Buerger’s disease is a rare disease, which is characterized by clotting or thrombosis and acute inflammation of veins and arteries of feet and hands. Buerger’s disease in its medical terms is known as thromboangiitis obliterans. It is strongly linked with the use of tobacco, mainly from smoking.
Buerger’s disease is also characterized by a combination of clot and inflammation in the blood vessels, which hinders the flow of blood. In this disease the tissues of the body gets damaged and destroyed and in severe cases it may also lead to infection and finally gangrene. This disease first attacks hand and gradually spreads to further area of limbs
Buerger’s disease is characterized by various symptoms. It includes inflammation of hands and feet, weakness and pain in feet and legs or on hands and arms. Fingers and toes in this disease may get pale when they are exposed to cold. This is known as Raynaud’s phenomenon. According to this phenomenon the patient suffers from numbness and tingling in the limbs.
Sometimes one may also experience sores on fingers and toes. Apart from this, other symptoms of this disease include pain or tenderness in hand and feet when at rest or during exercise. In reality the tissues in this disease gets damaged and destroyed which can further result in ulcer on skin and finally lead to gangrene in complicated cases.
We do still not know the actual cause of Buerger’s disease. However, the swelling of the veins and the arteries of legs and arms, which eventually cause blood to clot, cause this disease. The swelling of the arteries and veins hinders in the flow of blood to tissues of hands and feet. Due to this the tissues do not get adequate nutrients, which are needed to sustain their functionality and as a result they degenerate.
Although the exact cause of this disease has not yet been discovered but researchers have found out that tobacco to a great extent is responsible for the cause of this disease. For those who acquire this disease genetically, smoking generates an autoimmune response that causes inflammation. The symptom occurs due to insufficient supply of blood to the tissues.
Buerger’s disease most likely affects people who are in between 20 to 40 years of age. The chance of men getting affected by this disease is three times more than the women. It is seen that heavy smokers develop this disease more than the other people. The consumption of tobacco in any form i.e. by smoking cigarette or chewing tobacco increases the chance of developing this disease. It is also seen that people having digestive disorders may also acquire this disease.
One can acquire this disease if it is present in the family history. This disease is more common in India, Japan, Israel and Middle East than Europe and United States.
No treatment has yet been discovered that can treat Burger’s disease. Symptoms in this disease are treated, as there is no treatment for the disease as a whole. The only way to reduce the symptoms of this disease is by giving up smoking.
Vascular surgery has proved to be of great help in treating the limbs that develop poor perfusion when one suffers from this ailment. The use of stem cell injections has also been successful in treating the symptoms of this disease. In some case streptokinase are also used as a supportive therapy to deal with this disease.
However the infection in the earlier stage of this disease can be treated instantly and promptly. Those who are already affected with this disease should avoid low temperature that can worsen the symptoms of this disease.
The actual cause of Burger’s disease is still unknown but it is established that the disease has a strong link with tobacco consumption. So the only way to prevent this disease is to stop smoking. If the affected person does not stop smoking it may lead to severe condition and finally he may have to get his hands or feet surgically removed.