CIRCULATORY DISORDERS – GANGRENE (INTRODUCTION)

Gangrene is a term associated with the death of tissues due to failure of the blood supply. The condition requires immediate attention. If neglected, the skin of the legs or feet turns a bluish-red colour, becomes shiny and hard and makes the patient feel extremely uncomfortable, especially at night, when the patches begin to burn to the extent that relief can only be obtained by moving the feet from under the blankets and exposing them to the cool air.

The symptoms usually appear in older people, but have their beginnings earlier in life, possibly when the person has been repeatedly exposed to cold and rain. Gangrene can also result from untreated frostbite. This is dangerous because the tissues and vessels of the feet suffer permanent damage. Another possible cause of gangrene is the sclerosing or drying-up treatment applied to varicose veins. Prolonged standing or sitting is harmful to an older person who suffers from gangrene because the venous blood circulation slows down. Sufferers usually benefit from having an occupation which allows them to move around; with increased mobility the pain will sometimes subside altogether. Even though the disease cannot be cured completely, it is possible to alleviate it with the help of natural remedies, to the extent that the patient may go without serious complications for many years.

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