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What You Should Know About Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral vascular diseases refer to conditions that relate to the blood vessels that are not associated with the brain or heart. Therefore, these conditions result in the narrowing of vessels that transport blood to the legs, arms, kidneys, or stomach.

Functional PVD

Peripheral vascular disease, or PVD, can take one of two forms. Functional PVD does not relate to any flaws in the structure of the blood vessels. In other words, the vessels are not damaged. Therefore, functional PVD is represented by spasms – spasms that often occur randomly.

Organic PVD

Organic PVD is caused by a structural alteration in the blood vessel. This change is often represented by tissue damage or inflammation. Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is a form of an organic PVD. This condition results from fatty accumulations (atherosclerosis) in the arteries’ inside walls. The deposits interfere with the regular flow of blood.

Risk Factors

The risk factors attributed to peripheral vascular disease include the following:

• Cholesterol
• Smoking
• Hypertension or high blood pressure
• Inactivity
• Diabetes
• Obesity

Symptoms of PVD

The symptoms related to peripheral vascular disease depend on the site of the condition as well as the blockages. The most common symptom is intermittent claudication. This symptom manifests itself as pain in the leg, usually in the calf. The pain normally subsides during rest, but is triggered when walking occurs. Other symptoms may include a coldness in the feet or legs or numbness in these areas.

Making Lifestyle Modifications

To aid in the diagnosis of PVD or PAD, doctors often use angiography or Doppler ultrasound. The disease can be treated by making changes in your lifestyle. For example, some of the modifications may include angioplasty, taking certain medicines, or specialized treatments. Complications of PVD or PAD can lead to ulcers or sores that do not heal, gangrene, or similar infections.

Other Names Given to PVD or PAD

Other names given to peripheral vascular disease, or PAD, include hardening of the arteries, poor circulation, vascular disease, or atherosclerotic peripheral artery disease. Learn more about this condition by consulting with the professionals at the Vein Center of Louisiana. You can also connect them on Facebook for more updates.

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