PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) is a common circulatory condition in which the narrowed arteries interfere with the blood flow to the limps. A person who develops PAD is likely to experience an insufficient flow of blood to the legs. The condition could also be a sign of more widespread accumulation of fat deposits on the arteries. The condition not only reduces the blood flowing to your legs but also to the heart and brain. The condition can sometimes be treated without medical intervention but it will mean quitting tobacco, eating healthy and exercising regularly.
The symptoms of PAD are mild and sometimes can go undetected. Leg pain while walking is the most common symptom experienced by those suffering from PAD. Other symptoms could include muscle pain, cramping in the legs, or pain in the arms or legs that is triggered by any kind of activity.
The severity of the condition can vary from one person to another. Extreme claudication can make it hard to walk or perform normal physical activities like chores. The main symptoms include:
- Leg Weakness or Numbness
- Change in the color of the legs
- Slower growth of the toenails
- Erectile dysfunction in men
- Hair loss or slow hair growth
- Sores on the toes, feet, and legs that take a long time to heal
The condition can get worse and you will experience problems with sleep because of ischemic rest pain. Walking around or hanging the legs over the edge can provide temporary relief.
The condition is mainly caused by atherosclerosis. This is when fatty deposits build up on the walls of the arteries. The disease usually affects arteries throughout the body but is mostly felt on the legs because of the gravitational pull.
Although not common, PAD could also come about as a result of blood vessel inflammation. It could also be caused by injury to the limbs, unusual anatomy muscle or ligament structure, and radian exposure. There are also risk factors that could come into play and they include high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes, aging, family history, and high homocysteine levels in the body.
The best way you can prevent getting the disease is through living a healthy lifestyle. Quit smoking and make sure your blood sugar level is manageable if you have diabetes. Maintaining a healthy weight and eating healthy also helps.
When to See a Doctor
The disease is common with the elderly. Regular checkups is recommended so that it can be detected early. Don’t dismiss the numbness and pain in your legs. You can visit a metro vascular center if you’re not sure since they’re specialized in treating the disease. If left untreated, the disease could lead to more serious conditions like heart attack and stroke. Metro Vascular Centers provides consistently safe and minimally invasive procedures. Visit the Metro Vascular Centers to receive an individual treatment plan to combat PAD.