Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that causes poor blood flow to the lower limbs. This is due to plaque buildup, which makes the arteries that supply blood to the area harden and narrow. While anyone can develop PAD, some people are more at risk than others. PAD is slightly more common in men than women. Preexisting conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can increase your risk, as can lifestyle factors, like being overweight or smoking. Genetics also plays a role, as people with a family history of PAD are more likely to develop the condition themselves. PAD is the leading cause of disability among people aged 60 and older. As you age, it is important to regularly visit a podiatrist, who can screen you for this condition and offer prevention and treatment options.
Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Dr. Kennedy Legel from Advanced Foot & Ankle Care Specialists. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.
Symptoms of PAD include:
- Claudication (leg pain from walking)
- Numbness in legs
- Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
- Paleness of the skin
- Erectile dysfunction
- Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heel
- Coldness in one leg
It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.
While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.
Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Dallas, TX. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.