Atherosclerosis of vessels of lower extremities: symptoms, treatment, photos
Atherosclerosis is considered to be one of the main causes of death worldwide. It is not always this pathology directly «kill» the person, very often the formation of atherosclerotic plaques triggers the development of other cardiovascular diseases (myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary heart disease, etc.).
According to official data of the Ministry of health about 90% of patients with atherosclerosis — the representatives of the stronger sex. There’s a logical explanation. Most men do physically demanding work in harsh conditions. In addition, many of them «relax» with Smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages. All this affects human health and provokes the development of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is also most common in men aged 40 years and older. The disease affects the patient’s condition: is severe circulatory insufficiency of the legs, the patient feels anguish and is unable to work. Atherosclerosis often affects large or medium-sized vessels.
Classification of atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis of vessels of lower extremities klassificeret on the basis of the degree of impairment of blood flow and the character of manifestation of ischemia (lack of blood supply to a specific tissue site). In General, there are four main stages of the disease. The «easy» degree is no pain or any discomfort when you perform everyday Affairs. Discomfort occur only during extreme physical exertion.
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For the second stage, the onset of pain is typical for walking even for short distances (about 200 m), and in the third degree, even a slight «walk» (about 50 m) causes unpleasant symptoms of the pathological process. The last stage of atherosclerosis is especially dangerous because is accompanied by trophic changes of muscle or skin tissue, it often happens gangrene. In this case, to help the patient can only operation, and the indication is the amputation of a limb.
It is also important to distinguish constrictive and destinatarului (occlusive) types of pathology. In the first case, atherosclerotic plaque only slightly overlap the lumen of the vessel, hindering blood flow. In the second type of the disease artery or a vein completely covered by plaque, which is more typical for acute thrombosis. Occlusive atherosclerosis is more dangerous in terms of the occurrence of gangrene.
Symptoms of atherosclerosis of vessels of lower extremities
Symptoms of atherosclerosis may vary depending on the severity of the disease. In the early stages of the disease symptoms may not be. Over time, there is intermittent claudication, a clinical manifestation characterized by pain after exercise. This symptom is directly linked to a pathological process — the discomfort occurs due to insufficient blood supply of muscle tissue. Characteristically, the lesions of the aorta in the terminal division is accompanied by pain not only in feet, but in the gluteal muscles, hip or lower back. Half of male patients also complain of problem of erectile dysfunction. Atherosclerosis can occur and other symptoms, including:
- Lowering the temperature (coldness), and pallor of the skin in a place that not enough is supplied.
- Paresthesia is a symptom from the nervous system, manifested by some discomfort: tingling, burning, itching, etc. that is connected with oxygen deficiency in the nerve fibers.
- The emergence of non-healing venous ulcers, and then expect gangrene.
- Tissue necrosis.
- Chilliness and numbness of the feet after climbing stairs, Jogging, etc.
- The absence of a pulse in some parts of the legs, etc.
Please note that elderly people often confuse the pain associated with atherosclerosis, with those that occur in arthritis. For atherosclerotic pain is typical of muscle location, while arthritis are accompanied by joint discomfort. The lack of circulation in occlusion of the vessel increases the pain when walking and severe load conditions and in case of arthrosis it is possible to «disperse.»
Complex treatment of atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis of the arteries and veins can not be cured only with folk remedies, proper diet or exercise. Needed is a comprehensive therapy, as well as direct participation of the patient in the treatment process, his desire to be healthy.
First and foremost, you should consider a change of lifestyle. It is necessary to abandon bad habits, which include not only Smoking and alcohol abuse, but addiction to fatty foods. Diet for patients with atherosclerosis is extremely important. You need to forget about animal fats, and products rich in bad cholesterol. You should avoid such products as:
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- flour products (especially fat cakes, e.g. cakes or buns with cream);
- butter and margarine;
- fatty meats and sausages, fat and offal;
- fried foods;
- dairy products with a fat content greater than 1%;
- ice cream.
Diet and proper nutrition can help patients who are overweight to lose extra pounds, also plays an important role in the recovery process. But even patients with normal options, you should engage in regular physical activity. Best suited swimming in the pool or in open water calm or walking, easy Jogging, Cycling or exercise bikes. Such exercises will increase the blood circulation in the lower limbs and also overall strengthen the body.
Separate recommendations are intended for patients with underlying medical conditions. Hypertension and diabetes have a direct impact on the condition of the patient with atherosclerosis. It is therefore necessary to monitor blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
Be sure to prescribe medication (and in some cases, surgical) treatment. The patient must take drugs that prevent blood clots, as well as those that make the blood more fluid, and «fluid». Prescribed antispasmodics to expand the lumen of blood vessels, thereby improving blood circulation. Be superfluous and physiotherapy: massage, therapeutic exercise, current treatment, etc.
Regarding the surgery, here we are talking about prosthetics (the replacement of a portion of the vessel alloprotezom), bypass (redirection of blood flow through the shunt) or thrombendarterectomy (the removal of atherosclerotic plaque). Do not look for the answer to the question «What is atherosclerosis and how to treat this disease» itself, as the self only is injurious to health!