Buerger’s disease is a condition characterized by the narrowing or blockage of the veins and arteries. This reduces blood flow to certain areas of the body, including the legs and the arms, leading to tissue damage and chronic pain. While Buerger’s disease is extremely rare in the country, it still affects 12 to 20 people per 100,000 in the general population. The disease appears to occur more in countries with heavy tobacco usage.
This begs the question: what exactly is the link between Buerger’s disease and smoking? Keep reading below to find out, as well as what you can do to lower your risk of developing it.
What is the relationship between Buerger’s disease and smoking?
The exact cause of Buerger’s disease has yet to be determined by research. Still, Medical News confirms that the disease is linked to tobacco usage. Scientists believe that the chemicals present in tobacco irritate the blood vessels, contributing to its swelling. Further, almost every patient diagnosed with the disease is a cigarette smoker or tobacco user.
Aside from smoking, Buerger’s disease is thought to be an autoimmune disorder. Should this be true, then genetics can play a role in one’s development of the disease. Thus, if you’re a smoker who also has a family member with Buerger’s disease, you may have a higher chance of being diagnosed.
What are the symptoms and treatment options for Buerger’s disease?
The most common sign of Buerger’s disease is extreme pain in one’s arms and/or legs—even while at rest. In some cases, someone may experience cramping in the legs, which leads to limping. Our article on ‘Why Are My Hands and Feet Always Cold?’ also notes that cold hands and feet are another symptom that can manifest due to reduced blood flow.
At present, there is no cure for the disease. Medication cannot treat it, although it can help alleviate the symptoms it causes. Surgery can also restore blood flow in the affected areas of the body. In the worst-case scenario, amputation of the hand or foot may be needed to prevent widespread tissue infection and damage.
Ultimately, the best way to prevent this disease from developing is by quitting smoking.
How to quit smoking to lower the risk of developing Buerger’s disease
Quitting smoking is not an overnight task. It has to be done gradually to prevent withdrawals. One way to do so is by switching to smokeless alternatives like nicotine pouches and patches.
A nicotine pouch contains varying levels of nicotine depending on your needs. It is placed inside the mouth, between the lip and gum, where nicotine is then absorbed into the bloodstream. The top nicotine pouches on Prilla are available in different strengths and flavors. The strengths refer to the amount of nicotine in each pouch, ranging from 2mg to 10mg. You can start with a stronger pouch and lower the level of nicotine you consume over time.
On the other hand, nicotine patches are placed on the skin for a certain number of hours. The nicotine is then absorbed by the skin into the bloodstream.
The Habitrol nicotine patch can be used for up to 24 hours. They’re often translucent and available in skin tone shades, so they’re discreet, in addition to being convenient to use.
Buerger’s disease has yet to have a cure. By looking for smokeless alternatives to help you quit smoking over time, you can avoid suffering from the consequences of the disease.