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D’OXYVA as endorsed by Dr. Stephen Pfeifer

I was introduced several years ago to the transdermal COD’OXYVA® delivery system and had the chance to utilize this modality in my practice as well as see the benefits noted by other clinicians who have started implementing the protocols. I was initially skeptical that such an affordable and simple system could have such profound health benefits. But after witnessing improvements in blood pressure, chronic venous insufficiency, diabetic wound healing, mood, and athletic performance enhancement, I realized that this treatment has the potential to help millions of patients with chronic health conditions. So, like most scientists, I began to investigate the reasons why this technology could be so effective.

Could it be possible that one of the main causes of most of our patients’ health problems is rooted in physiologic imbalances in the autonomic nervous system and microcirculation? Have we clinicians been chasing imperfect treatment options with medications and interventions that may certainly ameliorate symptoms initially, but which fail to address critical root causes of physiologic dysfunction and dysregulation?

There is an increasing consensus that microcirculation is critical in many ways. Our vascular system works in such a way that the great arteries have little impact on blood pressure, but small ones control almost 70% of the blood-flow resistance. Each adult organ can have more that 2 miles of capillaries inside it. Each capillary bed is in charge of exchanging small molecules between organ cells and the blood to maintain a healthy cell microenvironment or a state of homeostasis. The vascular system reacts to the concentration of metabolism’s by-products by deciding where to allocate resources and remove waste. However, with time and the accumulation of microcirculation damage due to bad health care habits, poor diet, and sickness, our bodies lose their ability to maintain homeostasis, resulting in poor wound healing, pain, infections, and so on. In other words, the microcirculation system helps our bodies maintain uninterrupted blood flow where it is needed the most.

Another overlooked system is the autonomic nervous system. Many books have been written in the functional medicine arena regarding the concept of adrenal exhaustion, as holistic doctors are realizing that this fundamental imbalance contributes to so many health conditions today. Today, we are bombarded with bad news on TV, we have work and financial challenges, and we have constant interruptions from our cell phones and emails. This constant attack on our survival cortisol hormones can be overwhelming. In functional medicine, we can even document this phenomenon with salivary cortisol hormone levels measured 4­–6 times per day. Typically, we see three progressive levels at play. The adrenal system starts as stressed and wired, then progresses to stressed and tired, followed by burned out and exhausted. At each level, this autonomic imbalance takes its toll on our health. Mother nature provided us with a wonderful adaptive capability to mount a stress response when, in the caveman days, we were running from a pack of wolves. It diverts all energy away from the parasympathetic system (rest and digestion) to a sympathetic response (fright and flight) so we can respond physically, using muscle strength, increased heart rate, and increased cardiac output to respond to a physical challenge. After the challenge is gone, the body should return to homeostasis and a calming parasympathetic mode for rest and digestion. Well, that is just not happening in today’s world, as we are in constant overdrive trying to escape the pack of wolves. So, we primary care doctors are always recommending stress-reduction strategies like yoga, better sleep hygiene, blood sugar stabilization diet strategies, and vitamin supplements that support adrenal balance.

It is refreshing to see a new technologic advancement that can help the many health problems exacerbated by autonomic imbalances. A simple and safe 5-minute transdermal COdelivery device has been shown to work immediately, and there is scientific proof that the physiologic effects continue for many hours. Scientific evidence is available that transdermal COdelivered by the D’OXYVA® device works through several mechanisms:

Reduces inflammation by reducing free radical plasma levels

Raises antioxidant levels and induces vasodilation (microcirculation) through humoral pathway communication

Decreased R-R heart rate interval variation

Activation of the PNS parasympathetic system, causing a vasodilation response

D’OXYVA® is a class 1 low-risk medical device using the natural properties of CO(a FDA-cleared drug) to activate our body’s chemoreceptors and increase organ blood flow through microcirculation while promoting oxygen delivery in capillary beds and organ tissue.

