What is peripheral vascular disease and who does it affect?
Oxygenated blood with nutrients travel from the heart to the legs and arms to supply energy, blood flow and life.
Women tend to have smaller arteries than men.
Diet, exercise, family history, genetics. Certain diseases such as collagen vascular disease and diabetes are linked to problems involving the arteries.
A smoking history and obesity can have a significant impact on the state of the arteries.
A diet high in fat, red meats and dairy can contribute to fatty deposits in the artery which can eventually "oxidize” or "rust" and form plaque ultimately blocking flow.
A sedentary lifestyle leads to decease in blood flow and stagnation.
Family history and genetics play a role as certain chemical reactions may occur by genetic control either switching genes on or off which may cause abnormal signals on how we metabolize fats, detoxification of pollutants, medications and other chemicals causing free radical formation thus equaling damage to cells and walls of the arteries.
Smoking adversely affects the flow of blood.
The wisest advice I can give is eat Green, rainbow foods, wild fish and keep hydrated.
I do advise supplementing with vitamins and minerals. Yes you do excrete some of the excess water soluble vitamins but the majority of them you absorb which helps the command center of the cell "DNA" to regulate properly.
If I can recommend a few important supplements I would say take a great :
2000 mg of Omega 3 fish oils
5 MTHF (activated methylated folic acid) as many times we are missing the enzyme to activate and by taking this we bypass that missing step
Angionox (contains L-arginine and L-citrulline important amino acids which help to increase nitrous oxide and dilate blood vessels, optimizes blood flow and oxygen, supports healthy dilatation of blood vessels and maintains healthy male sexual function) One warning be careful with L-arginine if you have a tendency for herpes as this amino acid may reactivate the virus.
If you are having difficulty with walking and experiencing pain during or after walking or exercising you have mild blockage or narrowing of the arteries.
If you have to stop and rest and dangle your legs you may have moderate to severe blockage.
If your skin becomes pale, shiny with loss of hair, coolness or swelling these are other signs of arterial disease.
The first step in diagnosing arterial problems is to see your primary care doctor followed by a vascular specialist such as a vascular surgeon or vascular interventional radiologist.
The best test to start off with is an ultrasound with measurements in order to determine the pressure in the arteries; just like taking a blood pressure but with an ultrasound.
Another alternative is a test called a CTA or MRA which means looking at the arteries with either a CT scan or MRI scan with a 3 dimensional view.
These tests help to plan the next step in intervention prior to performing an angiogram or arteriogram.
This is a dye study where a tiny catheter is placed in the artery in the groin and dye is injected into the arteries of the legs to delineate the anatomy and determine if there is disease and to what extent. The test also tells you if you have severe narrowing which may require an angioplasty(balloon dilatation) or if severe enough a stent which is made of nitinol and keeps the artery open. Newer balloons and stents contain drugs which slowly releases a drug in the artery to prevent cell proliferation or cell overgrowth.
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