4 Things You Need to Know About Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PDA) is a condition in which plaque builds up in the peripheral arteries, reducing blood circulation to the limbs. This increases the risk for major cardiovascular diseases and might even lead to amputation. According to recent statistics, PAD affects around 12 million Americans. Yet, this condition is unknown to many, and its potential complications are often underestimated. Most people don’t know what PAD is and whether they have the condition. Fortunately, Warner Robins peripheral artery disease is manageable using minimally invasive techniques. Read on to know more about this potentially devastating but manageable, if diagnosed early, condition.

PAD May Be Symptomless

The symptoms of PAD  are often very difficult to spot, with most patients reporting no symptoms at all. The main PAD symptom is experiencing leg pain when walking or climbing stairs, and it goes away with rest. However, around 50% of people with PAD do not experience symptoms. Unfortunately, even asymptomatic patients can develop severe complications, including amputation. You should be aware of any slight changes that indicate a problem with your leg circulation. Other PAD symptoms to look out for include leg numbness and weakness, cold foot, sores, wounds on your feet that don’t heal, and change in skin color.

Black People Have a Higher Risk Of PAD

According to statistics, black people are twice as likely to get PAD  and up to four times more likely to get amputated than white people. This is because black Americans are likelier to have PAD risk factors such as tobacco abuse, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. More so, black people often face problems with healthcare access, with their symptoms getting more ignored. This means they often go undiagnosed.

PAD Diagnosis Is Easy

While PAD symptoms are often difficult to notice, its diagnosis is relatively easy. For PAD diagnosis, the doctor uses a noninvasive ankle-brachial index (ABI) test to examine poor circulation by comparing the blood pressure in your legs and arms. However, there are other tests the doctor uses to diagnose PAD. Your doctor will examine your medical history and do a physical exam, such as checking weak leg pulses. Advanced tests like CTA helps to confirm the diagnosis and locate the specific area of the blocked blood vessel.

PAD Is Linked to Coronary Artery Disease

Research studies show that you have a higher risk of developing PAD if you have coronary artery disease and vice versa. The build-up of plaque in the arteries causes both conditions. Other risk factors of PAD include smoking, older age, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.

Ultimately, you can still live a full, long life with PAD. While there is no cure for PAD, there are treatments that will help manage your condition. Some treatments include lifestyle changes such as a heart-healthy diet rich in vegetables and fruits and antiplatelet and blood pressure medications. If your arteries are severely blocked, you might also need to undergo treatment procedures such as atherectomy, angioplasty, and bypass grafting. If you have any symptoms of PAD, consult your medical provider before it becomes a severe problem.