My name is Dr. Steve Pfeifer, and I am a consultant for Circularity and a retired functional medicine doctor. I am proud to be part of the Circularity scientific team that is partnering with clinicians to continue independent research regarding these benefits. More than two dozen research projects have been performed to test D’OXYVA® ‘s potential and safety, and much more are ongoing throughout the world. In fact, at the D’OXYVA® University here in Indianapolis, our doctors are studying the athletic enhancement potential in elite Indy Car race drivers and general athletes to document objective benefits with recovery and pulse oximeter readings reflecting perfusion indexes.

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Have you Heard of Dylan’s Story?

As 180 entrants prepared to run the Camo Run 2017 supporting Veterans and their families at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indianapolis, Indiana, 14-year-old Dylan Letendre stopped by the booth of Pasadena-based Circularity Healthcare, one of 12 vendors sponsoring the event. Circularity is the company that pioneered the D’OXYVA® medical device (Class 1, low risk) that delivers a gentle, highly concentrated, vaporized CO2 to the body through the skin, improving microcirculation important to sports’ performance. He got into line, and when his turn came, he asked the booth representative how D’OXYVA® could help him win the race. Dylan’s father was the soldier in whose name the Camo Race was founded. This year, the event honored the 10-year anniversary of Brian Letendre’s (Dylan’s father’s) death in Ramadi, Iraq, where he served as a Marine captain. The race raises money for The Golden Star USA Foundation, which

Dylan’s mother, Autumn founded in 2011 to help other families of Veterans. Because D’OXYVA® is a non-toxic, Non-invasive Transdermal Delivery (NTD) system utilizing FDA-cleared Medical CO, a steady group of runners requested infusions prior to the event. Dylan was among them. Circularity gave the youngster a cardiovascular snapshot prior to his D’OXYVA® application, then ran a Masimo® test that measures perfusion index (microcirculation), pulse rate, and oxygen in the system on him and the other recipients. After getting his second Masimo® reading after a single five-minute application of D’OXYVA® , he expressed concern that his perfusion index level (PI) wasn’t higher, testifying to his knowledge of the subject. He was encouraged to Dylan Letendre Page 2 2 stay with the group at the booth until he was satisfied that his PI had, in fact, had almost quadrupled. http://www.geistcurrent.com/a-heart-for-heroes-bo… Dylan’s pride in his performance during the race was impressive and a big highlight of the event. Both he and his mother’s friend Becky, provided testimonials as to how they felt after coming in from the race. Circularity Healthcare’s D’OXYVA®and continues to engage in strong public outreach in support of community events and other important causes. -0- David Jackson, senior sales associates at Circularity Healthcare re-capped the foregoing Camo Run 2017. He can be contacted for more information at crm@doxyva.com

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Why Big Pharma Is Struggling to Profit From the Obesity Epidemic

In a decades-long struggle to control her weight, Carolyn Mills joined the YMCA many times, signed up for the Jenny Craig diet program and tried fen-phen, the drug combination later found to damage heart valves. As her size yo-yoed down and back up, her health deteriorated.

She finally found the answer in a new class of medicines. Now, those drugs and changes to her diet have helped Mills cut her weight to 250 pounds (113 kilograms) from 300 pounds over the last six months. The drawback: her out-of-pocket expenses are almost $300 a month and may head higher. She says it’s worth the cost.

 

Carolyn MillsSOURCE: CAROLYN MILLS

“Obesity haunts me,” said Mills, 62.

Mills highlights the difficulties big pharma faces as it seeks to profit from an epidemic that afflicts more than 600 million adults worldwide. Medicines like Novo Nordisk A/S’s Saxenda, the latest one used by the Boston resident, are safer and more effective than past treatments. Yet employers and insurers are reluctant to cover the drugs, meaning the cost often falls on patients’ shoulders, limiting the potential market.

Drugmakers such as Novartis AG, Novo and Sanofi are pushing ahead, testing even more advanced medicines they hope will deliver greater weight loss than the drugs available today. Once seen as a problem only in wealthier countries, obesity is on the rise in lower-income regions too, increasing the risks of diabetes, heart disease and cancer. That raises health costs and contributes to millions of deaths each year. More than a third of U.S. adults fall into that category.

