About Circulatory Disorders of the Lower Limbs
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Circulatory disorders of the lower limbs
How do the disorders occur?
The arteries are used to transport blood which is rich in oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the organs and tissues. Sometimes blood flow in the arteries is violated due to various diseases and disorders such as atherosclerosis. This results in the organs and tissues receiving insufficient nutrients and oxygen. insufficient supply of oxygen and nutrients then leads to disease of the arteries of the legs or peripheral arterial disease.
It begins when cholesterol and lipids create yellow spots on the inner walls of the vessels. This leads to the formation of plaques which accumulate platelets and fibrin clots. With this
What are the symptoms?
In some rare cases, circulatory disorders of the lower limbs may be asymptomatic. The areas of the lower extremities may experience different levels of pain depending on the extent of the damage to the arteries. Pain in other areas of the lower extremities such as the shins, knees, soles of the feet, waist or thighs.
- Intermittent claudication: This is discomfort or pain that occurs while walking, but disappears on resting. The pain or discomfort may also occur when lifting heavy objects. Although at times you may not feel expressed pain, you can greatly disturb the sense of weight and have muscle cramps.
- Critical ischemia: This occurs when the blood supply to the tissues of the lower extremities is strongly violated. This leads to intense pain in the lower extremities localized to the tips of fingers and the hip even at rest. If the ischemia is severe, it may cause skin dryness, low skin temperature, pallor, or emergence of trophic ulcers.
If untreated it develops necrosis of the soft tissues and gangrene of the lower limbs.
- Age: The disorders mostly occur as age increases
High levels of homocysteine
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Atherosclerosis: Obliterating atherosclerosis is one of the main causes of circulatory disorders of the lower limbs. It is often caused by inadequate supply of blood to the lower limbs and leads to excruciating pain and even disability. It is mainly localized in the larger vessels which include aorta, femoral artery, iliac artery or popliteal.
- Endarteritis (thrombo-angiitis): This is a chronic inflammatory disease which affects the small arteries of the lower extremities. The exact cause is not known but may be infectious fungal infections, pathology of the blood coagulation system, atherosclerosis, allergies or increased reaction to tobacco products.
- Diabetes mellitus: People suffering from diabetes mellitus are more at risk to suffer atherosclerosis. The vessels are affected and this can be subdivided into macroangiopathy which affects the arteries and microangiopathy which affects the arterioles and capillaries. Insufficient blood supply to the microvascular lead to ossification in the soft tissues of the foot. This contributes to low immunity and easy infections. The simultaneous presence of diabetic nerve damage, pathology in the blood vessels, trophic disorders of the foot and deformation lead to diabetic foot.
- Thrombophlebitis: This is the varicose expansion of veins
Who to see
People with circulatory disorders of the lower limbs should see a vascular surgeon.
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