The human heart works together with a network of blood vessels that run through the whole body. These channels are referred to as veins and arteries. Veins carry blood from the rest of the body back to the heart where it is oxygenated and pumped back to the rest of the body. The arteries, on the other hand, take the oxygenated blood from the heart and supply it to the rest of the organs. Coronary arteries run inside the heart while the peripheral arteries run outside the heart. Both types of arteries are at a risk of developing peripheral arterial diseases. Here is a look at the various kinds of peripheral arterial diseases that you are at risk of suffering from:
Renal Artery Disease
Renal artery condition strikes when plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your renal section or kidneys. The plaque comprises cholesterol and fats. As it builds up on the walls of the renal arteries, the blood vessels become narrow and stiff. This interferes with the normal flow of blood due to obstruction and blockage. Due to the poor flow of blood, you are likely to develop high blood pressure, kidney failure and congestive heart.
Atherosclerosis refers to hardening of the arteries that supply blood to the legs and lower limbs. Sometimes, practitioners refer to the disease as peripheral arterial disease. This results in cramps and pain in the legs when you engage in any physical activity such as running and walking. In most cases, the skin colour on the legs also changes as ulcerations develop on the leg. Failure to treat this condition properly may necessitate the loss of a limb through amputation.
Reynaud's phenomenon is a good example of how devastating peripheral arterial diseases can be. Here, the patient experiences muscle spasms (involuntary muscle contractions) on the smallest artery branches supplying blood peripheral limbs such as the toes and fingers. The spasms occur when the person is anxious, excited or exposed to extreme heat and cold.
Popliteal Entrapment Syndrome
Popliteal entrapment syndrome is a peculiar peripheral arterial disease that occurs in young athletes. It impairs the proper development and growth of the knee joint, elevating the risk of injury for the athletes. Popliteal entrapment syndrome results from a compression of the muscles and tendons in the knee, hindering the flow of blood to the knee joint. The artery is damaged in the process, as blood flows forcefully under high pressure.
For more information, contact a local vascular surgeon.