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All about Peripheral Artery Disease

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Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a cardiovascular health issue that occurs when the extremities of the body, particularly the legs, cannot get an adequate supply of blood. This can happen when an artery narrows, hindering the blood from flowing properly. Consequently, people with issues usually experience pain in their legs when walking. In most cases, peripheral artery disease is an indicator of widespread accumulation of fats in the arteries, and therefore, managing the condition efficiently calls for an overall lifestyle change. All in all, getting a reliable cardiologist with experience in diagnosing and treating peripheral artery disease in Frisco is the first step you should take when you start experiencing the symptoms that are associated with PAD.

Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease

Although most people with PAD have mild or no symptoms at all, some patients experience claudication. Claudication can be understood as cramping or pain in arms or legs that is triggered by physical activity, such as walking, but it can disappear in a few minutes of rest. As the issue progresses, pain may start occurring even when a patient is resting, and it can be severe enough to disrupt sleep. The calf is the most common pain location, but it all depends on the location of the narrowed or clogged artery. Other common symptoms associated with peripheral artery disease include:

  • Leg weakness or numbness
  • Coldness in the foot or lower leg
  • Sores in the feet, lower legs, or toes
  • Change in the color of the legs
  • Erectile dysfunction in men
  • Slower growth of toenails

Causes of Peripheral Artery Disease

PAD is usually caused by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis has to do with the deposits of fats on the walls of the cardiovascular system, which interrupts the flow of blood. Although discussions and studies on atherosclerosis often focus on the heart, the issue is also known to affect arteries throughout the body. When it affects the arteries that supply blood to the limbs, it leads to peripheral artery disease. In a few cases, PAD may result from issues such as injuries, exposure to radiation, unusual anatomy of the muscles or ligaments, and even inflammation of the blood vessels. Some common risk factors of PAD include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High Blood pressure
  • Aging
  • Genetic factors

Treatment

Once a patient has been diagnosed with PAD, there are several treatments and therapies that their doctor may recommend. Some of them include:

  • High Blood pressure medications
  • Cholesterol-lowering medication
  • Medication to control blood sugar levels
  • Medication to prevent blood clots
  • Thrombolytic therapy
  • Bypass surgery
  • Angioplasty
  • Supervised weight loss programs

The Takeaway

In a nutshell, it is apparent that although some PAD patients may not experience severe symptoms, some can have pain that can even interrupt their sleep. Therefore, it is imperative for you to see a cardiologist immediately you start experiencing the slightest symptoms of PAD. If you are looking for a reliable cardiologist to help you with diagnosing and treating peripheral artery disease, Prime Heart and Vascular is the best facility to visit.