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How Common Is Peripheral Artery Disease?

Monday, 03 May 2021 00:00

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition in which the arteries that supply blood to your limbs become narrow and hardened due to a buildup of plaque along the artery walls, leading to poor circulation. This condition is unfortunately quite common, affecting up to 200 million people worldwide. Often, people are not even aware that they have PAD because it does not always produce noticeable symptoms. When symptoms are apparent, they may include pain, cramping, tightness, or fatigue in the lower limbs. These symptoms often become worse with exercise or physical exertion. More advanced PAD can cause pain in the legs even without physical activity, as well as numbness, coldness, and discoloration of the lower limbs. In some cases, wounds that heal poorly may appear on the feet and legs. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of PAD, or if you are older and at risk of developing this condition, please seek the care of a podiatrist.

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 Elliot T. Udell, DPM from New York. 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 office located in Hicksville, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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