Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) – 3 Things to Know About It

PAD or Peripheral Artery Disease is a common health condition where the arteries start getting narrow, which hampers blood flow to the arms and legs. Those with PAD usually find that their legs don’t receive enough blood flow. This causes pain in the leg while walking, along with other symptoms. 

If you have been diagnosed with PAD, you might have plenty of PAD Common Questions to ask. The first one can be regarding the reason why it happens. Well, peripheral artery disease happens fatty deposits start building up in the arteries. This condition is known as Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the cause behind the decreasing blood flow in the legs and arms.

What are the Common Symptoms of PAD?

A lot of people with peripheral artery disease face mild symptoms or sometimes no symptoms at all. The most common symptom is having leg pain when walking, also known as Claudication. Its symptoms include muscle pain or cramps that occur while exercising. The symptoms gradually decline while the person rests. Therefore, the symptoms make it hard for people to do physical activities. 

Some of the other common symptoms of PAD are –

  • A feeling of coldness in the lower side of the leg or foot. 
  • Legs become numb or weak.
  • Sometimes, there is no pulse in the leg or feet.
  • Painful sensation in the hips, thigh, and calf muscles after any physical activity like walking, climbing stairs, etc.
  • Painful sensation in the arms while doing any physical activity like knitting, writing, etc.
  • The legs have a shiny appearance on the skin, or the skin color changes.
  • Toenails grow slower than usual.
  • Sores will form on the toes, feet, or legs that do not heal.
  • Signs of erectile dysfunction.
  • Loss of hair or lesser growth of hair on legs/arms. 
  • In worst cases, the painful sensation might be felt even while lying down at rest.

What are the Common Risk Factors?

Peripheral artery disease is a common disease among both men and women. Around 6.5 million people in the US around the age of 40 or older have the disease. Sometimes, some arterial disorders might have common symptoms like PAD. Also, one needs to understand that not all PAD is an effect of Atherosclerosis. 

Those having PAD are at risk of developing coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, stroke, heart attack, critical limb ischemia, etc.

The risk factors of PAD are –

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Having a family history of PAD, heart disease, or stroke
  • Having high levels of Homocysteine, an amino acid
  • Old ages above 65
  • Obesity

Can PAD Symptoms Improve with Time?

Indeed, specific lifestyle changes can sometimes show improvements in your PAD symptoms. Especially if the disease is diagnosed at an early stage, then quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, or starting to exercise regularly can help.

To treat PAD, you can visit any trusted medical clinic in the US that performs angioplasty, stent placement, atherectomy, etc. In some cases, professional doctors might even suggest a bypass surgery.

Wrapping Up

Of all the PAD Common Questions, the one that is mainly asked is what’s the easiest way to avoid the disease. Well, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, avoid tobacco addiction and try to have normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.