Buerger’s disease is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the arteries and veins. Only 5 percent of people afflicted with the disease are women. Men ages 20 to 40 that smoke cigarettes are most likely to develop this disease. It is thought that in people are genetically susceptible to Buerger’s Disease but the cause is not fully understood. Smoking can trigger an autoimmune response that causes the immune system to produces antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues, like most autoimmune conditions. Buerger’s Disease causes the arteries in ones legs, hands and arms to become inflamed. Research has shown a strong genetic connection to people of the Orient, Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East.
Symptoms of Buerger’s disease
Symptoms of reduced blood supply to the arms or legs develop gradually, starting at the fingertips or toes and progressing up the arms or legs. This can eventually cause gangrene. People may feel numbness, coldness, tingling and/or burning before any other signs of the disease. Patients often experience muscle cramps in the arches of their feet or in their legs. With more severe impediment, the pain is worse and lasts longer. Ulcers and gangrene may appear early in this disease. The hand or foot feels cold, sweats a lot and turns bluish, probably because the nerves are reacting to severe, persistent pain.
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