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The First Symptom of Peripheral Artery Disease

Monday, 28 December 2020 00:00

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition in which blood flow to the lower limbs is reduced or completely blocked by a buildup of plaque in the arteries. PAD rarely has noticeable symptoms in the initial stages. Many people with this condition will not experience any symptoms until the plaque buildup in an artery has caused a large blockage. When symptoms do arise, they typically begin with claudication, a specific type of leg pain that occurs when walking and typically can get better with rest. Claudication occurs because the muscles in the legs don’t have an adequate blood supply to sustain them during activity. If you are experiencing this symptom, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist, who can help diagnose and treat PAD.

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. Glen Robison from AZ Foot & Ankle. 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

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 heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

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.

Treatment

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 offices located in Mesa and Globe, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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