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Buerger Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Oct 12, 2023

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Causes Of Buerger Disease

Symptoms Of Buerger disease

Risk Factors of Buerger Disease

Diagnosis Of Buerger disease

Testing could include:

Treatment Of Buerger Disease

Medicines

Therapies

Operations like surgery

Prevention Of Buerger Disease

Complications Of Buerger Disease

Buerger Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Risk Factors, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention and Complications

Buerger disease is a rare disorder that affects the arteries and veins in the arms and legs. Buerger disease, commonly known as thromboangiitis obliterans, is characterised by blood vessel blockage. Blood flow to the damaged areas is reduced as a result. In the blood vessels, blood clots may form.

A lack of blood supply eventually damages or destroys skin tissue. Gangrene, a condition where bodily tissue dies from infection, can arise from damage. Typically, Buerger disease first manifests itself in the foot. Potentially affected blood vessels in the hand. Blood clots can form in the tiniest veins in the arms and legs.

Almost all individuals with Buerger illness smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco. Giving up tobacco in all of its forms is the only way to stop Buerger's disease. 


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Causes Of Buerger Disease

What particularly causes Buerger disease is unknown. The condition has a strong correlation with tobacco use. According to some ideas, the chemicals in tobacco may injure the lining of the blood vessels.

Experts claim that some people have genes that make them more likely to get Buerger's disease. Another possibility for the disease's onset is when the body's immune system unintentionally targets healthy tissue.

Symptoms Of Buerger disease

Symptoms of the Buerger disease include:

  • Tingling sensation in the fingers or toes.
  • Variations in skin tone on the hands and feet. The skin may appear to be grey, blue, or red. Depending on the colour of your skin, these colour shifts may be more difficult to see or more obvious.
  • When exposed to cold, the fingers and toes of people with Raynaud's disease turn white and then blue. Depending on the colour of your skin, these colour shifts may be more difficult to see or more obvious.
  • Developing foot ache during walking. The discomfort could make taking long walks challenging.
  • On the fingers and toes, there are open wounds that hurt. When at repose, there may be severe pain in the fingers and toes.
  • A vein right beneath the skin's surface becomes inflamed as a result of a blood clot in the vein.

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Risk Factors of Buerger Disease

The greatest risk factor for Buerger disease is tobacco smoking, regardless of the form. The condition can affect chewers, smokers, and cigar users. Buerger disease rates are highest in areas of the Mediterranean, Middle East, and Asia where heavy smoking is most common.

Studies have shown that regular cannabis, also known as marijuana, use increases the risk of blood vessel problems similar to those linked to Buerger disease.

Additional risk factors for Buerger sickness include being a man and being under 45. An extended period of gum infection in the mouth could increase the risk further. But additional study is needed to demonstrate this link.

Diagnosis Of Buerger disease

There is no method for diagnosing Buerger's disease. Testing can be done to check for other common conditions that might appear with the same symptoms, though.

Testing could include:

  • Blood testing: Blood tests may be used to check for autoimmune diseases like lupus or scleroderma, diabetes, clotting problems, or coagulation disorders.
  • Examining the arteries in the hands and feet: Blood pressure monitors and ultrasound imaging can be used to monitor the blood flow via the hands and feet. This test is typically carried out in a specific vascular laboratory. It can, however, be carried out at a doctor's office. Other tests could be carried out to measure blood flow to the skin.
  • CT or MRI scan of the blood vessels: These tests show blood flow in the arteries. Before the pictures are taken, an IV may be infused with a particular dye. The dye makes the arteries in the photos more visible.
  • An angiography with hands and feet: Medical specialists can find blockages in the minuscule blood vessels in the hands and feet with the use of this invasive treatment. Catheters are inserted into blood vessels and are made of long, thin, flexible tubes. Dye, also referred to as contrast, is injected through the catheter into the arteries of the heart. In X-ray and video images, the dye makes the arteries more visible.

Treatment Of Buerger Disease

There is no recognised treatment for Buerger's disease. The only known treatment for Buerger disease is full cessation of all cigarette usage. This includes vaping, using electronic cigarettes, and utilising marijuana.

Consult your doctor about stopping if you smoke or use tobacco in any other way and have Buerger disease. Nicotine replacement products are not a viable alternative because they still contain nicotine. The blood vessels are thought to become irritated by nicotine. Other medicines that might be beneficial may be recommended by your doctor.

A live-in programme to help you stop smoking is an additional option. Typically, you stay in a hospital or therapy centre for a few days or a few weeks. You'll learn how to quit smoking and put an end to your cigarette cravings.

Although there are various treatments for Buerger disease, quitting smoking is the most successful. Prescription medications, compression therapy, and surgery are possible treatments for this condition.

Medicines

Your doctor may advise taking medication to improve blood flow if you have Buerger disease. For example, some blood pressure drugs may be advantageous. Aspirin usage can help prevent blood clots.

You might try the medication bosentan (Tracleer) if your symptoms of Buerger disease are exceedingly severe. The treatment of elevated pulmonary blood pressure is approved. However, a few studies showed that it improved blood flow in those with Buerger disease.

Based on your symptoms and other medical conditions, various drugs may be used. Medication can be given to treat skin sores or ease discomfort.

Therapies

If you have Buerger disease, your healthcare provider might suggest compression therapy as a non-drug treatment option. Your healthcare provider may refer to this process as intermittent pneumatic compression pumping. This therapy puts pressure on the affected body area to enhance blood flow.

When receiving compression therapy, you wear a sleeve over the hurt arm or leg. The sleeve is attached to a pump. The pump continuously fills the sleeve with air. As the sleeve extends, the affected body part feels a slight squeeze. The pressure increases blood flow to the location.

Operations like surgery

Skin tissue can be harmed or killed by a severe reduction in blood flow brought on by Buerger's disease Surgery might be necessary for an arm or limb that is infected or has dead tissue. The action is referred to as an amputation.

Prevention Of Buerger Disease

Almost everyone who has the disease Buerger smoked or used tobacco in some other way. If you wish to avoid developing Buerger disease, you must stop smoking.

It can be difficult to give up smoking. Ask a medical expert for advice on quitting choices.

Complications Of Buerger Disease

A person with Buerger disease receives less blood to the hands and feet. As the illness progresses, skin and tissue in the affected areas do not receive enough blood. Open sores that are unpleasant and don't heal may arise from this. The lesions may lead to gangrene, a hazard.

Gangrene symptoms include skin that is black or blue, numbness in the affected finger or toe, and a foul stench. Gangrene is a serious disease. Surgery is usually required to remove the affected finger, toe, or other tissue.

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