Overview – PAD Awareness
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common circulatory disease in which fatty plaque builds up in the arteries causing the reduction of blood flow to your head, organs, and limbs. PAD occurs in the arteries that carry blood to the arms and legs but more commonly in the legs. When plaque builds up in the body’s arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis. Over time, plaque can harden and narrow the arteries. If you develop peripheral artery disease, your organs and muscles will not receive the high amount of nutrient-rich blood needed to function. The Surgical Clinic recognizes the need for awareness of this disease, join us in sharing this information for PAD Awareness Month.
Are You at Risk?
Risk factors for PAD, as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and anyone who is over the age of 60. Those who develop PAD are also at greater risk for heart attack and stroke.
Recognizing the Symptoms
Blocked arteries restrict blood flow to the muscles, which can cause muscles cramps, muscle fatigue, and weakness. If left untreated, blockages may continue to increase and result in blocked blood flow. Here are common symptoms of patients who develop PAD:
- Leg pain when walking
- Muscle pain or cramping
- Leg numbness or weakness
- Coldness in your lower leg or foot
- Foot sores or toe sores that won’t heal
- Change in the color of the legs
Treatment Options for PAD
If you have been diagnosed with PAD, you have options. These options may include taking medications, making lifestyle changes or having a procedure performed. When treating PAD, the main goals are to reduce symptoms, improve quality of life and mobility, and prevent heart attack, stroke, and amputation. Your doctor will determine which of the PAD treatment options is best for you, based on your medical history and the severity of your condition.
At The Surgical Clinic, our focus is on you. If you are experiencing leg pain, numbness or other symptoms, contact us today to speak with one of our Vascular Surgeons or book an appointment online here.