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Buerger’s Disease – Causes and Symptoms of Buerger’s Disease

Buerger’s disease is also called thromboangiitis obliterans which is a rare disorder that affects the young or middle-aged male cigarette smokers. This disease is characterized by the narrowing or occlusion of the veins and arteries. In this disorder, the legs are affected the most than the arms and the first symptoms are extreme pain of the lower legs and arms. This disease affects men between the ages 20 and 40.

Causes of Buerger’s disease

  • This condition is caused due to the swelling of the arteries and the veins.
  • This swelling causes a block in the flow of blood to the tissues of hands and feet.
  • When the flow of blood is blocked, the tissues do not get adequate nutrients.
  • When the tissues lack nutrients, they do not function properly.
  • This results in the degeneration of the tissues which occurs as a result of decreased oxygen and nutrients to the skin in the hands and feet.
  • This leads to the signs and symptoms of Buerger’s disease.
  • Cigarette smoking also increases the risk of this disease.
  • It can occur even in people who chew tobacco and those who use raw tobacco.
  • This is because chemicals in tobacco may irritate the lining of the blood vessels.
  • Researchers are still finding the exact cause of this disorder of the blood vessels.

Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of Buerger’s disease include:

  • Numbness in the legs
  • Burning sensation in the legs
  • Foot pains
  • Foot pain worsens with exertion
  • Foot numbness
  • Tingling sensation of the foot
  • Foot discoloration
  • Insomnia
  • Ulceration of the extremities
  • Inflammation of the extremities
  • Cold hyper-sensibility
  • Cold feet
  • Foot paras-thesis
  • Intermittent leg pains
  • Severe pain in the extremities while at rest
  • Blood vessel thrombosis
  • Gangrene of extremities
  • Sudden sweating
  • Swelling in the feet and hands
  • Weakness in the legs and hands

Complications of Buerger’s disease
The major complication is when the blood supply to the arms and legs is reduced, blood does not reach the tips of the fingers and toes. Nutrients and oxygen do not reach the tissues which results in the degeneration of the tissue that makes the tissues to die that leads to gangrene formation. Gangrene is a serious condition where the affected area usually requires an amputation. Amputation is the removal or the surgical incision of the affected finger or toe.

When to consult the Medical Health Professional?
When you find the above symptoms, see your doctor immediately before your condition worsens where an amputation may be the only option.

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