Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also known as peripheral arterial disease, occurs when narrowed arteries reduce the amount of blood flow to your legs, most commonly, but sometimes to your arms. This narrowing is caused by fatty build up, called plaque, that clings to your artery walls. This lack of blood flow causes symptoms, though you may not notice symptoms in the early stages.
Learn more about PAD with our infographic.
PAD Signs and Symptoms
What are the symptoms of PAD?
- Painful cramping or aching calf, hip, or thigh muscles when walking. The cramping goes away when you rest.
- Your leg or foot may feel better when it’s dangling off the edge of or elevated in your bed, sofa, or chair.
- Sores on your toes, ankles, or feet that don’t heal.
- Color changes of the skin on your legs or feet.
- Cold leg or foot, especially when compared to your other side.
- Shiny skin or loss of hair / slow hair growth on your leg.
- Erectile dysfunction in men.
- Weak or no pulse in your legs or feet.
How is PAD diagnosed?
Along with a complete medical history and physician exam, other tests include:
- Ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a comparison of the blood pressure in the ankle with the blood pressure in the arm.
- Angiogram is an X-ray of the arteries and veins to detect blockage or narrowing. Your doctor will use a thin tube and insert it into an artery in the leg and inject a contrast dye. This makes your arteries and veins visible on the X-ray.
- Doppler ultrasound is used to create images of blood vessels. Your doctor will use the ultrasound to measure and assess the flow of blood.
What are the risk factors for PAD?
If you think you’re at risk for PAD,
make these healthy lifestyle changes.
- Eat a healthier diet.
- Increase your physical activity.
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure by reducing stress and taking medications as prescribed.
- Limit your alcohol.
- Avoid tobacco smoke.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
Discuss further diagnosis and treatment options, like surgery and medication, and healthy lifestyle changes with your doctor.
Call us today at 1-800-39-JOBST (56278) to schedule an appointment.