Have you begun to experience leg pain when walking for considerable lengths of time? Or has the pain increased to full-on painful cramping, achiness, or sharp stabbing sensations in your lower leg or foot?
Are you noticing a change in skin color or temperature? Is it getting increasingly difficult to fasten your shoe or tie your shoelaces?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, you may have Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). Also known as peripheral arterial disease, this is a condition that affects many parts of the body, primarily the blood vessels in the legs.
The blood flow can get restricted or blocked altogether, potentially resulting in amputation.
We aim to educate you further, so you can take any steps to receive a diagnosis and treatment in time. Keep reading to learn more about PAD and how to obtain treatment today.
What Is Peripheral Artery Disease?
It is a condition that occurs when there is a build-up of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to your limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, calcium, cholesterol, and other substances found in the blood.
Over time, plaque hardens and narrows your arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your muscles, which can cause pain and cramping. This narrowing is usually caused by atherosclerosis, or “hardening of the arteries.”
What Are the Symptoms?
The most common symptom of PAD is cramping or pain in the muscles of the legs or hips during activity. This pain is caused by reduced blood flow to the muscles. Other symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness or tingling in the legs or feet
- Coldness in the legs or feet
- Change in skin color on the legs or feet
- Pulses in the legs or feet
If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor to be checked for PAD.
How Is PAD Diagnosed?
It is often diagnosed with an ankle-brachial index (ABI) test. This test uses a special device to measure the blood pressure in the ankles and compare it to the blood pressure in the arms.
A lower-than-normal reading in the ankles may indicate PAD. Other tests that may be used to diagnose it include doppler ultrasound, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and computed tomography angiography (CTA).
How Is PAD Treated?
It is treated with lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and exercising regularly, and with medications, such as aspirin and cholesterol-lowering medications. Some people with PAD may also require angioplasty or surgery to open the blocked arteries.
You can also check this site for more references on how can PAD be reversed. With proper treatment, people with PAD can lead active and fulfilling lives.
What Are the Outcomes?
If left untreated, it can lead to serious complications, including amputation, heart attack, and stroke. It can lead to several serious health problems, including pain and disability.
Consult and Get Checked Today
If you are experiencing any leg pain, weakness, or numbness, you should consult your doctor and get checked for Peripheral Artery Disease. If left untreated can lead to serious consequences, such as amputation.
If you have PAD, it’s essential to work with your healthcare team to manage the condition and reduce your risk of complications, so don’t wait to get checked out!
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