Varicose veins and smoking – how it affects What are the consequences

Tobacco addiction greatly increases the likelihood of atherosclerosis. This is due to what exactly happens with blood vessels when smoking. The ingress of cigarette smoke into the body is accompanied by:

  • increased blood pressure;
  • increased heart rate;
  • short vasodilation followed by a prolonged spasm.

The risks of developing deadly cardiovascular pathologies are due to changes such as:

  • decreased blood flow;
  • disorders in fat metabolism;
  • increased platelet adhesion (increased risk of thrombosis);
  • a decrease in the level of prostacyclin (a hormone that causes vasodilation);
  • destruction of the inner layer of blood vessels;
  • increase in blood pressure.

These changes lead to the compaction of the vascular wall, reduce its elasticity, accelerate the formation of cholesterol plaques.

The longer the smoking experience, the more pronounced the changes. Such a smoker can be identified immediately. On the face are visible signs of rosacea, a pathology associated with thinning of capillaries.

With insufficient nutrition of the lower extremities in people aged 20-40 years, obliterating endarteritis is diagnosed, in elderly patients – atherosclerosis.

Pathologies are similar in clinical manifestations:

  • pains that occur during walking;
  • intermittent claudication;
  • inability to cope with physical activity;
  • chronic fatigue;
  • tingling, numbness in the arms and legs;
  • cramps, the intensity of which increases at night.

Severe ischemia leads to pain even at rest, muscle atrophy develops. The consequences are sad – both pathologies end with gangrene.

How are vein diseases formed?

Nicotine acts on the cardiovascular system, significantly increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and general wear of the venous system. For the normal functioning of the vessels, elasticity of the veins, the ability to expand and narrow are required. Nicotine addiction contributes to narrowing of the veins, which leads to increased work of the heart, angina pectoris.

Any smoker will confirm that an overdose of nicotine leads to a noticeable increase in heart rate, nausea, and headache. The blood flow in the narrowed vessels is disproportionately increased, which leads to increased wear of the body. In combination with other loads, excessive load can manifest as varicose veins.

With nicotine addiction, not only superficial veins suffer, but also deep veins, the damage of which is not so noticeable. Diseases of the deep circulatory systems manifest as pulling pain in the muscles, a feeling of fatigue and congestion, swelling appears, and the shape of the limbs is deformed. Legs become heavy, thick and swollen. In obesity, the risk of disease increases.

Smoking and obesity guarantee a 100% chance of varicose veins. In this case, deformed veins can only be detected using hardware diagnostics.

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The narrowing of blood vessels from smoking does not occur evenly and smoothly, which could have a positive massage effect that tones the walls of blood vessels. Unfortunately, the walls taper sharply, unevenly and spasmodically. The result of uneven narrowing becomes stagnation of blood in areas remote from the heart. Stretching the veins in the legs, gradually leads to multiple varicose veins and the impossibility of narrowing the veins.

Smoking provokes the development of serious diseases in areas such as the veins of the pelvis, genitals, and rectum. Varicosis from smoking is much more dangerous and affects all body systems more widely than varicose veins caused by weight transfer or work on the legs. Systemic disease is less treatable due to general deterioration and fatigue of the vessel walls. Strongly stretched veins are corrected by laser surgery.

When using nicotine, pressure rises every time. Over time, nicotine hypertension develops, which entails all the usual bunch of diseases for high blood pressure. This is varicose veins from smoking, angina pectoris and tachycardia, and the possibility of developing early arteriosclerosis increases. Arteriosclerosis is a very unpleasant disease characteristic of tobacco addicts with long experience.

As a result of vasospasm, cholesterol plaques grow on the walls of the veins, blocking the normal blood flow. So arteriosclerosis is formed, characterized by severe pulling pains in the limbs, swelling, lameness, when it is impossible to step on one leg, and after a while on the other. With the development of this disease, ulcers, blood clots, gangrene of the extremities are formed.

With advanced arteriosclerosis, amputation is necessary. What is unpleasant, arteriosclerosis is getting younger and amputations for medical reasons are increasingly exposed to people under 30 years old.

