What is Ischemia?
Ischemia refers to a condition or situation whereby the major organs do not get enough oxygen. The areas mainly affected by this condition are the heart, brain, intestines and the limbs. There are two types of ischemia; silent and chronic ischemia.
The silent type occurs when the patients experiences all the accompanying signs and symptoms minus the pain or discomfort. This condition is common in people suffering from diabetes, elderly people and women. Chronic ischemia occurs when the coronary arteries are so narrowed that the delivery of blood to the organ is limited all the time. This happens even when the patient is at rest. Critical limb ischemia (CLI) is a chronic condition where there is severe blockage in the arteries of the lower extremities, which markedly reduces blood-flow and causes severe pain in the feet or toes.
What causes Ischemia?
The main factor for ischemia is the blockage or narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the organs with blood. The narrowing or blockage of the arteries may be permanent or temporary. Buildup of cholesterol is known as atherosclerosis. This build up significantly reduces the inner circumference of the arteries, thereby limiting or fully obstructing blood flow.
Other causes include blood clots in the vessels, low blood pressure and injuries.
Symptoms of Ischemia
On the first onset there are hardly any signs or symptoms. The location of the obstruction highly determines the onset, and severity of the symptoms. The common symptoms include;
Diagnosis of Ischemia
Most forms of ischemia are hard to detect on the early onset. Proper diagnosis involves a battery of tests which include;
Ischemia Treatment Options
When critical limb ischemia occurs, the critical priority is to preserve the limb and restore the blood flow to the affected area. To prevent amputation, minimally invasive endovascular therapy is often chosen to care for Ischemia, which is often related to arterial diseases, including blockages of the arteries below the knee. Some of the treatments include Angioplasty and Stenting. After which, treatment regimens include;
Find out more about Ischemia and Treatment options
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Should I Seek Treatment for Ischemia
Ischemia is a severe condition that requires immediate treatment as it is associated with quite a number of risk factors. These include