How can I prevent vascular problems?
Although some vascular problems can be attributed to hereditary factors, many are the result of poor lifestyle choices. By making some changes in the way you live, you can prevent vascular problems.
- Stop smoking. Tobacco decreases your circulation and injures your artery walls. Quitting smoking can lower your blood pressure and improve the health of your arteries.
- Eat a healthy, low-fat, high-fiber diet. This can prevent plaque buildup on your artery walls. Add more fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products and low-fat milk to your diet. See your physician for blood cholesterol measurement and management.
- Exercise regularly. This can reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease. Something as simple as walking regularly can make a huge difference.
- Take care of your feet to prevent any problems related to peripheral artery disease. Reduce the chance of infection from blisters and “hot spots” by keeping feet clean and trimming toenails. Break in new shoes slowly. Keep your feet warm in cold weather to prevent frostbite, which can occur more easily if your circulation is poor. If you are diabetic, discuss foot care with your doctor.
- Talk to your doctor about managing health problems that put you at risk for vascular disease, such as high-blood pressure, diabetes, and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides.
Page last updated on Dec. 17, 2008