Arterial Insufficiency: An Exploration of Disease

In present times, there are diseases surrounding us from everywhere. The fearful and life-threatening thought of getting ill is in itself disturbing. Every day seems like a battleground where we are ready to fight for our survival like soldiers. 

Diseases have become a commonality to us. Even the younger generations nowadays become vulnerable to all kinds of diseases. TBH, A little baby entering this beautiful world is many times forced to bear the baggage of disease from his/her birth.

IMO, diseases are springing from our bad food habits, disturbed sleep cycle, and as a whole, due to our wholly unhealthy lifestyle. We all are completely trapped in such injurious lifestyles that we often forget to pay attention to our physical and mental fitness. 

Obesity, diabetes, and arterial issues are like ‘The elephant in the room’. Nobody really bothers to talk about these issues, which is a real sense are potentially harming diseases. 

 The root cause of all these diseases is our poor circulation system. Good blood circulation is an essential bodily requirement. As humans, we all require enough oxygen and nutrition for our bodies to operate in an efficient way. So, if we want to be as fit as a fiddle, we need to take proper care of our body and keep our bodily systems fit. 

This blog might be a perfect place for you all to get detailed information on Arterial Insufficiency.

 What Is Arterial Insufficiency?

arterial insufficiency

Source: vascularhealthclinic

Arterial insufficiency, in basic words, can be defined as a state or condition in which the blood flow in the arteries either slows down or stops. Arteries are mainly the blood vessels that are assigned the task of carrying blood from the heart to other parts of the body.

Arterial insufficiency is a result of the narrowing or the blocking of arteries by an underlying disease or problem. The contraction of arteries is also termed stenosis. This eventually leads to a fall in blood flow and a decrease in oxygen delivery to the cells, tissues, and organs. The final outcome Is inadequacy and even death of cells and tissues. 

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) or often called, peripheral vascular disease is another type of arterial insufficiency. It involves the hardening of the arteries located in the circulatory system external to the heart and the brain. 

 PAD basically begins when the fatty deposits strip the inner wall of the blood vessels. The excessive fat, cholesterol, and other substances from the ‘plaque’ or atherosclerosis that narrows or blocks the arteries. This mainly results in the reduction of blood flow to legs, and occasionally, to arms too.

Symptoms of Arterial Insufficiency

arterial insufficiency


There are several symptoms of Arterial insufficiency based on the blocking of arteries that supply blood to the heart, brain, intestine or kidneys, etc.

In Peripheral Arterial Insufficiency (PAD), you mainly experience sudden numbness, pain, aching or cramping in the arms or legs.

Symptoms in relation to the arteries of the heart:

  1. There is a possibility of experiencing pain or pressure in the chest
  2. Difficulty or rapidity in breathing can also be felt by some patients.

Medical signs occurring in case of arteries transferring blood to brain:

  1. You might get sagging muscles in the face.
  2. There persists a chance of developing ‘slurred speech’ or inability to speak.
  3.  A sudden numbness can be experienced by some of you on one side of your body or in your arms and legs.

In case of blockage in kidney Arteries:

  1. Some patients might exp. malaise, nausea, fatigue, or even loss of appetite.
  2. A probability of high blood pressure and a decreased kidney function can increase.
  3.   You might also experience a sudden weight loss as well.

Intestinal arteries blockage can also lead to some symptoms as:

  1. There lies a chance of having diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or vomiting.
  2. A higher risk of getting abdominal pain after 15 to 60 minutes of eating is also witnessed by many patients.

There also lies some chance of witnessing much evident and serious life-threatening signs that are usually ignored by the patients:

  1. Blurring or doubling in vision or a sudden change in vision is an alarming sign for many patients of Arterial Insufficiency. 
  2. Confusion or disorientation in mind or a change in the level of alertness, for instance, lethargy or unresponsiveness.
  3. You can exp. numbness or prolonged weakness or shortness of breath at times.
  4. You may also encounter a rapid heartbeat or palpitations in certain cases.
  5. Patients sometimes also feel severe pain in the abdominal area or continuous headaches.
  6. Even lack of urination or urinating only small amounts of urine can also be seen in many patients.

  Causes of Arterial Insufficiency 

arterial insufficiency


There exist many causes of Arterial Insufficiency. The most common among them is Atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries. 

  1. Atherosclerosis is mainly caused by the accumulation of fatty materials on the walls of blood vessels, thus forming hard structures known as ‘plaque’. The latter mainly narrows or stiffens the blood vessel, thus, restricting the flow of blood to various other organs of the body.

If the plaques rupture to form blood clots, they can even lead to serious health issues like a heart attack or stroke.

  1. Embroil or blood clots can also become a major reason resulting in Arterial Insufficiency. These blood clots travel through the bloodstream and block the flow of blood, sometimes even leading to ‘pulmonary embolism’.
  2. Another major cause of Arterial insufficiency can be Arterial Stenosis, or the narrowing of the artery, for instance, renal artery stenosis.

RAS is also a kind of atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries. But this time, there is a stiffening of the artery that supplies blood to the kidney. Since the kidney performs the function of regulating blood pressure and removing toxins from the body, there lies a high chance of high blood pressure and the building of toxins. 

Also Read: Hyaline Membrane Disease of the Newborn

Treatment of Arterial Insufficiency

arterial insufficiency


There can be many ways of treating Arterial Insufficiency. Either some surgeries are performed at a larger scale or the patients are sometimes kept on medications prescribed by the doctor. At a minimal level, various lifestyle and food habits are modulated in order to reduce the risk of Arterial Insufficiency.

  1. The repair of the ‘aortic aneurysm’ located in the abdominal area. Thus, the focus is to repair the weakened area in the wall of the aorta that carries blood from the heart to the abdomen.
  2. Angioplasty is also performed in many cases to remove plaque and restore the flow of blood.
  3. Carotid artery Bypass surgery is also carried out by doctors many times. This is done to direct the flow of blood through transplanted arteries.  
  4. Transaortic endarterectomy is often executed to reopen the kidney or intestinal arteries.

Medications are also be seldom prescribed whether to improve blood flow or to remove clots or in case of serious complications:

  1.  Aspirin or Clopidogrel may be prescribed to you to prevent blood clots.
  2.   Cilostazol or Pentoxifylline are also used in many cases to improve blood flow or relieve leg pain.

At a micro level, there can be many ways of improving your blood flow that can be easily added into your daily routine, in order to shape a healthy lifestyle. They are quite simple and easy but are effective enough when followed on a daily basis.

  1. If you are suffering from any chronic illness, you must follow your treatment and medications seriously. 
  2. You must try to perform some regular physical exercises to keep yourself fit.
  3.  The initial step to a healthy routine is a change in food habits. A change in food habits and a balance in the nutritional value must be ensured. 
  4. Quitting smoking or any other addictions to alcohol can also be a major step to reduce the risk of Arterial Insufficiency.

Treatment varies in every single case. So, it is important to seek medical care and proper medical advice from a doctor, in case you experience any of these symptoms. There is sometimes even a risk of experiencing serious life-threatening symptoms, thus, it’s an utmost necessity to visit the doctor as soon as you experience the earliest symptom.

The best possible thing you can do is to ensure a nutritional food intake and performing regular physical exercises on a daily basis to prevent all such diseases. Since prevention is always better than cure.

Your health is your topmost priority because we only invest in it once but the interest we get stays throughout life.

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