“Given the public-health crisis around the world with obesity, if we can find a medicine that has strong efficacy and reasonable tolerability there’s no question there’s a very large market here and it would potentially have a big impact on health care,” said Vas Narasimhan, global head of drug development at Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis.

The industry faces hurdles over and above the lack of coverage. Modest weight-loss results and criticism of medicine as a way to treat obesity mean just 2 percent of excessively overweight people rely on drugs. The history in the field is also littered with failures, making some manufacturers leery.

In 2008, a Sanofi weight-loss drug was taken off the market in Europe amid concerns it could lead to depression and suicidal thoughts, while Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. ended obesity programs the same year. Those drugs were designed to suppress appetite by blocking the same brain receptor that makes marijuana smokers hungry.

“There’s a gold mine available,” said Ralph Abraham, a doctor at London Medical, a clinic in the U.K. capital that started a weight-management program incorporating Saxenda. “But it’s also been a graveyard in the past.”

Scientists are drawing lessons from treating a related disease: diabetes. Saxenda, which has a list price of more than $1,000 a month and has been sold in the U.S. for two years, has the same key ingredient as Novo’s diabetes medicine Victoza and works like a hormone the body produces naturally that regulates appetite.

Some doctors said they’re comfortable with Saxenda because they’ve been prescribing Victoza for years.
While Saxenda is relatively small today, its sales are forecast to climb to more than $1 billion within five years from about $240 million last year, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Four other obesity drugs tracked by Datamonitor Healthcare—Contrave, Qsymia, Belviq and Xenical—accounted for just $280 million in sales in 2016. The global market for such drugs is projected to climb to about $24 billion in a decade from about $1 billion last year, London-based consulting firm Visiongain estimates.

The average weight loss of 5 percent to 10 percent that patients see with the existing drugs doesn’t “knock your socks off,” said Robert Eckel, a doctor and professor who focuses on obesity and diabetes at the University of Colorado. He said he’s only prescribed Saxenda “a couple of times because there are few people who are willing to pay that much for it.”

The next generation of medicines could work better.

Novartis has a treatment in mid-stage tests that could potentially help patients lose 10 percent to 15 percent of their weight, or even more, if trends seen in early studies continue, Narasimhan said. The company will decide how to proceed based on data due next year.

In the past “we could never thread the needle,” he said. “Now we have more mechanisms that we can take forward.”

An experimental drug Novo is developing showed in early studies it can achieve weight loss of as much as 14 percent, the company said last month. Combining it with other medicines could ultimately make it even more potent, leading to a possible reduction of more than 20 percent, Chief Science Officer Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen said in an interview.

Obese patients sometimes stop taking the drugs and regain weight when they see results plateau, and new and improved medicines may encourage people to stick with them, Thomsen said. Weight loss approaching 15 percent or 20 percent “would be a major breakthrough,” said Eric Ravussin, a specialist at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana.

Sanofi is evaluating a drug in obese patients with diabetes that has potential to move closer to the results of surgery, said Stefan Oelrich, head of its diabetes unit. People who opt for bariatric surgery can lose more than 30 percent of excess body weight within six months. AstraZeneca Plc at the same time said it’s developing a diabetes treatment that may have potential in obesity and other metabolic diseases.

Louis Aronne, a doctor at Weill-Cornell Medicine in New York, compared obesity to hypertension, which was once regarded as a lifestyle issue and is now a field with scores of drugs. He predicted that every major medical institution would have a program focused on the disease within a decade.

Read more on the obesity epidemic: QuickTake

Several insurers in Canada have picked up Saxenda, and health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have agreed to pay for some patients in public hospitals, according to Novo. In the U.S., legislation was re-introduced in April aimed partly at improving access to weight-loss medicines for Medicare beneficiaries. It’s hard to predict how policies will play out as Republicans seek to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, but the Obesity Society, a research group, called the proposal a key step in tackling a disease that contributes to $200 billion a year in health costs.

