progresses.
In addition to these, other common symptoms of peripheral artery disease can be listed as follows:
Intermittent claudication, that is, intermittent claudication, which occurs especially when climbing stairs or hills and causes the person to lose speed,
Difficulty performing daily tasks due to decreased physical capacity,
Paleness or bruising in the skin color as a result of the clogged or narrowed vessels not carrying enough oxygen to every tissue and organ,
The affected body area is colder,
Numbness and tingling sensation, especially in the feet and legs
A weaker pulse in the legs or feet
cramps in the leg area,
Delayed healing of wounds on the feet and legs,
Sudden onset of muscle weakness in the legs
Erectile dysfunction in men
Toenails grow later than usual,
Thickening and discoloration of the toenails,
Severe pain in cases where vascular occlusion is advanced,
In case of progression of the disease, the death of insufficiently nourished tissues, namely gangrene, is the main symptom of peripheral arterial disease.
How Are Peripheral Vascular Diseases Diagnosed?
Today, thanks to the developments in science and technology, the diagnosis of peripheral vascular diseases can be made at an early stage. In the diagnosis of peripheral vascular diseases, after the physical examination, the vessels are examined with the help of various imaging methods. Thanks to the most widely used imaging method, it is easily detected whether there is a blockage or narrowing in the arteries. In addition, measurement techniques to compare blood pressure between the foot and wrist, known as Doppler and ABI, are also commonly used in the diagnosis of peripheral arterial disease.
How Is Peripheral Artery Disease Treated?
Early diagnosis and initiation of treatment are very important in terms of preventing health problems such as heart attack and stroke that may develop in the future due to peripheral arterial disease. Peripheral artery is aimed to prevent more serious health problems first, and then to increase the quality of life by relieving the pain of the patients. In the treatment of peripheral artery disease, instruments such as balloons and stents can be inserted to open the closed or narrowed vessel, and the plaques in the vessels can be removed and the vessel can be expanded. In addition, patients may need to make lifestyle changes in order to reduce the risk of peripheral artery disease and prevent the progression of the disease. For example, quitting smoking and exercising regularly are very important for cardiovascular health. At the same time, eating vegetables and fruits instead of high-fat foods helps to control bad cholesterol in the blood and supports vascular health in a positive way.
Peripheral vascular diseases can cause serious health problems if not intervened in the early period. For your health, do not forget to apply to the nearest health institution and have your check-ups. We wish you healthy days.