Cuperosis – small spider veins that appear mainly on the face and legs in people with high blood pressure or with problematic vessels. Cuperosis is a varicose vein of small vessels. Since smoking affects the entire cardiovascular system as a whole, the problem of spasms also applies to small vessels that swell in the skin layer.

This is another illustration of the harm of nicotine. You can get rid of damaged small vessels with the help of cosmetic laser surgery or start taking funds to strengthen blood vessels and lubricate spider veins with hemorrhoids ointment.

Nicotine response

First, nicotine has a stimulating effect on the control center of blood vessels, then it has a inhibitory effect. Carbon monoxide combines with red blood cells, replacing hemoglobin, and the blood cannot saturate organs and tissues with oxygen. It displaces oxygen, provoking the development of hypoxia of cells. As a result, their normal work is disrupted, they are damaged and die.

Smoking leads to a decrease in the diameter of the arteries, adversely affects their patency. Inadequacy of blood circulation leads to pathological changes in the heart, brain, limbs.

Commonly diagnosed diseases observed in smokers include:

  • myocardial ischemia;
  • arrhythmias;
  • impaired blood flow in the brain;
  • obliterating endarteritis of the legs.

Now it’s clear how cigarettes affect: vessels expand or contract, and why this happens. But the harm of smoking extends not only to cigarettes.

Marijuana is one of the most common drugs, and many young people find it safe. However, in addition to the detrimental effect on the larynx, gastrointestinal tract, brain, smoking affects the state of blood vessels.

As in the case of nicotine, there is a rapid jump in pressure due to narrowing of the arteries. But it is important to understand how in this case smoking affects the vessels of the brain. It leads to a violation of blood circulation and the appearance of dizziness, fainting, as well as numbness of the fingers or limbs.

As for the long-term effect, it consists in lowering the pressure (cannabioid level decreases), lowering the sugar index (I really want a sweet one), emotional instability.

These changes suggest that weed should not be considered a safe drug. It is actually used in some countries to treat a number of diseases, including epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease. However, this is not related to the smoking that young (and not only) people are fond of.

All the same applies to the hookah. Even if there is no nicotine in the mixture, the release of carbon dioxide will lead to a narrowing of blood vessels and an increase in pressure. A similar effect is characterized by enthusiasm for electronic cigarettes.

It can be concluded that smoking, regardless of which product is used, will lead to a deterioration in the state of capillaries and arteries, thinning of their walls, and a decrease in oxygen permeability. People with high blood pressure are absolutely contraindicated. Healthy people may not notice changes for a while, but violations will still be apparent. The only right way out is to quit smoking and repair the vessels.

The danger of varicose veins

Varicose veins – a disease more characteristic of the elderly and middle age. Smokers have a significantly higher risk of developing varicose veins.

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With any physical activity, the load on the heart and blood vessels increases. Is it not better to save the body and stop moving, let it be kept as good as new and not deteriorate? Unfortunately, this is not the case. The disease develops in immobility much faster.

As a result, not only superficial varicose veins, characteristic of pregnant women and people who spend working hours standing, are manifested, but also deep varicose veins of the internal veins, which include severe forms of hemorrhoids, venous inflammation, thrombosis and trophic ulcers from breakouts or physical damage to blood vessels.

The question arises: what is common between them? It turns out that the relationship between them is quite tight, because when nicotine enters the body, the vessels narrow and their walls become thin and brittle, therefore, the throughput capacity of the circulatory system decreases.

If you do not stop the effect of cigarettes on blood vessels, this can lead to addiction to this condition and the walls of the vessels will cease to recover at all. Which ultimately leads to varicose veins. Why does it happen that the veins expand, although when components of tobacco smoke enter the bloodstream they become narrower?

During smoking, blood in narrowed vessels is able to penetrate through venous valves without much effort. When smoking is stopped, the vessels dilate again, and nicotine-damaged valves are unable to cope with the flow of blood through them. As a result, blood accumulates in these places, and some tubercles form, which are varicose veins.

Brain circulation

An extremely dangerous effect is the effect of nicotine on the blood vessels of the brain. An increase in blood density and vasoconstriction provokes insufficient nutrition of tissues. At the same time, a plaque is likely to clog the lumen. Failure of cerebral circulation as a result is manifested:

  • discirculatory encephalopathy;
  • dementia
  • a stroke.

