Who Is Affected By Peripheral Arterial Disease?

peripheral artery diseaseIn a nutshell, peripheral arterial disease or PAD is when arteries in the legs, stomach, arms, and head start to narrow. If not treated properly, this condition could lead to stroke and heart attack. But how do you know if you are at risk of acquiring peripheral arterial disease? There are people who have greater chances to acquire PAD, especially if one is over seventy years old.

Other risk factors include:

  • Family history of peripheral artery disease, stroke, or heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure (140/90 or higher)
  • High cholesterol
  • High levels of homocysteine – this is a protein component that helps in building and maintaining tissue
  • Obesity (having a body mass index or BMI of over 30)
  • Smoking

People who have peripheral arterial disease may experience an aching or cramping in their leg when walking or standing. This pain or cramp can be felt in the calf muscle, in the thigh, or buttock muscles.

One of the first symptoms of peripheral arterial disease is muscle pain when you’re walking. Most commonly this occurs in the calf muscle, but can also occur in the thigh or buttock muscles. This type of symptom is known as intermittent claudication. Intermittent claudication happens due to poor or slow circulation of blood in the leg arteries. In severe cases of this condition, the pain is also felt even if the person is at rest. Intermittent claudication needs immediate medical attention as it can continue to worsen over time.

For some people, the disease develops and there is no enough amount of blood that goes down the leg. Therefore the supply of nutrients and oxygen to their feet is also not enough. In such cases, one will feel pain in their feet even at a relaxed state. This is a symptom of critical limb ischemia and is also called a rest pain. Not having enough oxygen and nutrients into the foot will result to bigger problems as the skin is unable to perform its function properly. This can eventually lead to ulcer. In cases where a person experiences skin breakdown or rest pain, they are also facing the risks of leg amputation.

How to avoid peripheral arterial disease or PAD?

One can never go wrong with maintaining a healthy lifestyle to avoid any disease. For smoking patients, today may be the best time to quit. Smoking can worsen the damage in the blood vessels in your whole the body. Even second-hand smoke should also be avoided. Here are more advices on how you can avoid or not worsen peripheral arterial disease.

  • Keep an eye on your blood sugar
  • Have a regular workout routine – advisable frequency is exercising for 30 minutes, three times a week
  • Maintain a healthy and balanced diet- a healthy diet includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. It should also have lean meats, fish, poultry, beans, and fat-free milk products.

Moreover, you have to take good care of your legs and feet. Remember that having PAD means that even minor injuries can be risk factors in acquiring serious infections. In case you have cuts or wounds, cover them with nonstick bandages to keep them dry. See your doctor as soon as you discover an open sore. Poor blood flow due to having PAD can keep from healing properly. Ask for your doctor’s advice to avoid any further complications. You may visit Vascular and Interventional Centre if you have any questions or you need further details about peripheral artery disease. They have a team of reliable staff who are trained to offer outstanding services that you can always trust!

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