A common circulatory issue called peripheral artery disease (PAD) causes arteries to narrow, reducing blood flow to the limbs. It is brought on by a buildup of plaque in your arteries and is potentially fatal if left untreated. Warner Robins peripheral artery disease can affect your legs, feet, arms, and hands, but the most common symptom is aching or cramping in the muscles of your lower legs or thighs.
When you suffer from peripheral artery disease, taking care of yourself and living a healthy lifestyle can be difficult. It is important to understand the symptoms, causes, and risk factors associated with PAD to manage your condition properly.
Some causes and risk factors of PAD include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and age. Knowing these can help you understand how to manage your condition better. The risk factors for PAD can also increase your risk for other health problems, such as heart attack and stroke.
Your doctor will need to diagnose you and determine which treatment is best for you. The early diagnosis and management of peripheral artery disease can help prevent serious health problems, such as limb amputation or stroke.
When you notice these signs, you need to see your doctor for these reasons:
- It is recommended to diagnose PAD early: An early diagnosis allows for better disease management and quality of life. The doctor can diagnose through a physical exam and may use tests such as an ultrasound, Doppler ultrasound, or a CT scan.
- Early treatment is essential: The doctor can suggest lifestyle changes or medications to help control the disease.
- It can lead to serious complications: If left untreated, peripheral artery disease can cause serious problems, including stroke, heart attack, blood clots, and gangrene.
- It can lead to long-term disability: People with PAD have an increased risk of disability due to pain, loss of mobility, and other physical limitations.
Treatment options for PAD
These are some of the options:
- Lifestyle changes may include quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and controlling cholesterol levels.
- Medications: Your doctor may prescribe medications to help reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other complications associated with PAD.
- Surgery: Surgery is sometimes necessary to open blocked arteries and restore blood flow. This is often done using a procedure called angioplasty.
- Other treatments: Your doctor may suggest treatments such as clot removal, vascular stents, or leg bypass surgery to restore blood flow and improve quality of life.
Some of the prevention measures include:
- Eating a healthy diet: A diet full of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce the risk of PAD.
- Exercising regularly: Regular physical activity can help keep your blood vessels healthy and maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoiding smoking increases your risk for peripheral artery disease and other serious health conditions.
- Controlling your cholesterol levels: High cholesterol can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries, restricting blood flow and leading to PAD.
- Managing other medical conditions: If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, follow your doctor’s treatment plan for these conditions.
It is advisable to talk to your doctor at Middle Georgia Vascular Surgery Center & Vein Solutions if you think that you may have peripheral artery disease.