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  • So, what is peripheral vascular disease? Well, first of all, vascular disease refers to any

  • problem with the vasculature of the body. Those would be the arteries and veins.

  • Peripheral is to distinguish it from two other vascular beds in the body. The main three vascular

  • beds in the body would be the cerebral, or vascular bed of the brain, the coronary vascular

  • bed, which feeds the heart, and then, the vascular bed which feeds everything else,

  • the rest of the body.

  • So vascular disease is really talking about the disease which affects the vasculature

  • of the rest of the body, from the most part, our lower extremities and legs. It can be

  • caused by a lot of the same things that cause the cerebral vascular disease or the coronary

  • vascular disease. That would be the buildup of cholesterol plaque within those arteries.

  • For the most part, they have a lot of the same risk factors as the cerebral and coronary vascular disease does.

  • That would be smoking, lack of exercise, increased blood pressure and cholesterol.

  • For peripheral vascular disease, however, smoking, plays a large factor.

  • So, how do you know if you have peripheral vascular disease? Oftentimes, you can note

  • that in one of two ways. One would be lower extremity cramping or pain, which we call

  • claudication with walking. Another way may be to see that the signs of decreased blood

  • flow to the legs or feet. That would be cold or cool feet, or hair loss on the lower extremities,

  • or a change in color of the feet or toes. The most common symptom would be claudication,

  • which is a leg cramping during walking.

  • The best thing to do would be to see your doctor. Your doctor can order a pretty simple

  • test, which we call a lower extremity vascular study or a peripheral artery study. The test

  • starts off with something called an ankle brachial index, which is just a simple measure

  • of the blood pressure difference between the arms, or upper extremity, and the legs. It

  • can be done with a simple 15 minute in-office procedure. It's pretty painless and will tell

  • the doctor right away if there's any problems with the vasculature in your legs.

  • So, how do we treat peripheral artery disease? It would be going back to the basic lifestyle

  • modifications; stopping smoking, reducing your blood pressure, and treating high cholesterol.

  • Another very important way we treat peripheral artery disease would be to increase the amount

  • of exercise that you do. And that's the basic things you need to know about peripheral artery disease.

So, what is peripheral vascular disease? Well, first of all, vascular disease refers to any

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What Is Peripheral Vascular Disease? | Heart Disease

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    Study English posted on 2016/10/23
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