No. Name No. Name
1. Blood Pressure 5. Peripheral Vascular Disease
2. Cholesterol 6. Stress
3. Diabetes 7. Stroke
4. Obesity 8. Vascular Diseases

What is peripheral vascular disease?
Peripheral vascular disease is a condition in which the arteries that carry blood to the arms or the legs become narrower or blocked due to the formation of fatty material in the wall. If the build- up reduces blood flow mildly, there may be no noticeable symptoms at all. The fatty material thus interferes with the normal flow of blood, and starves the muscles of oxygen. When the build-up of fatty material reduces the blood flow significantly, then the limbs start aching on walking a short distance. Such aching subsides on taking rest, which is called intermittent claudicating. When the arteries are further narrowed, the deficiency in the supply of blood and oxygen causes gangrene of the toes or fingers.

The most general cause of PVD is atherosclerosis (often called hardening of the arteries). Atherosclerosis is a steady process in which fat, cholesterol and other substances mount up in the walls of the arteries developing a substance called "plaque" that clots the blood vessels. Eventually, this fatty substance can erode the wall of the artery diminishing its elasticity (stretchiness) and further disturb proper blood flow. Plaques can also rupture, causing debris to migrate downstream within an artery and cause more severe symptoms, which may lead to gangrene of toes.

Since, atherosclerosis is a common disorder, it may not be restrained to a single artery but may involve arteries in other areas of the body as well. Some of the more regularly affected areas are the arteries of the arms, kidneys, neck, and the most important being the HEART. Heart attack, Stroke, and gangrene of legs are the most predictable consequence of damaged arteries.

Recognition of PVD:
Mostly people with PVD, experience leg pain, numbness or other symptoms - but many people ignore these signs as "a normal part of aging" and do not seek medical help. Only about half of those with symptoms have been diagnosed with PVD and are seeing a doctor for further treatment.

The most usual symptom of PVD is painful cramping in the legs or hips, particularly while walking. This symptom occurs when there is not enough blood circulation to the leg muscles during exercise. The pain typically goes away when the muscles are given a rest. This symptom is therefore called Intermittent Claudicating.

Symptoms of PVD:
 » Leg or hip pain during walking
 » The pain stops when you rest
 » Numbness and tingling of legs
 » Burning or aching pain in feet or toes when resting
 » Ulcer on leg and heel that won’t heal
 » Cold legs and feet
 » Color changes in skin of legs or feet
 » Loss of hair on legs


The most common test for PVD is the Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI), a painless screening examination in which a special stethoscope is used to compare the blood pressure in the feet and arms.

Based on the results of your ABI, as well as your symptoms and risk factors for PVD, the physician can decide if further tests are needed.

When the ABI indicates that an individual may have PVD, other imaging techniques may be used to confirm the diagnosis, including Duplex / Colour Doppler, Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA), Computed Tomography (CT) Angiography and Digital Subtraction Angiography (DSA).

If one is concerned about PVD, following self-test you can be taken to determine if one is at risk.

Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) self-tests:
The answers to these questions will help one know if one is at risk for PVD:

 » Do you have cardiovascular (heart) problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke?
 » Do you have diabetes?
 » Do you have a family history of diabetes or cardiovascular problems (immediate family such as     parent, sister, and brother)?
 » Do you have aching; cramping or pain in your legs when you walk or exercise, but then the pain     goes away when you rest?
 » Do you have pain in your toes or feet at night?
 » Do you have any ulcers or sores on your feet or legs that are slow in healing?
 » Do you smoke?
 » Have you ever smoked?
 » Are you more than 12 kilograms overweight?
 » Do you eat fried or fatty foods three times a week or more?
 » Do you have a sedentary lifestyle?

The more "Yes" answers one has, the more important it is to see the doctor.


The best treatment for PVD depends on numerous factors, including the overall health and the seriousness of the disease.

In some cases, lifestyle changes are enough to stop the progress of PVD and manage the disease. Sometimes, medications or procedures that open up clogged blood vessels are prescribed to treat PVD.

Lifestyle changes
In many cases, changes in lifestyle are enough to slow the progress or even reverse symptoms of PVD. Most treatment plans include a low fat diet and a program of regular exercise.

Mental stress, hostility, depression only increases the chances of heart disease and PVD. Yoga, meditation, and relaxation techniques will ease stress.

If decreased blood flow to the legs is causing injury to the feet and toes, a foot care program to prevent sores or infection may be followed.

Research has shown that regular exercise is the most consistently useful treatment for PVD. In study after study, patients who have taken part in a regular exercise program for at least three months have seen substantial increase in the distance they are able to walk without experiencing painful symptoms.

Regular aerobic exercise like walking at a medium speed for 30 to 40 minutes, three to four times a week provides best possible benefit for the legs as well as for the heart.

Some people may have a medical restriction that prohibits them from participating in an exercise program. Consult your physician before undertaking any exercise or other treatment program.

If one is really excited about eggs and is positively passionate about pastry then he / she is the cardinal candidate for cholesterol and hence atherosclerosis.

A greatly misunderstood problem, cholesterol means increased lipids in the blood, but the diagnosis is far from simple.

Like many patients with coronary artery disease caused by atherosclerosis, PVD patients frequently have high cholesterol levels that contribute to the disease.

One should limit the intake of saturated fat, for example, meat, egg –yolk, dairy products, coconut oil, yogurt, coffee, salt, fried junk food and sugars (chocolates and pastries).

It is always advisable to eat high fiber foods such as vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains. Oat bran, apples, olive oil, almonds, millet, and rice all help reduce cholesterol levels. The cholesterol reducing property is attributed to the presence of a unique anti-oxidant, oryzanol, which is not found in any other edible oil. Try to include them in your diet everyday. Strict dietary discipline can reduce cholesterol levels by up to 10%.

Stop Smoking
There is no doubt that cigarette smoking is a strong risk factor for PVD and heart disease. On an average, smokers are diagnosed with PVD as much as 10 years earlier than non-smokers. Quitting smoking is the only important thing that can be done to halt the progression of PVD or prevent it in the future. In fact, stopping smoking reduces your risk of even heart attack within a year and renders you equal to a non-smoker in three years.
Although we have attempted to provide you with the causes, diagnosis, remedies, and treatments for the above mentioned diseases. We suggest you to consult your personal physician by providing your medical history for getting information for any of these diseases.

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