It can be quite alarming when our bodies start functioning in ways that are abnormal or alarming. One such condition that often goes undetected is Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD), a circulatory disorder that obstructs normal blood flow in vessels outside the brain and heart. Here, we will highlight some common symptoms of PVD to help you become more aware of this often silent condition.
Understand Peripheral Vascular Disease
Before spot-checking symptoms, it’s necessary to understand what Peripheral Vascular Disease entails, according to Dr Dennis Doan. PVD typically affects blood vessels outside the brain and heart, leading to narrowed or blocked blood vessels – often veins and arteries that transport blood to the legs and arms.
Our understanding of the symptoms starts with recognizing that the problem tends to gradually make its presence known, with the severity and duration of symptoms increasing over time.
Common Symptoms Of Peripheral Vascular Disease
Here, we highlight more specific signs and symptoms you might experience if you’re suffering from PVD:
- Claudication: This is discomfort or pain in your muscles when walking. The pain can be sharp or cause a burning sensation, often occurring in your legs and might be relieved with rest.
- Numbness or Weakness: You might experience numbness, weakness, or heaviness in your muscles, especially in your legs.
- Skin Changes: Look for stark changes on your legs, including decreasing temperature, abnormal color, or visible ulcers or sores that don’t seem to heal.
- Slow Growth of Nails or Hair: If you are identifying slower-than-normal toenail growth or hair loss on your legs and feet, it might signal PVD.
- Erectile Dysfunction: In men, erectile dysfunction could be another sign of peripheral vascular disease, as reduced blood flow can affect the functioning of other systems.
Remember, the presence of one or more of these symptoms does not guarantee PVD, but they do suggest a consultation with a healthcare professional.
What To Do If You Experience Symptoms
Early identification is crucial in dealing with PVD, says Dr Dennis Doan. If you experience any of the above symptoms, reach out to a healthcare professional immediately. Diagnosis usually involves a physical exam, review of your medical history, and specific diagnostic tests like Doppler ultrasounds, angiography, and blood tests.
Managing And Preventing PVD
PVD management often involves lifestyle modifications, medication, or in severe cases, surgery. A healthy diet, regular exercise, quitting tobacco, and maintaining a healthy weight are all crucial in managing PVD and preventing further complications.
The primary goal is to manage symptoms, improve mobility, and prevent the progression of the disease.
Peripheral vascular disease might seem daunting, but it is manageable, especially when caught early. If you experience symptoms related to PVD, remember that help is available, and you can still lead a healthy, fulfilling life with the right treatment and lifestyle adjustments.
Your body is an intricate network of systems working together. When one system encounters a problem, it could affect your overall health. So, listen to your body and never hesitate to seek Dr Dennis Doan advice when something doesn’t seem right.