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Peripheral Arterial Disease Dangers

Peripheral arterial disease may be very dangerous as it is associated with the blocking or narrowing down of the arteries in the head, arms, legs and other organs inside the body. These problems triggered by the accumulation of the fatty deposits on the inner walls of the arteries reduce the flow of blood and may lead to the development of the dreadful coronary heart disease. This medical condition may occur anywhere in the body, but the areas mostly affected by it include the pelvis and the legs. The signs and symptoms commonly associated with the peripheral arterial disease are commonly varied, depending on the severity of the disease and the parts of the body affected by it. Initial symptoms commonly include cramps and painful sensations in the legs which occur after exercising or long walks. These symptoms usually go away once a person gets some proper rest. This group of initial symptoms is medicinally referred to as claudication. A common problem with peripheral arterial disease is that it sometimes may go completely unnoticed for quite some time because the symptoms may be elusive or completely absent.

Peripheral Arterial Disease in legs

If there is an insufficient blood flow to the tissues as it can be in the legs it can lead to very painful ulcerations which may even further complicate and lead to the death of the affected tissue. Dead tissues are medicinally referred to as the gangrene and they always need to be amputated. Legs are commonly the parts of the body which are most affected by the peripheral arterial disease. There are more than 10 million American citizens affected by this type of medical condition. According to various medical researches both men and women are equally affected by it. It mostly affects people who are over 65 years old. It is quite peculiar that African American people are commonly affected by the peripheral arterial disease in legs much more than Caucasian people.

Risk Factors for Peripheral Arterial Disease

There are a number of different factors which may be held responsible for the gradual development of peripheral arterial disease over the years. As already explained, in cases of some people, ethnicity may sometimes be considered to be a very important risk factor. Age is another common factor, as the peripheral arterial disease tends to affect older people in most cases. Inflammatory conditions and various sorts of damage inflicted upon the arteries may also be considered as very dangerous risk factors in the development of peripheral arterial disease. Family history of heart and artery diseases is another risk factor. Numerous scientific studies have shown that the peripheral arterial disease may run in the family and be passed on from the parents onto the child. Certain genetic factors which are responsible for the abnormalities in the lipids and the cholesterol may also be associated with an increased risk of peripheral arterial disease. Hypertension or high blood pressure is one of the most common risks associated with the development of peripheral arterial disease. For those who do not know, blood pressure is the term used for the force applied against the inside walls of the arteries which occurs when the heart pumps the blood throughout the entire human body. Unhealthy levels of lipids, bad cholesterol and good cholesterol in the blood may also be held responsible for the gradual development of peripheral arterial disease over the course of many years. One of the most common risk factors associated with the peripheral arterial disease is another medical condition called diabetes. Out of all risk factors for the development of the peripheral arterial disease, smoking is the most common one.

Treatment Options

There are numerous different types of treatment methods which may be of great help when it comes to dealing with the dreadful peripheral arterial disease. Certain lifestyle and dietary changes are extremely important. Among the most important steps in both prevention and treatment of the peripheral arterial disease are regular exercise regimes and avoidance of all different tobacco products. Certain medications may be used in some cases of peripheral arterial disease and those commonly include weak instances of blood thinners such as clopidogrel or Aspirin. These medications are very efficient in preventing the formation of blood clots. The walking distance may be increased by alleviating the symptoms. Medications such as pentoxifylline or cilostazol may be of great help when it comes to achieving that. Risk factor management may also be of great help in the treatment of the peripheral arterial disease. This includes avoiding smoking, and dealing with diabetes, high levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and high blood pressure as related medical conditions. Certain surgical interventions such as the bypass surgery or the percutaneous procedure called angioplasty are sometimes used as well. Those who suffer from peripheral arterial disease need to avoid cold weather as much as possible. 

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