The initial stage of the pathology of the vessels of the brain will manifest itself:

  • frequent headaches and dizziness;
  • rumble in the ears;
  • visual impairment (due to narrowing of blood vessels in the eyes);
  • memory impairment;
  • general weakness;
  • decreased performance.

The main risk group is people whose vessels are damaged to a large extent. Usually these are elderly men with high rates of blood pressure and cholesterol.

How to resist the development of varicose veins while smoking

Quitting smoking can be quite difficult. Calmness and moderation, the control of adrenaline and cortisol, which gives nicotine, make put up with the possible serious consequences of smoking.

Psychiatrists do not recommend quitting smoking with some forms of sluggish schizophrenia if the smoking habit has developed long ago.

When quitting smoking, the body experiences severe stress, since nicotine is firmly embedded in the human metabolism. Stop smoking if you are sure that you are really ready to part with cigarettes forever.

    In the first place, a combination of factors leading to varicose veins should be avoided. Increased physical exertion, heavy lifting, prolonged standing, edema of the extremities, together with smoking, will lead to varicose veins with a probability of more than 99%. Smoking during pregnancy can lead to varicose veins even at the age of 20.

Smoking and the systematic intake of alcohol quickly blocks the possibility of any intellectual activity or training. Memory is impaired due to severe spasms of the vessels of the brain.

Deep veins most often suffer from drinking alcohol with nicotine, turning a person into an impotent wreck. Sexual function decreases, vascular deformity affects the rectum, genital veins in men. These problems, characteristic of people in extreme old age, with simultaneous smoking and alcoholism are manifested by the age of 30. If you value your smoking habit, try to refrain from alcohol as much as possible.

  • A good massage, especially foot massage, will help delay the development of varicose veins while smoking. Muscles are sore, swelling is removed, and normal gait is restored.
  • Swimming is a good prevention of varicose veins and helps to maintain vascular health.
  • Abstinence in food. Overeating harms blood vessels, also try to refrain from a large amount of fatty foods, red wine, fried foods and fast carbohydrates.
  • As prevention, you can use a thin layer of cream for hemorrhoids or anti-varicose cream with horse chestnut.
  • Light gymnastics, swinging legs, stretching muscles, relaxing with placing your feet on a special pillow or roller will help to avoid swelling.
  • Why do people smoke despite the risk of varicose veins and other diseases?

    Nicotine blocks the production of cortisol, significantly reducing anxiety. It is this property that makes smoking attractive at first use. A smoker finds that it is easier to deal with stress, the risk of depression, depressed conditions is reduced.

    Smoking helps to cope with aggression, this is one of the main reasons for smoking in adolescence. Instead of boiling up emotions, it becomes possible to inhale the smoke and calmly ponder the situation. That is, nicotine acts as a stabilizer of emotions.

    No harm to the nervous and circulatory system at a young age, shortness of breath, memory impairment, problems with blood vessels, varicose veins as a result of smoking do not appear immediately, but after several years of regular use of nicotine.

    Unfortunately, this applies not only to traditional smoking, but also to any method of using nicotine – electronic cigarettes, chewing and snuff tobacco, hookah, nicotine patches and chewing gums with nicotine.

    Conventional cigarettes, cigars and tubes have the maximum negative effect on the elasticity of blood vessels. In addition to nicotine, which causes vasoconstriction, the composition of smoke includes combustion products, carbon monoxide, hundreds of harmful elements in significant doses to health with regular use.

    For the prevention of varicose veins and diseases, it is better to give up smoking in favor of a healthy lifestyle.

    Mechanism of action

    Narrowing the lumen of the arteries causes an increase in pressure. Such jumps, experts define as nicotine hypertension.

    Nicotine appears in the blood, spreads throughout all tissues and organs, becomes a participant in metabolic processes. The remainder, which is not excreted in the urine, accumulates on the vascular walls and tissues. At the very beginning, an increase in the lumen of blood vessels occurs, causing a feeling of relaxation in a person. However, after a few minutes, these sensations are replaced by the opposite: the vessels narrow sharply. Such a difference is a great stress for the body.

