Buerger’s Disease

Buerger’s disease occurs predominantly in men aged 20 to 40 who smoke cigarettes. More recently, however, a higher percentage of women (5%) and people over the age of 50 have been recognized to have this disease. Although the mechanism of the disease is unknown, the relationship of smoking to its occurrence and progression is apparent. There is no documentation of occurrence in nonsmokers, implicating cigarette smoking as the primary cause. Recent work suggests that Buerger’s disease may be a reaction to tobacco of persons with a specific genetic type or an autoimmune disorder with immune cell sensitivity to some collagen types, which are constituents of blood vessels.

 


Signs, symptoms & indicators of Buerger's Disease

Symptoms - Nervous  

Numb/tingling/burning extremities

Signs and symptoms of Buerger’s disease may include numbness and/or tingling in the limbs.




Conditions that suggest Buerger's Disease

Circulation  

Intermittent Claudication

The initial symptoms of Buerger’s Disease often include claudication (pain induced by insufficient blood flow during exercise) in the feet and/or hands, or pain in these areas at rest. The pain typically begins in the extremities but may radiate to other (more central) parts of the body.



 

Raynaud's Phenomenon

Raynaud’s phenomenon and even skin ulcerations and gangrene of the digits are common in Buerger’s disease. Pain may be very intense in the affected regions.




Risk factors for Buerger's Disease

Environment / Toxicity  

Cigarette Smoke Damage

Smoking is the cause of Buerger’s disease.



Lifestyle  

(Recently) quitting smoking or being a smoker



Personal Background  

Asian ethnicity

Buerger’s disease is most common in the Orient, Southeast Asia, India and the Middle East, but appears to be rare among African–Americans.



 

East indian descent



Counter Indicators
Personal Background  

African ethnicity

Buerger’s disease appears to be rare among African–Americans.




Buerger's Disease can lead to

Circulation  

Intermittent Claudication

The initial symptoms of Buerger’s Disease often include claudication (pain induced by insufficient blood flow during exercise) in the feet and/or hands, or pain in these areas at rest. The pain typically begins in the extremities but may radiate to other (more central) parts of the body.




Recommendations for Buerger's Disease

Habits  


Key

Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Strongly counter-indicative
Highly recommended

Glossary

Autoimmune Disease

One of a large group of diseases in which the immune system turns against the body's own cells, tissues and organs, leading to chronic and often deadly conditions. Examples include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, Bright's disease and diabetes.

Collagen

The primary protein within white fibers of connective tissue and the organic substance found in tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, teeth and bone.

Claudication

Often Intermittent claudication: Condition caused by interruptions of blood supply to the muscles, characterized by limping and pain chiefly in the calf muscles: symptom characterized by pain during walking.

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