Sunday, May 23, 2010
Hill dwellers more prone to blackened toes, says vascular surgeon
Ignoring blackened toes may lead to limb amputation, Dr Jindal
People from hills more prone to blackened toes, Dr Jindal
Blackened toes may lead to heart problem, Dr Jindal
Blackened toes treatable, Dr Jindal
Shimla, January 17
Ignoring blackened toes may not only lead to amputation of foot or leg, but can also cause onset of heart ailment.
Leading vascular surgeon Dr Ravul Jindal, Head of Vascular and Endovascular surgery with Fortis Hospital, Mohali, Punjab revealed while addressing media persons today.
Dr Jindal added that this peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is associated with old age, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension.
People living in hilly terrain are more prone to these diseases because of old age and high incidence of smoking.
“Those from hills have to walk a lot and hence develop symptoms of the disease quiet in form of pain in calf or thigh while walking. Unfortunately these diseases are not diagnosed on time and patients ultimately land up with gangrene and consequent limb amputation,” Dr Jindal added.
The incidence of diseases varies from 4-6 percent in the population aged more than 50 years. Risk factors result in blockade of blood vessels in leg resulting in loss of blood supply to foot with consequences such as infection, non healing ulcer and gangrene (blackening of toes).
Dr Jindal who has received advanced training in vascular surgical procedures from St Mary's Hospital, London adds that people suffering from PAD run two to six times greater risk of dying from heart attack or stroke as compared to others.
“If not treated on time, patients can have amputation either of foot or leg. This carries a huge morbidity and mortality as these patients also have associated heart disease,” he added. Smokers having associated diabetes are more prone for gangrene than smoking or diabetes alone.
The absence of early diagnosis worsens problem in individual. “Though there are no figures for vascular patients in country, the fact that there are over 25 million diabetics is just a small pointer to vast numbers of undiagnosed vascular cases. Studies show that patients of severe vascular disease have been treated for low backache and arthritis for years,” he revealed.
Its onset of peripheral gangrene that reveals absence of pulsations for long periods of time hitherto unnoticed. After diagnosis also only treatment of these cases has been amputations leaving primary vascular problem unsolved.
Dr Jindal said that first physical sign of loss of circulation may be loss of pulses in feet. Therefore it is very important that doctor checks pulses in feet every three months.
Lowering blood pressure, bad cholesterol levels, managing blood glucose and regular exercises are best ways to prevent these diseases.
Dr Jindal suggested that lifestyle should be charted to increase healthy circulation of blood from heart to various body parts and vice versa, besides administration of anti clogging or anti platelet drugs and specialized vascular surgery.
Even as very few specialized vascular surgeons are available for vascular surgery, still Dr Jindal feels that prevention and precaution are effective ways to deal with arterial diseases.
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