Doctors are gaining a better understanding of the biology of the condition, increasingly seeing obesity as a disease, while there are signs that more insurers are covering medication, said Caroline Apovian, the Boston Medical Center specialist who treated Mills.

“We’ve learned a lot,” she said. “The treatment of obesity will prevent many other serious disorders that in the long term will save us money.”

Mills, an operations manager at a dental practice, said she’s swimming and trying to be more active to build on the progress she’s made with drugs.

“We’re reaching the tipping point with the percentage of people who are so overweight,” she said. “It’s my hope that the tide is changing and people are understanding it’s not just a matter of pushing yourself away from the table.”

 

Reference: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-04/why-big-pharma-is-struggling-to-profit-from-the-obesity-epidemic

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D’OXYVA AND ITS POSITIVE IMPACT ON PATIENTS’ HEALTH

What is D’OXYVA?

The D’OXYVA®  device is a simple, commercially- available device to deliver transdermal carbon dioxide (CO2). It consists of a patented and patent-pending ergonomic polymer shell that is propelled by a patented single-use mini steel pressurized cartridge (45 psi) filled with pharmaceutical-grade (99.5%) liquid, purified CO2. The mini-steel cylinder is GMP-compliant, and recyclable.

D’OXYVA was identified by the IRB in a human clinical trial as a non-significant risk (NSR) device.

The D’OXYVA device is manufactured in the United States and other countries. D’OXYVA is an ISO-complaint device, which means that Circularity Healthcare, LLC has received a certification to certify that D’OXYVA fulfills all of the international requirements for medical device regulations, like risk assessment and maintaining effective processes for safe design, manufacture and distribution.manufacture and distribution.

 

WHO IS INVOLVED IN IMPROVING HEALTHCARE FOR PATIENTS?

CO2 is the protagonist in D’OXYVA’s revolutionary approach to improving healthcare and patients’ quality of life. The medical device causes controlled ischemia-like stress in a local area of the body to promote central nervous system activity and circulate humoral agents that favor micro-circulation, especially at the organ capillary beds.

Adequate blood flow in the capillary bed is essential for tissue survival and optimal organ function. If blood passes too fast or does not pass at all, the tissue cannot extract O2 efficiently and will generate what is known as capillary dysfunction, which is related to chronic pain, poor wound healing, diabetic neuropathy and Alzheimer’s disease, among other conditions.

 

WHAT DO WE USUALLY REMEMBER ABOUT CO2?

· It is a key player in regulating extracellular hydrogen concentrations and pH through various systems, like the respiratory system, kidneys and various buffers.

· Biochemistry: An increase or decrease in 1 mmHg pCO2 will cause a decrease or increase in pH of 0.08 units in acute patients. In chronic patients, a pCO2 change of 1 mmHg will cause a pH change of 0.03 units.

· The Bohr and Haldane effects determine the interaction of O2 and CO2. At the cellular level, pCO2 concentration causes Hb-O2 dissociation.
· It is attained by our body through inhalation.

 

WHAT DO WE USUALLY FORGET ABOUT PCO2?

· Increased pCO2 promotes arteriolar dilatation in various tissues, while a modest effect has been shown in skeletal muscle tissues.

· CO2 can be delivered into our body through the skin (transdermal).

It is used in the medical industry to:

· Rapidly increase the depth of anesthesia when volatile agents are being administered—it increases the depth of respiration and helps to overcome breath holding and bronchial spasm

· Facilitate blind intubation in anesthetic practice

· Facilitate vasodilation and thus lessen the degree of metabolic acidosis during the induction of hypothermia

· Increase cerebral blood flow in arteriosclerotic patients undergoing surgery

· Stimulate respiration after a period of apnea

· Prevent hypocapnia during hyperventilation

 

It is also used in:

· Clinical and physiological investigations

· Gynecological investigations for insufflation into the fallopian tubes and abdominal cavities

· Tissue-freezing techniques (as dry ice) and to destroy warts by freezing.

· The CO2 concentration increment potentiates the S-shaped hemoglobin (Hb) to O2 dissociation curve. It helps Hb to unload O2 from 40% O2 dissociation under normal conditions to 70% O2 dissociation under increase CO2 concentration.

