The disease itself forms via atherosclerosis, a condition defined by a build-up of plaque (or fatty deposits) within the arteries. This plaque build-up causes the arteries supplying the limbs (known as the peripheral arteries) to narrow and harden, thereby restricting blood flow to the limbs2, 3.
For cholesterol control
For high blood pressure
For diabetes control
Insulin / antiglycaemic drugs
For blood clot prevention
acute limb ischaemia; or critical limb ischaemia, when in the chronic (longer term) and not acute stage
1. Acute (meaning sudden) limb ischaemia
Acute decrease in blood flow to the limb due to plaque build-up in the peripheral arteries5.
If blood flow to the limbs is heavily restricted, this can result in tissue death or amputation4.
It is important to understand that your risk of further complications may still remain even after preventative treatment as plaque build-up can still occur. This is why it is necessary to monitor your vascular health and take necessary steps to control plaque build-up and keep your quality of life as good as it can be.
Scientists are also undertaking research in an area called vascular protection, to explore how risks for further complications can be lowered.