Circulatory disorders – due to their frequent occurrence – are considered endemics in the developed countries. Fifty-one percent of the deaths originate in vascular diseases, and lower-limb arterial diseases affect 10-15 percent of the adult population. The Oxigen and nutrition necessary for the operation of our body reach our organs via the network of arteries.
If a lesion occurs at any section of the arterial system then only insufficient amount of nutrition and oxigen can reach the area in question, resulting, among others in pain. If the arterisclerosis causes complete obstruction of the blood vessel, the tissue or part of the organ supplied by that artery is going to necrose. In case it occurs on a limb, then, depending on the place of the arteriosclerosos the consequence is going to be gangrane which can make either partial or complete amputation of the limb unavoidable.
In case of internal organs, arteriosclerosis casues lesion in the organ in question and can lead for example to heart attack or stroke. In Hungary five thousand limbs are amputated every year, however, on international level nearly one million legs are amputated worldwide each year.
The typical symptoms of arteriosclerosis:
- Decrease of walking distance (depending on the location of the arteriosclerosis, after walking a certain distance pain or cramp appears in the muscles of the limb forcing the patient to stop. After a short rest he or she can cover the same distance again.)
- lower limb pain cannot be explained otherwise
- a slowly healing wound,
- a pale, cold limb,
- the numbness of the limb(s)
- limb-cramps at night
- headache, vertigo, a whizz in the ear
- sexual problems for men
Risk factors playing important role in the development of arteriosclerosis:
- high blood pressure (Hypertension)
- familiar aggregation (genetic)
- diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus)
- high level of cholesterol (Hypercholesterinaemia)
- increased level of fat in the blood (Hypertriglyceridaemia)
- age (risk increases with the progression of the years)
- inactive life-style
- eating food rich in animal fats
- sex (the risk for man is threefold of that for women)