The 'disease in the window' warning sign of stroke or myocardial infarction

20 percent of people over 65 is diminished their quality of life for the 'disease of the window', a troublesome symptom which can go unnoticed, and has serious consequences for those affected who were not treated on time, may suffer from gangrene in his lower extremities, stroke or myocardial infarction. This symptom, which is located in the legs, is caused by the thickening of artery walls (atherosclerosis) and the consequent lack of irrigation, is that the affected person should stop every so often when walking to experience severe pain, usually in the calf.

"As we walk, stand legs to a particular call away, always the same, and rest for a few minutes before resuming the march," says vascular surgeon USP Hospital Santa Teresa, Dr. Alejandro Moro, who notes that these stops are be used to look at shop windows, which motivates its medical name.

Also known as intermittent claudication, if sustained over time can lead to death or tissue necrosis. The same process occurs in the brain arteries, leading to stroke, and when it affects the arteries of the heart, angina or myocardial infarction. Often affected several areas at once, he recalls, "the mortality is even greater than colon cancer."

Patients who complain are usually tired when walking because the problem of detection is that initially without recognition of the specialist may be confused with problems of bones, rheumatic. For this reason, a high percentage of undetected, "of all patients who have only one third is consulted." And many times, "the patient may be four years of suffering this pain warning" not to seek medical advice.

For every ten men a woman is affected, mainly because the biggest risk factor is smoking. "The most important risk factor is the snuff, that seven times the risk of this disease, followed by hypertension, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol levels," he says in an interview.

Walking to improve circulation

Obstructive disease of the arteries has several phases in its evolution, beginning with an initial asymptomatic phase. The intermittent claudication is that "in its early stages," has a good prognosis. "It's the best, because when properly treated patients can stop the disease and even better," he adds.

The most effective initial treatment is to control risk factors. The practice of supervised exercise, walking or cycling on flat for an hour a day improves symptoms in nine out of ten patients. "The more you walk over it favors the development of circulation, so that the habit of walking can increase the distance that the patient can walk without pain, making it a routine basis may walk further away," he advises.

If untreated, the pain in these patients will degenerate to start when you start. "Depending on the evolution of the more severe the disease is less distance they can walk," he explains.

In later stages of the disease occurs with rest pain at night, because "it is so little blood that causes spontaneous pain by elevating the leg." In this phase may appear ulcer or gangrene in the feet, which require hospitalization and even then there is the risk of limb loss.

Surgical treatment is reserved for severe cases, conventional surgery or by making bridges ('by-pass') or endovascular surgery, minimally invasive. The latter used balloon catheters, through which arteries can dilate strictures distance to restore normal blood flow.