When it comes to vascular health, prevention is always better than cure. While there are treatments for conditions such as peripheral vascular disease, your vascular surgeon would rather you prevent them arising altogether. Fortunately, achieving this is often simple.
Now's the time to control your blood pressure
When your blood pressure remains high and you don't do anything to address it, it places stress on your arteries. As a result, they'll start to narrow, which may cause a cramping sensation in your legs. Should the veins narrow excessively, you may experience arterial ulcers or necrosis. If you have high blood pressure, try the following to reduce it:
- Quit smoking
- Lose weight
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce your alcohol intake
- Take your blood pressure medication
You need to quit smoking asap
Whether you only smoke a few cigarettes a day or you go through several packets, now's the time to quit. Over time, smoking causes plaque to build up along the walls of your arteries. This condition is called atherosclerosis. The more plaque that builds, the narrower your arteries become. This can result in conditions such as:
- Leg ulcers, which can reduce mobility
- Peripheral oedema, which is where your legs swell
- Peripheral vascular disease, which may eventually lead to the loss of blood flow at the extremities of your legs
- An increased risk of diabetic foot in those with diabetes
If you're struggling with quitting smoking, you may find that you benefit from a support group. In addition, smoking cessation aids deliver nicotine to the body, which can reduce the cravings you experience throughout the day.
Good and bad forms of cholesterol exist
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL, which is bad, and HDL, which is good. LDL is bad as it sticks to your blood vessel walls, narrowing them and making it harder for blood to pass through. HDL is good because it reduces your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
You can find out whether you're having too many LDL cholesterols with a simple blood test at your local doctor's practice. Typical LDL cholesterol sources include whole fat dairy, animal fats, and vegetable oils. In contrast, HDL cholesterols come from green leafy vegetables, salmon such as fish, and flaxseed. Try to add more of the latter to your diet for better overall health.
If you have concerns about your vascular health, reach out to your vascular surgeon for advice. Together, you can form a plan that's unique to your circumstances and suitable for your underlying conditions. For more information, contact companies like Timothy Wagner.