Bergers disease – also called thromboangiitis obliterans, is a rare disease of the veins and arteries in the arms and legs. The blood vessels of the body become inflamed. They can also swell and can be blocked due to blood clots. The skin tissues eventually are damaged and infections and gangrene are the ultimate consequences.
The Bergers disease is initially detected in the feet and hands of the patient. With time, it may spread to larger portions of arms and legs. This is a disease that can be found anywhere in the world. However, mainly, the people affected are men from Asia and Middle East Asia who are 40 – 45 years in age.
WHO IS PRONE TO BERGERS DISEASE?
Everyone who is diagnosed with Bergers disease is an addictive chain smoker or uses other forms of tobacco. The only way to treat the Bergers disease is to quit any form of smoking and consumption of tobacco. For anyone who does not quit these harmful habits, amputation of either partial or full arm becomes necessary.
SYMPTOMS OF BERGERS DISEASE
The symptoms of Bergers disease are as follows:
- Numbness or tingling in the feet or the hands
- Discoloration of the hands or feet; the color could be pale, reddish or blue
- Constant pain while using limbs (arms or legs) and the pain may stop when you stop all activity or when you are at rest
- An inflamed vein that is visible under the skin surface.
- Turning of fingers and toes to a pale color when exposed to cold
CAUSES OF BERGERS DISEASE
The causes for Bergers disease are unknown. Tobacco and smoking surely play a vital role in developing the disease. However, the exact cause of how tobacco works to develop this disease is unknown. There are experts who say that the disease could also be genetically predisposed in one’s body.
As Bergers disease continues to worsen, the flow of blood to your arms and legs may start decreasing. This occurs due to the blockages caused by swelling of the blood vessels and their blockage due to clotting of blood. Therefore, it becomes hard for blood to reach the tips of fingers and toes. This causes the skin and tissue of the tips of fingers and toes to eventually die due to lack of oxygen and nutrients that are essential for them to survive.
If left untreated, or the patient does not stop smoking, this may lead to the amputation of the limbs.
TREATMENT OF BERGERS DISEASE
There is no vaccine or cure for Bergers disease. However, the most important factor in improving one’s health is quitting the consumption of tobacco and smoking. To avoid pain in the body, it is advised to avoid cold weather. A surgery called Sympathectomy may be performed in cases of severe body pain to eliminate such pain. Drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated helps in increasing circulation in the body and makes the body healthier. It is advised to see a doctor at the earliest if any symptoms are detected.