Vascular disease is a condition characterized by weakened and inflamed arteries and veins that occur when fatty deposits, or plaque, accumulate inside the blood vessels. The accumulation of plaque insidiously occurs over an extended period. This disorder is known as arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Blood flow decreases as the veins and arteries narrow. There are typically no symptoms until your blood vessels are damaged to the point where blood flow to vital organs and muscles is compromised. At this advanced stage, you may experience pain, a lack of mobility and tissue death. Vascular disease is often a major risk factor that significantly increases your potential for having strokes, coronary disease and heart attacks.
There are several risk factors for arteriosclerosis. In addition to a family history of the condition, these include being male, smoking and lacking proper exercise. High blood pressure, being overweight, eating a poor diet and having chronic stress can also increase your risk for developing vascular disease. Additional causes of the disorder include infection as well as injuries to muscles and ligaments. Reynaud’s Phenomenon can cause the small arteries in your fingers and toes to cramp or twitch when you are cold or excited. This can cause the skin in the affected areas to feel cold or numb and appear white or bluish.
Another form of vascular disease, varicose veins are caused by the failure of the one-way valves that control the flow of blood back to the heart. Blood clotting disorders and lymphedema, a problem with your lymphatic system, can also cause vascular disease.
You should make an appointment at Peripheral Vascular Associates if you experience leg pain, numbness or other symptoms, such as varicose veins. A screening is also recommended for individuals over age 70 or those who are 50 and over with a history of diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity. If you are suffering from vascular disease or would like more information, contact our office for a consultation. Our team can review your medical history and conduct a thorough examination. The results of the exam and any required diagnostic tests will help identify the underlying cause of your condition. We will then be able to determine the best course of treatment required to improve your quality of life.
Peripheral Vascular Associates has locations in San Antonio, Boerne, Corpus Christi, Del Rio, Floresville, Hondo, Jourdanton, New Braunfels and Uvalde. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn more.