they Many reasons could be behind one pain From the legsbut when this is The pain occurs when walking and the discomfort forces you to stop walkingit may be caused by Peripheral arterial disease.
This disease consists of A Which affects the arteries responsible for supplying the limbs with bloodEspecially in the legs That has a narrowing (stenosis) or blockage Which prevents or reduces and impedes blood flow.
This disease It is associated with atherosclerosis , It is the accumulation of fatty deposits (atheromatous plaques) in the arterial wall, which gradually progresses until it occupies the entire blood vessel.
The first symptoms may go unnoticed
As the head of the unit explains Vascular Medicine and Vascular Surgery at Roper International Hospital, Dr. Pablo Gal, In the early stages of the disease, symptoms are subtle and unnoticed.
However, as the narrowing progresses and blood flow in the arteries decreases, the… First inconveniences:
feeling Tingling and/or cramps in Legs.
The appearance From pain when walking, Even if it was only a few meters away. This type of pain is called pain Intermittent claudication
he pain It can progress and suffer from it Even while lying down.
“They're showing up too Skin changes Such as the presence of injuries that lead to problems in healing an ulcer that does not heal,” explains the vascular doctor.
he color Of the legs become pale.
- Constant feeling of coldness in the feet Or the absence of dust in it.
Why does he rise? Peripheral arterial disease?
Well, the specialist points out that there is a series of Factors that increase risks To develop peripheral arterial disease. The most important of them are:
Suffering from high blood pressure.
It has levels Cholesterol very high
She suffers from obesity
Lead a very sedentary lifestyle.
These are all factors that can be controlled, but Dr. Gall points out that they exist Others, such as age and family history it can not be controlled.”
How is peripheral arterial disease diagnosed?
The first thing that Dr. Gal points out is that if you encounter any of the symptoms that appear on you, you must go to a specialist doctor so that he can do the following:
Control risk factors
In this way, To slow down the speed Disease progression.
In this sense, “when a patient comes for consultation, a complete clinical history should be taken that identifies risk factors, in addition to a comprehensive physical examination,” explains the specialist.
“The diagnosis is completed by performing an echocardiogram, The tool that provides us with information about the state of blood circulation since then Calculate blood flow in blood vessels Bouncing high frequency sound waves.
In some cases, it is necessary to extend the study by conducting a procedure Arteriography or other imaging tests He adds: “To evaluate the degree of participation and the extent of the spread of the disease.” Doctor Santiago ZubicoaHead of the Vascular Interventional Radiology Unit at the hospital Roper International.
Controlling risk factors is essential for treatment
All these tests It will confirm the presence and severity of peripheral arterial disease. Depending on the condition of the blood vessels, one type of treatment or another will be chosen. But in any case, Controlling risk factors is essential.
This is how Dr. Pablo Gal explains it:
“Controlling risk factors and adopting a healthy lifestyle are essential components in managing and maintaining vascular disease Good control of blood pressure, as well as adequate levels of glucose and cholesterol in the blood, a balanced diet, abstaining from tobacco consumption, and daily physical activity. Crucially, Foot care And use appropriate shoes.
In fact, the specialist warns, “Once peripheral arterial disease is diagnosed, prevention of injury to the feet is imperative.”
At the same time as risk factors are modified and controlled, Drug treatment (pharmaceutical Anticoagulantsto control cholesterol, glucose, or blood pressure).
In more serious cases, it may be necessary to resort to treatments aimed at revascularizing the blood vessels to bring more blood to the legs. We're talking about surgeries like angioplasty and stent placement Or even make one Transgression.
“A comprehensive approach to the patient is crucial to ensuring a Effective management of peripheral arterial disease focuses on improving quality of life and reducing risks Of complications such as loss of a limb,” concludes Dr. Gall.
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