Circulatory Problems, Harassment of Extremities
Changes in the circulation of the legs, often subject to the elderly, are the result of changing conditions that were not addressed in a timely manner during youth or adulthood. Learn how to cope and avoid complications.
When older adults complain of pains in the extremities due to poor blood circulation, always someone to tell them: “At your age are normal” or “are problems of old age.” However, experts refute such claims.
“Vascular problems of the elderly do not exist as such but are complications of diseases whose age becomes important. This means that the person over 70 years does not develop the problem due to its age, as had already been ‘dragging’ the condition from 20, 30 or 40 years”.
Vascular disease in the lower extremities is classified in arterial or venous. The first may be secondary to local defect in the arteries, for example, aneurysms (abnormal ballooning in a blood portion) or are specific diseases such as arteriosclerosis (hardening of roads that carry blood). The latter include varicose veins and venous thrombosis (formation of clot within a blood vessel).
The most common problems in the elderly are the arteries. One of them is called arterial occlusion, which refers to obstruction of blood supply to the extremities by plaques of atheroma, which causes chronic lack of oxygen (ischemia), thrombus or embolism. Your symptoms depend on the vessel involved, the extent of the obstruction and progresses quickly.
In some cases, the skin may become dry and scaly with poor growth of nails and hair, and as worsening ischemia; ulcers may appear in the toes, heel or leg, especially after local trauma (stroke, injury or friction).
In turn, the venous diseases include:
* Venous thrombosis. It can affect the surface veins (superficial thrombophlebitis) or deep (deep vein thrombosis), and lead to chronic venous insufficiency in which there is inflammation, pain, pigmentation, dermatitis and ulceration. This condition may occur on the basis of coagulation disorders that may be associated with underlying malignancy and cause pulmonary embolism, often fatal.
* Varicose Veins. They usually cause pain, fatigue or heat that improve leg raising or using compression stockings, however, symptoms do not necessarily depend on the size or degree of varicose veins, because sometimes the disorder may be asymptomatic (without signs). Ulcers caused by varicose veins (and not by the incompetence of the deep veins) are usually small, shallow and very painful.
Grandparents at risk
Why problems are accentuated in old age? First, take into account that for years is this condition that compromises blood flow. Then there is the person gains weight, walks little and have hypertension.
The old man by walking little general condition, and consequently, your muscle mass does not promote blood circulation to request more blood, or to promote venous return of the vital liquid. This is called stasis, which has adverse consequences.
“Lack of exercise causes swelling in the legs and under these conditions, any stroke, insect bite or scratch occurred when putting a sock or half, cause infection and generates a venous ulcer”. Moreover, the slow movement causes blood becomes thicker by reduced breathing capacity, so it tends to stagnate and bit oxygenate tissues.
Another condition that can complicate circulatory problems is diabetes mellitus (high blood sugar levels) and resulting decrease in the diameter of blood vessels and thus, reduced oxygen supply. This favors vessel blockage and if we add the arteriosclerosis that the patient has long been clogged arteries. If there is no adequate compensation in other ways is presented ischemia (lack of oxygen) which can lead to gangrene and amputation.
To this is added the decrease in visual acuity, which represents a danger when you cut the nails of the feet, at which injuries occur which may be aggravated.
“Circulatory problems in the elderly may be improved by exercise and mobilization, which must be based on the general conditions of people. Also of great help lift you legs, maintain good hygiene, and skin care. Now, in terms of surgical treatment is indicated only when there is risk of losing the limb, since the procedure can be dangerous for the elderly”.