Peripherical Vascular Disease Explained
PVD or peripherical vascular disease is used to categorize all the diseases which affect the blood vessels exterior to the heart. It can affect the veins which carry blood back to the heart from around the body, and the arteries which take blood from the heart around the body.
What Are the Warning Signs?
The most common early sign of vein diseases is varicose veins. These are usually easy to spot due to their appearance which is obvious above the skin’s surface. They are usually blue or dark purple and have a twisted or bulging appearance. They most commonly occur on the inside of the leg or back of the calf.
While varicose veins are not particularly dangerous in and of themselves, they are an indicator of a problem which may be underlying, which will progress over time to something worse. As a chronic vein disease develops, the veins struggle to send sufficient blood back through to the heart. This can cause blood to pool in the lower limbs and a number of symptoms are produced. These include;
- Pain, cramping or fatigue of the legs. This is usually more obvious when standing and can be relieved by raising the legs
- Itching or burning feelings in the leg
- Swelling of the ankles, feet and legs
- Different texture in the skin, sometimes thickening or developing a scaly or itchy rash
- Ulcers developing which are slow to heal or prone to not healing at all on the lower limbs
- In severe cases the skin of the legs develops a much darker tone.
The early signs of peripheral arterial disease of PAD can be much more varied. This is because different problems or symptoms are exhibited depending on where the blockage or blood flow restriction has occurred. For example a blockage in the brain may cause a lack of blood flow and a stroke. This can show symptoms such as weakness or numbness down one side of the body, difficulties in speaking, difficulties with coordination, problems with vision or a sudden and severe headache with no apparent cause.
You should also be aware that any chest pains or discomfort, nausea or dizziness can also be common symptoms of PVD.
Diagnosis and Treatment of PVD
To establish whether you are suffering from PVD, your medical care practitioner will conduct a number of tests, these can vary from ultrasound tests, angiograms, blood tests or even some forms of exercise tests. Which tests are used is dependent on the symptoms exhibited, but most tests are non-invasive and designed to obtain a diagnosis as quickly as possible.
There are a variety of treatments available for the different diseases, but early diagnosis is a priority, so if you are worried you may be exhibiting some symptoms of PDV, it is important to seek professional medical advice.
If you are interested in learning more or have any questions or queries regarding your own personal circumstances, then please contact us. Our staff in our St. Louis offices would be happy to be of assistance.