    Nicotine refers to substances that can pass through the BBB and affect the functionality of all organs. It has a stimulating effect on the vasomotor center. Speaking about whether vessels narrow or expand when smoking, it is important to consider two stages of nicotine exposure:

    1. Activation of cholinergic receptors and an increase in the diameter of the vascular bed, proceeding against the background of bradycardia. This is a short stage, after which, under the influence of increased production of adrenaline, norepinephrine, dopamine, hemodynamic changes begin.
    2. The second phase is characterized by:
    • the development of tachycardia;
    • increase in cardiac output;
    • increase in blood pressure;
    • vasoconstriction.

    How to restore vascular health

    If a pathological process in the vessels is detected, treatment should be started as soon as possible. Quitting smoking is a must for those who are really interested in their health. At the same time, it is necessary to protect yourself from secondhand smoke. The combination of alcohol and nicotine should also be ruled out. Alcohol, like cigarettes, increases pressure. Their combination will be detrimental to blood vessels. Regular consumption of 100 ml of strong alcohol per day causes alcoholic cardiomyopathy.

    To contribute to the improvement of the state of blood vessels after elimination of the habit will be:

    • long walks in the air;
    • speleotherapy;
    • the use of a large number of fresh vegetables, fruits, berries, as well as juices from them;
    • contrast shower, bath visit;
    • breathing exercises;
    • daily sports (swimming and walking are recommended);
    • rational nutrition, providing vitamins and minerals.

    It’s no secret that smoking is a dangerous habit. How many human lives could be saved, from how many diseases did humanity save if there were no cigarettes. But, unfortunately, people smoked and will smoke, and the heart and blood vessels suffer first of all. Smoking is especially dangerous for the vessels of the legs and brain.

    when smoking, blood thickens and there is a serious risk of blood clots in the vessels; with increased cholesterol during smoking, plaques form on the walls of the vessels, which can completely clog the lumen and lead to ischemic stroke; in smokers, blood vessels become lethargic, lose elasticity, and lumens decrease. It is extremely difficult to completely clear the vessel; Often, heavy smokers experience cerebral hemorrhage.

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    This is explained by the fact that when puffed, the amount of oxygen supplied to the body decreases. Brain cells begin to die, blood circulation is disturbed.

    Nicotine is thought to constrict blood vessels. Is it so? During smoking, nicotine is involved in all chemical and nervous reactions of the body.

    However, carbon dioxide manages to negatively affect the cardiovascular system, and narrows the lumen of the vessels. The narrowing of blood vessels has an extremely negative effect on human health. The brain, legs and heart suffer.

    Often, smoking people become hypertensive – the pressure constantly jumps. Doctors diagnose nicotine hypertension. If the pressure is high, the heart needs more strength to cope with the pumping of blood. But this is not possible with constant poisoning of the body with nicotine doses.

    In addition, in people who smoke, the walls of the vessels are affected by atherosclerosis, and this is the reason for the development of blood clots. Doctors come to the common conclusion that addiction is often the cause of myocardial infarction. Nicotine is also responsible for angina pectoris and ischemia.

    This whole set of undesirable pathologies occurs due to the fact that carbon monoxide provokes spasms of the blood vessels of the heart, and this affects the blood coagulation and coagulation.

    Smoking affects the brain even more negatively than other organs. After carbon monoxide enters the human body, cholesterol plaques are deposited on the vessels of the brain.

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    With the most negative outcome, the vessels become clogged. More often there is too little clearance, and a person suffers from migraines and headaches. There are frequent cases when half of the body is paralyzed, memory is impaired, and the general condition worsens. A person becomes nervous, often subjected to depressive states.

    If you do not urgently quit a bad habit, there is a great chance that pain symptoms will lead to a stroke. If a person feels that headaches, dizziness, bouts of nausea and weakness, numbness of body parts become frequent, you need to urgently consult a doctor. If one stroke is experienced, but no conclusions are drawn, the second stroke will be fatal.

