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Leg pain: A common warning sign for heart attack and stroke

Pain in the legs can be a sign of serious diseases

When it comes when you Go after a short time to leg pain and you have to stop frequently, this can indicate peripheral arterial occlusive disease (paod). With the also to as “shop window disease” referred to blood circulation disorder an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Leg pain can be a note on the shop window disease

Many people think leg pain is usually a harmless cause. But sometimes they can also be a Symptom of a serious illness. Such complaints may be, for example, a note for an early heart attack. Behind leg pain but can put also the so-called claudication. Then the heart is in danger.

If while walking fast pain set in the legs, this can be a note on the so-called claudication. This is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. (Image: /fotolia.com)

Four to five million Germans affected

It starts with pain when walking – often in the calves: In the case of the “peripheral arterial disease” (pad), narrowing of the arteries in the pelvis and legs.

As a result, blood is not enough in the legs and it comes to back pain, as the muscle cells in the calves receive enough oxygen and nutrients.

In Germany four to five million people suffer from the insidious blood circulation disorder of the blood vessels (atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries).

Because the Affected are forced to because of the pain, often to remain, is called the pad “shop window disease”.

High risk for heart attack and stroke

“With paod are at high risk for heart attack and stroke associated,” warns heart specialist Prof. Dr. med. Dietrich Andresen, Chairman of the Executive Board of the German heart Foundation, said in a statement.

“Who noticed the first signs of claudication, should consult as soon as possible a doctor.”

The same is true for pain, when you Lie down in the toe region, especially when standing Up provides relief.

The pad, which is popularly referred to as smoker’s leg is not detected, it may also vasoconstriction in other regions of the body such as carotid, brain, kidneys and heart if left untreated.

The subsequent attacks are, for example, if atherosclerosis is greatly advanced. With a simple examination of the condition of the vessels, it can quickly determine.

If left untreated, the discomfort to take

The window is not recognized disease, worsens the blood circulation in the leg and pelvic arteries and the discomfort to take.

The paod is classified by Doctors according to the severity into four stages:

In stage I, the arteries are narrowed, but still no complaints. In stage II, Affected to feel the pain described above. In stage III, the symptoms occur not only with stress, but already in peace.

Follow hard it is in stage IV: “back to the blood circulation even further and dies, the under-nourished tissue, arises ,gangrene’ or an open ulcer”, Prof. Dr. med. Dr. h. C. Klaus Mathias, Radiologist and specialist in vascular medicine (Dortmund).

“To be recognized by the vascular disease, in contrast, in a timely manner and treated accordingly, such a dramatic course of often prevent.”

Diagnosis and therapy

How the heart Foundation writes, the pad by a simple Test to diagnose: The doctor palpates the pulse in the Groin and on the feet and measures the blood pressure of the ankle and toe arteries.

If the pulse is diminished, or even completely missing, or if the prints are reduced, the diagnosis “pad”. By ultrasound, the extent of the vascular disease can then be determined.

For the treatment Doctors usually recommend a change of lifestyle: patients should give up, among other things, the Smoking, eat a healthy diet and regular exercise, ideally 30-40 minutes a day.

“In severe cases, however, it is necessary that the circulation of the blood through a small surgery to recover,” explains Prof. Dr. med. Sigrid Nikol, chief physician at the Department of Clinical and Interventional angiology Asklepios Klinik St. Georg in Hamburg.

“With different catheter techniques a normal blood flow can be restored.”

The catheter, a small tube is vessels by the blood to the constriction advanced, and the vessel from the inside stretched. In some cases, it is used in a Stent. In General, the procedures are little painful and rarely leads to complications.

Risk factors for Diabetes and high blood pressure

Heart patients should pay particular attention to the first signs of claudication, since the pad has the same cause, such as Coronary heart disease (CHD):

In the blood vessels deposits, which, over the years, the vessels constrict the arteries “calcification” (atherosclerosis).

Although these deposits form in every human being in the course of life, but on the extent of especially the life-style as well as various pre-existing conditions, in addition to genetic factors.

Among other things, hypertension, Diabetes mellitus (sugar diabetes) and disorders in fat metabolism, increase Smoking, the risk of arteriosclerosis.

Because the coronary arteries or the arteries can constrict in the brain, people with atherosclerosis have a greatly increased risk of heart attack.

“In patients with pad should always be taken if there are signs of a coronary heart disease or a weak heart,” says vascular specialist Nikol.

Conversely, patients with such a heart should suffer the Existence to be examined by a pad. (ad)