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Buerger's disease mostly affects smokers. Usually young men. It is often accompanied by pain and difficult-to-heal wounds, which in extreme cases may lead to ulceration. Buerger's disease is treated surgically and pharmacologically.
Buerger's diseasetoThrombo-obliterative arteritis , involving small and medium-sized veins and arteries, leading to gradual narrowing or complete their overgrowth. Buerger's disease is more common in men, mainly young men (between 20 and 40 years of age). The main factor causing Buerger's disease is smoking - almost all patients smoke tobacco, and only about 5 percent. of them have never smoked.
Buerger's disease - how is it manifested?
Common symptoms of Buerger's disease are pain at the site of the abnormal blood circulation as well as cyanosis and a feeling of cold. Patients often report shooting or paroxysmal pain as a result of nerve ischemia. Buerger's disease is also associated with discoloration of the exposed parts (turning pale or blue). In advanced cases, there are painful, difficult-to-heal ulcers (wounds) on the fingers or toes, located in the place of even minor wounds, abrasions or corns.
Buerger's disease: diagnostic tests
The basis for the diagnosis of Buerger's disease is consultation with a doctor and angiography. This is a type of x-ray examination in which pictures of the arteries are taken after a special contrast agent (visible on x-rays) is injected into the bloodstream. The characteristic changes in the outline and course of the vessels visible in angiography are usually sufficient to establish the final diagnosis.
Buerger's disease surgical and pharmacological treatment
In addition to general recommendations (avoiding cold feet and hands, regular physical activity, wearing insoles to prevent blisters), in Buerger's disease pharmacological and surgical treatment are also used. The former is only possible when the patient has stopped smoking. The treatment includes drugs that prevent excessive blood clotting (aspirin, heparin and its derivatives), vasodilators, agents suppressing excessive activity of the immune system (immunosuppressants)and painkillers.
In cases of very severe pain that does not go away with the administration of painkillers, and in the event of complications (for example, necrosis of the foot or lower leg), limb amputation may be necessary. In general, Buerger's disease is considered incurable, but the process can be slowed down.
Prevention of Buerger's disease
The basic method of disease prevention is:
- quit smoking
- care for the warmth and hygiene of the feet - avoiding them getting cold, wearing comfortable shoes
- avoiding stressful situations
- prevention of atherosclerosis through exercise and a low-fat diet