    The vessels of the legs suffer from smoking, and this is no longer a secret. After nicotine enters the body, arteries suffer, blood supply to blood vessels deteriorates. The first symptoms of a serious foot pathology are pain in them and limping.

    If no treatment occurs, the plaques thicken, the tissues of the legs suffer. Sadly, both diseases lead to gangrene. Also, smoking can lead to blood clots, and a disease such as thrombophlebitis.

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    There is nothing positive about smoking. During the expansion of blood vessels, a person feels relaxation for a few seconds, and then receives hundreds of negative consequences. After giving up the habit, the body feels much better: heart problems disappear, blood vessels cleanse, the brain receives the desired dose of oxygen.

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    Many men, and in recent years women, have been faced with sudden discomfort in their legs. The reason is simple – my legs hurt from smoking. Since today cigarettes are the scourge of representatives of not only male but also female, no one is immune from the pathologies caused by nicotine.

    Harmful habit can cause serious damage to health, provoking many vascular diseases. One of them is arteriosclerosis obliterans of the arteries, the other is endarteritis. Both formidable pathologies can lead to disability if you do not stop using nicotine in time and seek help.

    It has been proven that smoking and varicose veins are closely related. As soon as nicotine enters the bloodstream, the vessels narrow, and their walls become thinner, lose their elasticity, which affects the throughput of the circulatory system.

    For what reason does the expansion occur if the vessels, when smoking, on the contrary, are narrowed? It turns out that blood while smoking a cigarette penetrates through venous valves in narrowed vessels. After the cigarette, the vessels return to normal, but with a large flow of blood, the valves, which had a harmful effect of nicotine, can not cope. As a result – the formation of accumulation of blood, the appearance on the skin of “tubercles”, which are called varicose veins.

    Atherosclerosis obliterans

    According to cardiologists, every cigarette smoked is similar to a nail driven into a person’s heart. The damage caused by harmful substances to the human body is difficult to overestimate. The vessels of the lower extremities are most damaged, since it is they that account for the main load in the process of life.

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    To understand why the legs of smokers suffer, it is necessary to consider the mechanism of occurrence of obliterating atherosclerosis. The disease begins so mundane that not everyone can associate it with smoking. As a rule, mild pain in the legs and calves is attributed to overstrain or prolonged physical activity.

    After some time, the feet begin to hurt, and the sofa no longer protects from the symptoms of pathology. Pain bothers during exercise and in its absence. If you give up cigarettes at this time, you can still stop the development of a formidable disease. But, as a rule, people continue to smoke and do not go to the doctor, which after some time leads to problems when walking.

    There is a so-called intermittent claudication when a person cannot actively move and each step is associated with discomfort in the legs. The cause of the condition is an unhealthy lifestyle, the consequences of which are repeatedly amplified by the influence of nicotine.

    Why is this happening? One of the effects of substances found in tobacco is associated with narrowing of the walls of blood vessels. Atherosclerotic plaques clog them much faster than non-smokers. Arteries stop passing blood, due to which the lower extremities are deprived of food and oxygen. Their slow death begins.

    But this is not all that threatens obliterating atherosclerosis. Any minor injury (scratch, scuff or cut) can lead to the development of a trophic ulcer, in which the tissue will not heal even when using potent drugs. And the result of this sore can be not only amputation of the limb, but also the death of a person.

    How to prevent the occurrence of obliterating atherosclerosis and its serious consequences? First of all, you need to quit smoking. And it is extremely important to do this when the first bells appeared in the form of pain in the calves and legs. It is required to carefully examine the limbs. Pathology has visual symptoms that can be noticed in the presence of discomfort:

    • hairs on the skin of the legs fell out;
    • the skin became dry and cool;
    • fingers acquired a bluish-violet hue.

    Blood supply has already been disrupted, and only a visit to the doctor will save the situation.

    Endarteritis is a long-term inflammation of the arteries of the lower extremities, characterized by a complete blockage of their lumen. As it develops, pathology initially leads to a violation of blood flow, and later to gangrene. Leg tissues are damaged, muscles and ligaments cease to function normally and as a result, the process of dying occurs.

    According to statistics, middle-aged men with cravings for nicotine are usually affected. In this case, the pathological processes are often triggered by the immune system, which perceives the substances that make up cigarettes, as allergic agents.