 

WHERE DOES CO2 VAPOR DELIVERED THROUGH THE SKIN TAKE ACTION IN THE BODY?

Transdermal delivery of CO2 has proved to improve local microcirculation (capillary beds) blood flow and tissue perfusion, but it also positively improves systemic blood pressure and TcpO2 (most likely due to the Bohr effect). As mentioned before, therapeutic medical-grade CO2 is used for vasodilatation in the medical field for several conditions and procedures.

Local, CO2 therapy has shown great success rates to improve the healthcare of patients through:

· Treatment for diabetic foot

· Increased microcirculation blood flow and dissociated O2 in healthy and diabetic individuals

·Treatment for arterial stenosis obliterans

· Chronic wound healing

· Adipose tissue treatment

 

Systemically, CO2 therapy has shown great success to improve:

· The healthcare of patients with high blood pressure

· General vital organ function, like that of the: – Pancreas – Liver – Brain – Kidneys

We are currently finding clinical researchers who are interested in participating in clinical trials with our medical device. Our goal is to produce scientific evidence of D’OXYVA’s potential to improve healthcare.

 

OUTSTANDING CLINICAL RESEARCH RESULTS

More than two dozen research projects have been performed to test D’OXYVA potential and its capability to help patients obtain wellness. We have tested the efficiency, tolerability and safety of the D’OXYVA medical device in delivering a gentle, highly concentrated CO2 mist to the body through the skin and prove the reproducibility of its effects beyond doubt. To do so, we measured body CO2 concentration before and after treatment as well as the expected physiological response to CO2 treatment. In addition, we have partnered with healthcare leaders and clinicians to perform independent research studies.

Research end points:

1) Safety and tolerability  Up to date, no adverse side effects or negative healthcare responses have been recorded from our clients using D’OXYVA. Also, no participants in our research projects had any documented side effects from treatment. We encourage you to discuss with your healthcare professional if D’OXYVA medical device is right for you.

· Up to date, no adverse side effects or negative healthcare responses have been recorded from our clients using D’OXYVA. Also, no participants in our research projects had any documented side effects from treatment. We encourage you to discuss with your healthcare professional if D’OXYVA medical device is right for you.

· Measured transcutaneous carbon dioxide (TcPCO2)

· Within the first 5 minutes of D’OXYVA treatment, TcPCO2 increases in the body, followed by a decline slope that lasts approximately 240 minutes until returning to baseline values.

· In healthy individuals, D’OXYVA does not increase pCO2 beyond the body buffer’s manageable range, making it completely safe.

 

2) Efficiency CO2 delivery

a. Measured blood perfusion index (PI)
· The results of each research project consistently showed a significant increment on PI in 100% of participants within the first 5 minutes of treatment, peaking at 60 minutes after treatment. From 60 minutes after treatment until 240 minutes (our largest time period evaluated after treatment), PI decreased slowly to baseline levels. PI studies on diabetic patients has demonstrated a greater response to CO2 that in non-diabetic healthy individuals. Our studies have recorded that the PI change (from baseline) in diabetic patients was double the PI change recorded in healthy patients (Graph 1).
Graph 1: Skin perfusion index (SPP) in healthy and diabetic participants vs. time after using the D’OXYVA medical device

b. O2 concentration
 D’OXYVA has consistently reported increased free O2 molecules in our patients’ blood streams. The effective transdermal CO2 delivery allows the body to increment O2 availability through the Bohr effect, which helps hemoglobin cells to unload O2 more easily by decreasing its affinity.

c. Blood pressure
All of the research projects performed up to date have consistently recorded a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure (from the heart) and diastolic (return to the heart) blood pressure. These results have been consistent throughout all study time periods up to 240 minutes (our longest time period evaluated after treatment).

d. Diabetic ulcer
A research project focusing on D’OXYVA’s impact on diabetic ulcers recorded significant changes in wound healing, like significant granulation of tissue and improved ulcer borders, as soon as 1 week into the D’OXYVA treatment plan (Image 1).

