What is a Peripheral Vascular Disease?
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), also known as Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), refers to a group of disorders that affect the blood vessels outside of the heart and brain. It primarily involves the narrowing or blockage of arteries that supply blood to the legs, arms, stomach, or kidneys. The most common form of PVD is Peripheral Artery Disease, which specifically affects the arteries in the limbs.
The underlying cause of PVD is often atherosclerosis, a progressive condition characterized by the accumulation of plaque within the arterial walls. Atherosclerosis not only affects the arteries in the limbs but can also impact blood vessels throughout the body, including those supplying the heart and brain. Consequently, individuals with PVD have an elevated risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes.
Symptoms of Peripheral Vascular Disease:
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) can present with various symptoms, and the severity of these symptoms may vary depending on the extent of blood vessel involvement. Common symptoms of PVD include:
Pain, cramping, or aching in the legs, thighs, calves, or buttocks during physical activity, such as walking.
- Numbness or weakness:
Numbness or weakness in the legs or feet, which may affect balance and mobility.
- Cold or discoloured extremities:
The affected limbs may feel cool to the touch, and the skin may appear pale or bluish.
- Non-healing wounds:
Slow-healing or non-healing wounds and sores on the feet or legs occur due to poor blood circulation.
- Shiny skin and hair loss:
The skin on the legs may appear shiny, and there might be a loss of hair on the affected areas.
- Weak pulse in legs or feet:
A weakened or absent pulse in the legs or feet may be detected during a physical examination.
- Erectile dysfunction:
In men, PVD can contribute to erectile dysfunction, as reduced blood flow affects the vascular function in various parts of the body.
Risk Factors of Peripheral Vascular Disease:
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) is associated with various risk factors, and individuals with these factors are at an increased likelihood of developing the condition. Common risk factors for PVD include:
The risk of PVD increases with age. Older individuals are more likely to develop atherosclerosis, the primary cause of PVD.
Smoking is a major risk factor for PVD because tobacco smoke contains harmful chemicals that can damage blood vessels and reduce blood flow.
Diabetes causes high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels over time, contributing to the development of atherosclerosis.
- High blood pressure:
Hypertension can lead to the hardening and narrowing of arteries, increasing the risk of PVD.
- High cholesterol:
Elevated levels of cholesterol, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, contribute to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, leading to atherosclerosis.
- Family history:
A family history of cardiovascular diseases, including PVD, increases the risk.
Being overweight or obese puts additional strain on the cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of PVD.
- Lack of physical activity:
Physical inactivity is a risk factor for PVD and hurts cardiovascular health.
- Other cardiovascular conditions:
Individuals with a history of coronary artery disease (CAD) or cerebrovascular disease (CVD) are at an increased risk of PVD.
- Chronic kidney disease:
Chronic kidney disease is associated with vascular problems and an increased risk of PVD.
The Laser Vein Clinic has doctors and surgeons who have treated peripheral vascular diseases for many years. Their successes are why this clinic is considered as one of the best in Chennai. If you want treatment for a peripheral vascular disease then come to the Laser Vein Clinic.