The Fundamentals

Intermittent Claudication is defined as a severe pain in the calf muscles that occurs during walking, but subsides with rest. It is a result of inadequate blood supply, which may be due to atherosclerosis, arteriorsclerosis obliterans, arterial spasm, or an arterial blockage. Surprisingly, this is very common throughout the population. It tends to occur more frequently in men than women, and of the population under 60 years old, almost 2% has experienced it. In the 60-70 year old range, almost 4%, and over 70 years old, at least 5% of the population is diagnosed. Intermittent Claudication has a favorable prognosis, as the condition stabilizes or improves in most patients.


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Leg Pain Information
Intermittent Claudication
Syndrome

C
laudication, a sudden and severe pain in the calf muscles, is a common ailment. If the pain generally comes when walking, and goes away when the legs are at rest, it is called intermittent claudication, and it is caused by a blockage, or occlusion, in the arteries that bring blood to the lower extremities. Deposits of cholesterol and other substances, called atherosclerotic plaques, are the reason for the arterial blockage, and after gradual build-up, the passageways narrow until a sufficient amount of oxygen-carrying blood can no longer pass through to nourish the tissues. Exercise, especially walking, tends to exacerbate the situation. Intermittent claudication is a painful condition, but has a good prognosis. By lowering blood cholesterol and reducing platelets, further damage to the arteries will be prevented.
There are several herbal supplements that are useful in relieving the pain of intermittent claudication. Ginkgo Biloba is the most effective herb known for this ailment. As an antioxidant, Ginkgo helps to prevent arterial wall damage. It dilates blood vessels and helps prevent platelet accumulation, as well as provides a tonic effect to the blood vessels that aren't receiving enough oxygen. Clinical studies comparing Ginkgo with placebos and prescription drugs proved that Ginkgo actually works better for intermittent claudication than the drugs. Because the effect of Ginkgo is cumulative, the longer it is taken, the better it works. Another herb known to decrease platelet accumulation is Garlic. Garlic has also proven effective in lowering total cholesterol and triglycerides while at the same time, raising the "good cholesterol" HDL. Ginger is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. It helps lower cholesterol and prevents platelet accumulation like Garlic. Ginger, and Hawthorne Berry both help shrink the plaques that are clogging arteries and help stop more from forming. In addition, Hawthorne, which is full of flavonoids and proanthocyanadins, also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and it strengthens collagen, which is the substance that holds cells together.
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Note: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the use of a qualified health care professional. We strongly recommend the use of a physician for the diagnostic phase of any treatment. With an accurate diagnosis in hand, we believe the consumer, at that point, has a basic, unalienable right to seek out factual information on all therapeutic approaches, both orthodox and alternative, and choose those approach(es) that are right for them. Nonetheless, a "good doctor" should be considered a requisite starting point.

To U.S. Users: None of the products mentioned on this page have been evaluated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration; therefore, they are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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