e. Sports
Amateur and professional athletes are always searching for ways to improve cardiovascular function and increase the vascular transport capacity of skeletal muscle. Better vascular transport capacity translates to more O2 and nutrients delivered to our muscles, which means better performance in the field.
D’OXYVA research focusing on the perfusion index (PI) of superficial skeletal muscles has recorded excellent results. The most important findings demonstrate that participants who use D’OXYVA doubled their PI in comparison to the control group.

f. Blood alkalinity
Use of D’OXYVA has consistently been shown to improve local cellular homeostasis. It has the potential to improve body pH values by promoting an alkaline ambiance. A slightly alkaline microenvironment After 7 days of treatment with D’OXYVA (1x per day) – same wound dressing as before within the body promotes good health and optimal body organ performance.

 

WHEN WILL PATIENTS BEGIN TO PERCEIVE HEALTHCARE BENEFITS AFTER STARTING D’OXYVA?

The SENTEC digital monitor system has confirmed successful and constant CO2 transdermal delivery to the skin capillary bed after a 5-minute period of exposure to highly concentrated CO2 vapor produced by D’OXYVA.
The perceived healthcare benefits occur almost instantly, with local microcirculation improvements followed by an increment of SPO2 that last up to 240 minutes.

Nonetheless, adherence to a D’OXYVA regiment has demonstrated benefits to individuals suffering from difficult-to-heal skin wounds like diabetic ulcers, who demonstrated significant clinical improvements after two weeks of D’OXYVA.
Patients who achieved D’OXYVA device adherence for more than a month have shown wellness that persists in clinical trials.

Why can the D’OXYVA medical device and its capacity to produce highly concentrated CO2 vapor improve general health care? Judy M. Delp, Ph.D. in physiology and professor at the Florida State University, described D’OXYVA as a simple commercially available device used to deliver transdermal CO2 that has shown remote vasodilation, which may be mediated through the release of a circulating humoral agent.**

CO2 improves general healthcare in several ways:

· It has natural anti-inflammatory characteristics.

· It increases blood flow through microcirculation, by arteriolar/venous dilatation.

· It produces a rightward shift in the O2 dissociation curve.

· It enhances oxygen delivery at the cellular level in the muscles, organs, brain, skin and other parts of the body.

· It is a fat-dissolving compound.

· It naturally sedates and calms the central nervous system.

· It can be used to reconstruct functionally closed capillaries.

· It can improve venous response.

· It improves blood-flow properties.  It can be used to sedate the central nervous system.

 

IS D’OXYVA SAFE FOR MY PATIENTS (HUMANS AND PETS)?

Circularity Healthcare operates a state-of-the-art supply chain and quality management system (QMS) for manufacturing. Circularity has certificates of registration for IS EN ISO13485:2012 (European Union) and ISO13485:2003 under CMDCAS (Canada), which it has been implementing since 2013.

D’OXYVA is a CE-marked medical device (Class I, low risk) for delivery of medications via the skin. Circularity is seeking approval from the U.S. FDA and other countries for delivery of medical gases such as medical carbon dioxide (USP UN1013) via a novel, patented, non-invasive transdermal route with D’OXYVA to treat various widespread conditions.

Medical carbon dioxide is manufactured and delivered under applicable standards per each country’s regulatory requirements. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has cleared the use of medical carbon dioxide through inhalation for humans but not yet through transdermal delivery with D’OXYVA. Transportation of medical carbon dioxide via any postal or courier service requires a certification for handling dangerous goods (HAZMAT) by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

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Blood Circulation Problems

Blood is the carrier of the all-important oxygen molecule. Through a series of reactions in which oxygen is involved, energy is produced, which is necessary for driving our cells’ metabolic reactions. So when blood does not reach a part of the body, the conditions that result from it are the consequences of oxygen deprivation. The heart, through its pumping action, maintains the pressure required for the blood to reach all parts of the body. Under normal circumstances, arteries, veins and capillaries, through which blood travels, are quite flexible. When they harden or get blocked, blood cannot flow through them to reach the organs. Hardening or blocking of blood vessels occur due to many reasons. Deposition of cholesterol and fat, clumping of platelets to form clots, and inflammation, all of these can lead to the narrowing of the diameter of blood vessels.

