Peripheral vascular disease or PVD refers to conditions which affect the blood circulation vessels outside the brain and the heart. The disorders cause the blood which supply blood to the hands, legs and the abdominal organs to become narrow or develop blockages and spasms. Both the veins and the arteries will be affected by the vascular conditions. When the vessels become narrow, proper blood supply to the affected peripheral body parts will be compromised.
The lack of sufficient blood means that there will be areas in the body without constant supply of oxygen and nutrients, As a result, one can lose the function of their limbs and develop organ damage. If your general physician has expressed concern over your vascular health, it is important to take measures to prevent damage to your peripheral blood vessels. Here are simple guidelines to help you minimise the risk of narrowing and blockage of your veins and arteries.
Avoid Cigarette Smoke
The tobacco used to manufacture cigarette contains harmful compounds, including nicotine. When you smoke, the chemicals in the fumes cause the blood vessels to experience significant constriction. Continued use will result in long-term narrowing of the arteries and veins. Over time, the supply of oxygen to all the part of the body will be limited. Therefore, you should consider smoking cessation to minimise your risk factors. Also, avoid second-hand smoke and other tobacco products.
Increase Physical Activity
Increasing your physical activity can help you decrease your risk of developing a peripheral vascular condition. In simple terms, when you exercise, you will reduce your weight and develop a healthier body. Consequently, your vulnerability to diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure which are linked to vascular dysfunction will be lower. For instance, high blood pressure will damage your vessels due to the high strain. Diabetes changes the blood chemistry in the body, increasing the risk of vessel narrowing.
Choose a Healthy Diet
Your choice of food can determine your vascular health. A poor diet can increase your risk of developing conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which in turn affect the vessels. Therefore, choose a balanced diet with minimal fats such as lean meat, poultry and fat-free dairy products. Also, you should add legumes, fish and whole grains into the meal plan. Also, ensure that you maintain a supply of colourful fruits and vegetables.
If you are already experiencing symptoms of PVD such as limbs cramps, weak pulses, non-healing ulcers and limb discolouration, consult a vascular surgeon for diagnosis and treatment.