Are you a smoker? You might not know that aside from heart and lung ailments, there are other health complications that are not yet being discussed. When you still smoke, you might be having an unknown complication that might affect your body when you become old in the future. So here is what you should know when you smoke for many years.

Buerger's disease is a silent killer and difficult to diagnose. This is because it is a disease that still has an idiopathic source or cause of it. Whenever a person will develop this particualr ailment, they are more likely to suffer from long-term complications because there are still no cure for this disease. The progressive stage will cause the person to have a permanent physical distress because their arms or lower extremities will prevent them from accomplishing their daily activities.
if you cut your smoking habits, you can eliminate Buerger's disease
One main issue is the development of Buerger's disease. This is a progressive thrombosis and inflammation response affecting both small and medium arteries as well as the veins across the body. Buerger's disease is recurring, which affects the patient's hands and feet where small and medium veins or arteries are affected. The disease is mainly associated with tobacco smoking, vaping, and regularly inhaling hazardous smoke such as workers being exposed to manufacturing facilities emitting harmful chemicals.

Causes of Buerger's disease

Buerger's disease is a smoker's disease. Why? the smoke inhaled causes smooth muscle irritation, allowing them to constrict or to allow blood stream to tighten, decreasing the amount of oxygen or nutritional substances to travel across other parts of the body. Harmful chemicals inhaled from smoke integrates with the blood stream through the process of gaseous exchange in the alveoli of the lungs. Continuous smoking allows harmful chemicals to reach the end-points of the arteries and veins, causing them to inflame and develop thrombosis.

Even if there are still medical procedures that are already undertaken to know the real cause of the disease, researchers are still trying their best to ensure that the main cause will be finally identified and will eventually cure the disease.

Early signs of Buerger's disease to hands and feet

If a person smokes more than one pack per day, their susceptibility on suffering from Buerger's disease is high. High amounts of tobacco substances that are integrated to the blood stream can cause clotting effect, which makes both hands and feet to suffer from a continuous inflammatory response. Vasculitis and ischemic response also a predisposing factor that leads to the development of the disease in the future.

Signs and symptoms

  • Recurrent inflammation of the hands or feet or both.
  • Either acute or chronic thrombosis affecting the arteries and veins of both hands and feet. 
  • Tenderness or pain to the affected areas. 
  • A difficulty of walking due to pain response.
  • Decreased sensation due to damaged nerve endings. 
  • Hair growth is reduced across the affected area
  • Discoloration starts to show up on the hands and feet.
  • Ulcerations starts to appear at the fingertips or the toes.
  • Gangrene in the extremities that are progressing towards the arms.  
Diagnosis of Buerger's disease
  • Diagnosis is determined by predisposing factors as the exact cause of the disease is still idiopathic. 
  • The presence of distal extremity ischemia is considered as a factor for determining Buerger's disease. 
  • Visible signs of pain, progressive ulceration, and gangrenous fingers and toes may indicate that the patient is suffering from Buerger's disease.
  • Blood glucose testing is required because if the blood level is high, the person is diabetic. If the level is low in glucose, the patient is indeed positive for Buerger's disease. 
  • Past history of medical illness.
  • A hereditary history (inclusion of parent's similar diagnosis from the past).
Treatment and management applied to patients suffering from Buerger's disease
  • Vasodilators are indicated for patients suffering from Buerger's disease to promote blood circulation to the hands and feet. 
  • NSAIDS (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) aims to reduce inflammation to the patient's hands and feet.
  • Lumbar sympathectomy procedure is applied to reduce vasoconstriction so that more blood flows through the lower extremities of the patient. 
  • Proximal arterial or venous bypass surgeries are applied to promote blood circulation to the fingers and toes of the patient. 
  • Debridement or tissue repair is applied for patients suffering from chronic ulcers. 
  • Amputation is an inevitable treatment procedure for patients who are already suffering from gangrenous feet or hands. This is to prevent progressing gangrene that affects other parts of the body.
Prevention of Buerger's disease
  • Stop smoking tobaccos, vapes, and other inhalants to prevent any progression of the disease. 
  • Exercise regularly because it helps to boost blood circulation, preventing any possibility of developing Buerger's disease.
  • Drink plenty of liquids such as between 10 to 12 glasses of water a day so that it helps to replenish your body with new liquids and flushes out toxins. 
  • Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages to further decrease risks of developing the disease. 
  • Eat foods that are low in fat so that it will not affect any development of Buerger's disease. 
  • It is important to give time for your hands and feet to have a regular spa. It relaxes your hands and feet, keeping the circulation normal, and eliminating risks of developing Buerger's disease. 

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