You should find out about all the treatment options that are available to you if you have just learned that you have some form of vascular disease. There are some treatments and management techniques that you can try after discussing with your doctor. According to specialists at the Center for Vascular Medicine: comprehensive treatment of vascular disease, your treatment options will depend on a specialist’s diagnosis; here’s what you should know beforehand;

What Is Vascular Disease?

Vascular disease is a general term for diseases that affect your blood vessels. These diseases are caused by damage to the inner layer of your blood vessels, and the damage can be due to high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, diabetes, or obesity.

There are several types of vascular disease, including:

  • Atherosclerosis 

It’s the hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

  • Coronary Artery Disease 

This vascular disease reduces blood flow to the heart muscle due to atherosclerosis.

  • Peripheral Artery Disease

Atherosclerosis causes peripheral artery disease by reducing blood flow to the legs, feet, and arms.

  • Stroke 

The damage or death of brain cells due to blocked or decreased blood flow can lead to a stroke.

Symptoms Of Vascular Disease

Symptoms of vascular diseases usually depend on the type of blood vessel affected:

  • Arteries:

When vascular disease blocks your arteries, you may feel pain in your legs or arms when walking, exercising, or climbing stairs. The pain can go away when you rest for a few minutes. However, it returns when you walk again. You may also feel numbness, weakness, or coldness in your legs and feet.

  • Veins

Symptoms of vascular disease affecting the veins include pain in your legs after sitting or standing for long periods. You may also notice discoloration on your skin or swelling with open sores (ulcers). A doctor can determine if your symptoms result from vascular disease by checking the blood flow in your extremities (arms and legs).

Diagnosing Vascular Diseases

If you have any of the symptoms described above, please do not panic. Many people experience at least some of these symptoms from time to time, and many are related to common, non-serious health problems. Consider visiting a physician or a health care professional to find out what ails you. 

When you engage a doctor, they’ll ask you about your symptoms and run some tests on your blood vessels. Your primary care doctor may be able to handle some of these tests. However, they will need a second opinion from a vascular disease expert. There are several types of blood vessel tests, such as; 

  • Ultrasound

An ultrasound is an imaging test that allows doctors to see inside the body without making an incision. It uses high-frequency sound waves to “see” inside the body and detect dense areas, such as large blood vessels that are not physically visible. Ultrasound also provides images of blood flow through the detected vessel, which helps doctors diagnose complex cases or rule out possible causes.

  • Angiography

This test uses X-rays to look for blockages in the arteries that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart through the body and back. If a blockage in one area causes pain or discomfort elsewhere, for example, chest pain on exertion, it could indicate a more specific diagnosis than vascular disease.

Treatment For Vascular Diseases

The most common treatments for vascular disease include medications, surgery, and lifestyle changes. Depending on the type of vascular disease you have and what your doctor recommends, you may undergo one or more of these treatment options:

  1. Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes can help lower your risk for a heart attack or stroke. They can involve quitting cigarettes (where applicable) and managing diabetes and high cholesterol with a healthy diet, regular exercise, etc. 

  1. Medications

Antiplatelet medications help to control high blood pressure and lower cholesterol. They are anticoagulant medications that prevent blood clots from forming by reducing the number of platelets in your blood. These medications often work best when combined with lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise and a healthy diet.

  1. Surgical Procedures

There are also surgical such to help restore blood flow through narrowed arteries or veins (angioplasty). Doctors can also repair an aneurysm by bridging narrowed areas with new vessels (bypass surgery) or removing blockages in arteries by inserting tiny instruments through tiny incisions (endovascular procedures).

Vascular disease is treatable. The most important goal is to make sure the treatment is right for you. Your doctor will develop a plan to meet your needs. Keep in mind that treatment for vascular disease depends on the severity of a patient’s condition. It may include treating both the cause and symptoms of the disease. Therefore, there is no optimal standard treatment for all cases. Seek treatment from a specialist who can optimize a treatment option for you.

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