Problems in circulation also occur if the heart cannot pump blood efficiently. This can occur due to a number of reasons, but mostly is due to the same factors that are involved in blood vessel narrowing. Here are some conditions in which the blood circulation of an individual may get compromised.

It is the leading cause of narrowed blood vessels that ultimately lead to all kinds of problems in the body. Atherosclerosis is a gradual process of hardening and loss of flexibility of the arteries as a result of deposition of cholesterol and fats inside their lumen. These deposits are called plaques. When this deposition reaches a significant level, the arteries become partially or fully blocked. Blood cannot flow with the same efficiency through them, and the organ to which they supply suffers ischemia, a condition of oxygen deprivation. Atherosclerosis is the cause of many diseases like myocardial infarction, brain strokes, renal stenosis, and pain and cramps in the hands or legs. The disease which a person gets, depends on which arteries have significant blockage in them. Cholesterol is needed and manufactured naturally by the body, and it also comes into the body by the consumption of food, and excess amounts are stored. The same goes for fat – especially trans fat. A high fat diet is therefore one of the main culprits in causing atherosclerosis, although other factors like genetics are also important.

Treatment
There is no easy way to get rid of atherosclerotic plaques, because they are quite tenacious. Lifestyle modification is an absolute necessity in preventing further damage to the arteries. In fact, nothing works as well as lifestyle modification in dealing with atherosclerosis. Other than this, the options available are for increasing the diameter of the narrowed arteries to restore normal blood flow.
  • Angioplasty – This procedure involves inserting a flexible tube in the artery and inflating it to increase its diameter.
  • Bypass Surgery – When the arteries supplying the heart (coronary arteries) are completely blocked, they are ‘bypassed” by using a blood vessel from some other part (e.g. leg). By surgically attaching this blood vessel to the heart, the blood supply is redirected via this, to the heart.
  • Preventive Measures – Changes in lifestyle, such as following a low-fat diet, exercising, reducing alcohol consumption, and cessation of smoking are necessary to avoid buildup of plaque in the arteries. Some drugs like statins can be used to lower cholesterol levels in the body, but they have many side-effects too.

This disease has two forms, a primary one, and a secondary form (called Raynaud’s phenomenon). The primary form does not occur in association with some other disease, but the secondary form does. In people suffering from this condition, some parts of the body such as the fingers, toes, nose, lips and ears feel very cold under conditions of low temperature or stress. This happens because some small arteries in these body parts constrict, reducing blood flow, causing the feeling of numbness and cold experienced by people suffering from this disorder. During an attack, the affected body parts blanch, and then turn blue. When blood flow is slowly restored, they turn red along with a burning, throbbing sensation. Many people with Raynaud’s disease experience all this only in their extremities. Its prevalence is greater among women as compared to men.

Treatment
People with Raynaud’s disease are advised to wear warm clothes and not expose themselves to cold. They are also advised to stay away from drugs that cause blood vessel constriction. Most treatment options aim at dilating the constricted blood vessels which lead to the symptoms of Raynaud’s disease. If a patient has secondary Raynaud’s disease, the treatment for the underlying condition encompasses the treatment for Raynaud’s disease. If the patient does not get relief from these, or if the symptoms are very severe, surgical intervention or some other options may be resorted to.

Drugs

  • Calcium Channel Blockers – These dilate blood vessels so that proper circulation to the extremities is restored. Some drugs in this category that are used are nifedipine, nicardipine and diltiazem.
  • Alpha-receptor Blockers – These drugs bind to alpha-1 receptors because of which norepinephrine is unable to bind to them. This prevents the constrictive effect of norepinephrine on the blood vessels. Some drugs in this class that are used are prazosin and doxazosin.

