Experts from the Society for Vascular Surgery have revealed that heart conditions affect more than just your heart - they can also affect your legs, feet, kidneys and brain.
The experts explained that heart conditions is a general term usually associated with arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Arteriosclerosis is progressive disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries.
Over time, the arteries can become blocked, making it harder for oxygen-rich blood to flow throughout the body, Dr Ali AbuRahma, secretary of the society and chief of vascular-endovascular surgery at West Virginia University's Robert C Byrd Health Sciences Center, added.
Keep reading to learn how heart conditions can affect parts of your body other than your heart…
Some heart conditions can be managed, while others can’t…
According to the team, while you can manage hardening of the arteries, you can’t manage other heart conditions such as peripheral artery disease (PAD).
PAD develops when heart disease
affects your legs and feet. When blood can no longer reach the extremities, wounds that don’t heal may develop. As a result, you may need an amputation.
If you have PAD and have developed pain
while walking, you should consult your doctor and have a non-invasive test to measure the blood pressure
in your ankles. By taking such precautions, you can avoid serious complications associated with PAD.
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You should take sensible health measures to keep your veins and arteries healthy
The experts said they recommend that everyone takes a few “sensible health measures” to keep their veins and arteries healthy. “First, know your number – that is, manage your blood pressure
, blood sugar
and cholesterol. Don’t smoke and get regular physical activity. Try to lower your stress
level, too,” they said in a society news release.
Furthermore, the experts recommended that if you have vascular disease, you are cared for by a specialist. You should also stick to your treatment plan for the rest of your life.
“Vascular specialists are trained to restore blood flow, but most of our long-term patients never need anything other than medication and good health habits,” Dr AbuRahma said. “But if non-invasive treatments no longer work, we can install minimally invasive balloons or stents to unblock blood vessels, or perform open procedures, in which we create bypasses around a blocked artery,” he concluded.
The bottom line? By managing your heart conditions where possible, you can cut your risk of damage to your legs, feet, kidneys and brain.
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