WE HELP YOU UNDERSTAND THE BASICS OF THE UNDERLYING PROBLEM
It is easy to take the good health of your veins and arteries for granted.
Most people are born with healthy and functional veins and arteries throughout their body. However, over time, different problems can cause the veins and arteries throughout your body to become less healthy. When these problems take place in the arms, legs, or feet, they are often referred to as “peripheral vascular disease.” Risk factors for peripheral vascular disease include smoking and lack of exercise.
Peripheral vascular disease comes in many forms. The most common kind of peripheral vascular disease is peripheral arterial disease, also known as PAD. PAD is usually caused by the buildup of fat, plaque, and other substances in the arteries, which bring blood away from your heart to the rest of your body. Since the fat and plaque clog the arteries, there will be poor circulation to the legs, feet, and sometimes the arms.
Another type of peripheral vascular disease is peripheral venous disease. This is a general term that means damage or blockages in the veins, which bring blood from the rest of your body back to your heart. In peripheral venous disease, the blood is not able to easily get from the legs back to the heart, so the veins in the legs start to swell with the fluid. This process puts extra strain on the veins in the legs. Peripheral venous disease includes different conditions like chronic venous insufficiency, varicose veins, and deep vein thrombosis.
IT GETS WORSE OVER TIME
The sooner you start treatment, the sooner you can get back to healthier legs.
Regardless of the type of peripheral vascular disease, early identification and treatment is important. Left on its own to worsen, peripheral vascular disease can lead to complications like non-healing wounds on the legs or feet, chronic infections, and even amputation. Your doctor can help you find the best course of treatment to keep your veins and arteries healthy. First and foremost, it is crucial to stop smoking if you smoke: your doctor will be able to help provide you with resources to help you quit smoking. Limiting alcohol use can also help your arteries and veins stay healthy. Additionally, making sure that your blood cholesterol, blood sugar (especially if you have diabetes), and blood pressure are well-controlled will also help you avoid the complications of peripheral vascular disease.