The Heart and Mind Connection in Peripheral Artery Disease

Improving blood flow to the organs and limbs can also be connected to how we feel in our daily lives
August 31, 2020 Updated: August 31, 2020

A new study is drawing a close distinction between a person’s mental state and their ability to recover from PAD optimally. The study, led by researchers at Yale University, suggests that depressive symptoms are a significant impediment to recovery.

Peripheral artery disease is most common in the legs. It can affect energy, functionality, mobility, and quality of life.

The condition can also boost the risk of illness of death from heart disease.

Published in the Journal of American Heart Health, the study found that people with depressive symptoms were less likely to recover from the condition than people who didn’t report such symptoms.

Depression can add stress and further pressure on your heart. It can activate your immune system, exacerbating other conditions and taxing natural bodily systems designed to keep you healthy. It can also affect outlook, making people less likely to believe they can heal.

There is no simple treatment for depression. It’s not as black and white as treating physical health. Doctors know ways to encourage better circulation and treat PAD but may be unsure how to help improve a patient’s overall happiness.

Depending on the degree of depression, a person may be served by making meaningful connections with people, adopting an exercise program, or accomplishing small goals and participating in hobbies. Others may require professional help.

When you’re working on your mental state, it’s important to remember to do things for your body. Exercise releases hormones and improves blood flow, both of which can give you a mental boost.

There are several things that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and promote healthier blood flow through arteries besides exercise.

Certain foods can boost blood nitric oxide levels, which helps open up blood vessels and improve blood flow. These foods include are beets, beetroot juice, garlic, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and meats. Supplements can also be used.

Meanwhile, you should limit your intake of processed foods, which can have the opposite effect.

Spending time in nature is also profoundly relaxing for many people, especially beautiful settings that give us a sense of awe.

Mohan Garikiparithi holds a degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade. During a three-year communications program in Germany, he developed an interest in German medicine (homeopathy) and other alternative systems of medicine. This article was originally published on Bel Marra Health.