Arm artery disease is a circulatory disorder that is caused by a narrowing of your blood vessels. It is a type of peripheral artery disease, which means it affects the arteries found in the limbs of your body versus the arteries of your trunk. This circulatory disorder causes the arteries in your arm to become narrow or blocked. This makes them unable to carry oxygen-rich blood into your arms. Most cases of arm artery disease are caused by atherosclerosis.
There are many factors that can contribute to developing arm artery disease. Many of these risk factors can be reduced or eliminated if you are willing to make a change in your lifestyle. People with diabetes are at larger risk of developing atherosclerosis. If your family has a history of atherosclerosis, you are more likely to develop it. If your high blood pressure goes untreated plaque builds up inside your arteries (atherosclerosis). These blockages cause problems and coronary heart disease once they start occurring in the arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle.There are two important types of cholesterol that you should know about: low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good” cholesterol. The bad LDL cholesterol is the type of cholesterol found in the plaque that builds up in your arteries and causes atherosclerosis. Losing weight doesn’t just make you look and feel good. It does good things for your arteries. You need some fat to be healthy. But, if you have too much fat, the lining of your arteries won’t work properly. This makes atherosclerosis more likely to develop. Having too much fat will also raise your risk of developing blood clots, which are known to lead to having a stroke or heart attack.
Being active and eating healthy foods can give you so many things: healthier blood vessels, lower blood pressure, higher levels of good (HDL) cholesterol, lower levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol, and a lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes. It is your responsibility to fight obesity. Asking your doctor what your goal weight should be and what diet guidelines and levels of salt and fat they recommend are a great start, but don’t forget that it is also your responsibility to find out what forms of exercise are best for you. It is your duty to yourself to get the exercise your body needs regularly. Have a dance party by yourself, do some yoga poses, and even jumping jacks and running in place can help. Blood clots and blood vessel problems are more likely to form when you are sitting in one position for more than two hours at a time. Human beings were not evolved to sit behind desks for as long as we do in our modern world. Knowing your body, and keeping your muscles stretched, active, and in the right posture will help your levels of plaque and clot formation tremendously.
The damages caused by smoking increase your risk of atherosclerosis. If you smoke, do everything you can to kick the habit. Avoid other people’s secondhand smoke, too. If you already have atherosclerosis, smoking makes it worse. The chemicals in tobacco smoke cause damage to your blood cells. These chemicals are known to damage your heart’s ability to function, and it affects the structure and functioning of your blood vessels.
Arm artery disease can progress slowly and remain undiagnosed. If you have the symptoms listed below, be sure to inform your doctor about it. This condition leads to an increased risk of amputation, heart attack and stroke.
If you have arm artery disease, your symptoms are caused by your narrowed arteries’ inability to supply necessary oxygen to you muscles. You may experience the following types of symptoms in your arm:
- Heaviness or weakness
- Intermittent claudication (discomfort and pain that occurs when using your arm. This pain may stop when you rest).
- Muscle atrophy (the wasting away of your arm muscle)
- Strange Skin: As arm artery disease develops, you may experience having cool, pale or reddish-blue skin, or you may notice that one arm is colder than your other arm.
- Pulse Weakness: You may notice that your pulse is very weak. You may even be unable to find a pulse in your wrist.
Depending on the underlying cause and blockage, your doctor will work with you to manage the treatment for your condition. The treatments for arm artery disease control your symptoms and stop the disease from progressing. An anesthetic injection (sympathetic block) can relieve your symptoms because it blocks specific nerves in your hand. Cervical sympathectomy treatments can stop artery spasms by using nerve interference. Some of the other treatments for arm artery disease are. For advanced arm arterial disease, your physician may perform a surgical procedure known as a bypass (they create an alternative arterial path) or endarterectomy (surgically remove plaque).
You may be prescribed medicines that lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol, or that improve your blood flow and relax your blood vessel walls. Make lifestyle changes necessary to keep your arteries healthy. Quitting smoking, striving for a healthy weight, and consuming a low-fat and high-fiber diet will help your arteries become healthier. Try introducing walking for at least thirty minutes into your routine. Do it at least four times a week. With angioplasty, your physician will have two options via a catheter. He or she will inflate and deflate a special balloon that breaks up the plaque. They could also insert a permanent or temporary stent to hold open your artery.
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