Other Options

  • Nerve Excision – Nerves that supply the blood vessels of the affected body part are cut so that they cannot cause them to constrict.
  • Amputation – Sometimes, gangrene develops in the part where the blood supply has been blocked. It needs to be surgically removed to prevent further spread.
  • Nerve Blockage – The nerves supplying the affected body part can be temporarily blocked to prevent blood vessel constriction.

Diabetes, as is well-known, is a complex metabolic disorder. The inability of the body to utilize glucose has system-wide effects, leading to all kinds of problems, from impaired wound-healing to neuropathies. One among the many problems stemming from diabetes is poor circulation. A high level of cholesterol and glucose in the blood, as well as high blood pressure, causes the blood vessels to thicken and lose their flexibility. This leads to insufficient blood supply to various organs, especially the hands and feet. The consequences of this reduced blood supply are many, like infections, delayed and impaired wound healing, numbness and coldness, tingling and difficulty in walking. If care is not taken, sores develop on the feet, which may advance to gangrene. Adding to the problem is the fact that diabetics often are overweight and have high blood pressure. All of these put them at an increased risk of heart problems as well. Diabetics often experience pain and cramping in the legs after a long walk or exercise. This is known as claudication.

Treatment
Mostly, preventive measures undertaken to deal with atherosclerosis are recommended to patients with diabetes, for improving circulation. Without these, no amount of medication is enough to prevent circulation problems.

  • Quitting Smoking – Smoking has been strongly associated in a number of studies with the development of atherosclerosis. Quitting smoking is one of the most important steps that people with diabetes need to take to stop atherosclerosis.
  • Exercise – Physical activity, such as a daily walk, and exercise under supervision, greatly helps with improving circulation.
  • Other preventive measures include a healthy diet, not exposing the extremities to cold, and checking the feet for injuries, regularly.

Also known as Thromboangiitis obliterans, it is a disease of unknown cause, that has a strong association with smoking or chewing tobacco. This disease is characterized by inflammation of the veins and arteries of the extremities. They become inflamed and swell up, restricting blood flow to the hands and feet. Blood clots also form and further block the blood vessels. It is believed that some factors trigger the immune system to attack the blood vessels and cause inflammation. Insufficient blood supply to the limbs has the same effect on the hands and feet, as in other diseases, resulting from such a deficit – greater risk of infections, gangrene and tissue damage.

Treatment
Most patients of Buerger’s disease are habitual tobacco users. Since tobacco use plays an important part in the genesis and progression of the disease, stopping smoking is the most important step in slowing the progression of the disease. Cessation of smoking improves the outcome of treatment, and slows the condition from aggravating further. Other than this, a treatment plan for Buerger’s disease involves therapies that increase blood flow to the limbs.

  • Streptokinase – This is an enzyme that is used to dissolve blood clots. It has been shown to be beneficial to a certain extent in patients of Buerger’s disease.
  • Synthetic Prostacyclin Analogues – Drugs belonging to this class, like iloprost, treprostinil and cicaprost, have been used with some success in dilating blood vessels in patients.
  • Surgery – Surgical options include sympathectomy (cutting off the nerve supply to the blood vessels), and in case of gangrene, amputation of the gangrenous part(s).
  • Some experimental therapies like the use of drugs to stimulate new blood vessels to grow are also being tried out.

There are a number of diseases that are caused due to formation of clots in the blood vessels, especially the veins. Valve defects, being on birth control pills for a long time, certain genetic conditions, injury, inflammation, certain congenital defects, some cancers, and many other factors predispose a person’s arteries or veins toward blood clot formation. These can be dangerous if not dealt with immediately.

Treatment
It depends upon whether the clots are in the arteries or the veins.

  • Arterial Clots – Aspirin and clopidogrel, both prevent the blood platelets from sticking to each other. This helps in preventing clot formation. Heparin and some thrombolytic agents are also used to prevent clot formation.
  • Venous Clots – Heparin and warfarin, both are used to prevent clot formation in the veins.


Although some conditions in which there is a problem with blood flow are genetic in nature, most are preventable by bringing about lifestyle changes, such as following a healthy high-fiber diet, giving up smoking, and reducing consumption of alcohol.