Peripheral vascular disease or PVD refers to the diseases of the circulatory system outside of the heart and the brain. This disorder is characterized by narrowing of the arteries in the legs causing limitation of blood supply to the muscles.
This condition usually begins with a build up of plaques in the blood vessels that supply blood to the limbs. These plaques are made up of cholesterol, calcium and fibrous tissue. This results in lack of proper blood supply to the muscles of the legs, causing severe signs and symptoms.
What are the risk factors for this problem?
- The symptoms of this illness are more severe in people with diabetes. Even the recovery of these individuals is slower as compared to that of normal people.
- Patients having an increased level of cholesterol face a very high risk of suffering from this problem.
- This disease is more prevalent in patients above 50 years of age.
- The inflammation and scarring of the blood vessels due to infections can lead to this ailment.
- Structural defects in the blood vessels can also increase the risk of developing this disease.
What are the indications of this disease?
This condition most commonly affects the muscles in the buttocks, the hips, the thighs, the foot and the calf. Intermittent limping, or claudication, is the commonest symptom of this condition. Patients complain of pain, numbness and cramps in the legs while walking or climbing stairs. These symptoms often ease after taking rest. There can also be burning or numbness in the legs. If the blockage is severe, patients may not feel any pain because the body tries to compensate for this by growing tiny blood vessels that "bypass" the blocked arteries. This is called collateral circulation.
Some other signs and symptoms of this disorder include:
- Delayed healing of wounds
- Repeated infections in the legs
- Gangrene or death of the tissues requiring an amputation
- Weak or absent pulse in the feet
- Erection problems, especially in males having diabetes
How to manage?
Patients suffering from this disease are advised to use Simvastatin to manage it with effective results. Use of this medicine also helps in prevent heart attack and stroke. It helps in managing this disease by preventing the action of an enzyme, HMG-CoA Reductase, in the liver. This leads to a reduction in the level of cholesterol in the body, thereby preventing blockages of the arteries.
How to use?
Patients should use Simvastatin in a dosage of 10 to 40 mg, once everyday. The dose can be modified depending on the blood cholesterol levels. Patients can consult their physician for more information about this drug.
A person may try to ignore peripheral vascular disease by walking less to avoid leg pain. However, this may not help for long! In fact, ignoring this problem may make it worse, leading to gangrene or other severe complications. Hence, the best way to deal with this disease is to use of Simvastatin and ensure that your leg vessels function efficiently.