    Aggravating factors contributing to the development of obliterating endarteritis in smokers are long-term stresses, constant hypothermia or frostbite of the extremities.

    You should stop smoking and consult a doctor immediately if the following symptoms are noted:

    1. Severe heaviness in the legs, even with minor physical exertion.
    2. Feeling of coldness in the feet.
    3. Constant swelling and numbness.
    4. Pallor of the skin of the lower extremities.
    5. The occurrence of ulcers. The next step will be the development of foci of necrosis and gangrene.
    6. Color change of nails to bluish-purple, their fragility and deformation.
    7. The inability to feel the pulse on the legs. In the late stages of endarteritis, the pulse is practically not detected.
    8. Soreness and cramps when walking. As the disease progresses, discomfort also occurs at rest. An intermittent claudication develops, in which every step of a person is associated with pain and spasms in the muscles of the lower extremities.

    If the prognosis is positive with the timely treatment of atherosclerosis obliterans, it is almost impossible to completely eliminate the effects of endarteritis. But in the first and second case, the main factor affecting the course of treatment is considered to be smoking cessation. Elimination of nicotine addiction significantly increases the chances of maintaining the motor function of the lower extremities.

    The initial symptoms of diseases are similar in their manifestations, but the following signs will help to distinguish pathologies:

    1. Atherosclerosis is characteristic of people over 50 years old, young people suffer from endarteritis.
    2. With endarteritis, manifestations increase transiently, while atherosclerosis can develop for years.
    3. With atherosclerosis, symmetrical lesions of the limbs are noted, with endarteritis, they can occur only on one leg.
    4. In the first case, large vessels and arteries are immediately affected, the veins are not affected. With endarteritis, small vessels and veins are first blocked, then the pathology goes to the arteries.
    5. Atherosclerosis appears only in the lower extremities, endarteritis, especially in the later stages, affects blood vessels throughout the body.

    The recommendations that doctors give to patients suffering from these diseases are similar. The main ones are:

    • weight loss in obesity;
    • blood glucose control and prevention of diabetes;
    • blood pressure control at a level not higher than 140/90 mm RT. st .;
    • dosed physical activity: walking, swimming, exercises in the gym, etc .;
    • quitting smoking and drinking alcohol;
    • eating foods low in animal fats and cholesterol;
    • blood cholesterol control.

    Doctors prescribe medication and physiotherapy treatments. In case the therapy does not help, resort to surgical intervention.

    Stages of the pathology

    Many people who already have symptoms of obliterating endarteritis are in no hurry to quit nicotine use, referring to the fact that the discomfort has passed, and their general condition has improved. And everything would be fine if not for the insidiousness of pathology. She is characterized by a cycle in which relapses are replaced by long-term remissions.

    To date, 5 stages of endarteritis are distinguished:

    1. The initial one, in which the gaps of the arteries are already narrowed, but the blood flow is still not broken. Symptoms are practically absent. Diagnosis of the disease at this stage is difficult.
    2. Ischemic, characterized by a deterioration in blood flow. Leg heaviness, numbness and intermittent claudication begin to develop. The pulse is weakening, but is still being felt. This is the deadline for starting treatment and preserving all the functions of the lower extremities in full.
    3. Trophic, in which the symptomatology of the disease intensifies. Tissues do not receive the necessary amount of oxygen and nutrients, hair falls out, nails turn blue. The pulse is almost not shown. Treatment is fraught with serious difficulties, since pathology at this stage is considered neglected.
    4. Ulcerative necrotic, during which there is a complete blockage of the lumen of the vessels. Ripple is not palpable, pain accompanies a person constantly, he cannot move or does it with difficulty. Muscles atrophy, trophic ulcers develop, transforming into necrosis. Even with treatment, reversing the processes occurring in the tissues is very difficult.
    5. Gangrene, developing due to ulcers and necrosis. The only way to treat endarteritis at this stage is limb amputation. In this case, the pathology begins to spread to the vessels throughout the body, there is a general deterioration in the patient’s condition.

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    Tatyana Jakowenko

    Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

    For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

    He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.