Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is caused by the narrowing of the arteries in the extremities. This narrowing reduces the amount of blood that is supplied to the legs. Peripheral artery disease is mostly caused by the accumulation of fat inside the arteries in a condition called atherosclerosis. Blood flow to the heart, brain, and legs is reduced due to the narrowing of the blood vessels.
Many people with peripheral artery disease do not have symptoms but some have symptoms like pain during walking, which is referred to as claudication. This pain that occurs in this condition can be treated by an anesthesiologist in Monroe Township, NJ using medications, nerve block, or cold laser therapy. Treatment is individualized for every patient, therefore, improving the outcomes.
What Are the Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease?
Many people with peripheral artery disease may have no symptoms, or their symptoms may be mild. Other people may present with claudication, which is leg pain when a person is walking. Claudication causes muscle cramping in the leg’s calf region, and the pain goes away with rest. The pain of claudication can occur at any other site in which the arteries have been narrowed.
Other symptoms of peripheral claudication include numbness or weakness in the legs, legs with a shiny skin or have a change in the skin color, hip or thigh pain, a leg that feels cold compared to the other leg, reduction in the growth of toenails, lack of a pulse in the affected leg, hair loss in the legs or erectile dysfunction in men.
The severity of these symptoms varies in different people, and some people may even experience pain when they are resting in what is called ischemic rest pain. The pain reduces when you hang your leg on the edge of the bed. Some of the complications of peripheral artery disease include stroke or heart attack because of a reduction in blood supply in the heart or brain.
A person may also develop chronic non-healing ulcers that may get infected and result in tissues’ death. When the tissues in the leg are dead, the doctor will amputate the leg, and this can traumatize someone. To avoid these complications, you should consult a doctor early enough to get treatment.
Who Is at Risk of Peripheral Artery Disease?
People who smoke, are diabetic, obese, or suffer from high blood pressure are at an increased risk of getting peripheral artery disease. Old age that is above 50 years also increases the chances of peripheral artery disease. Some people are genetically predisposed to get peripheral artery disease. Having high cholesterol and homocysteine levels also increases the risk of PAD.
PAD’s risk can be reduced by quitting smoking, weight reduction, exercising regularly for 30 minutes, and repeating this many times in a week. Eating a healthy diet with low saturated fats and controlling the blood sugar in diabetic patients also reduces the risk of PAD.
Peripheral artery disease is a condition that occurs when the arteries in the extremities become narrowed due to fat deposits. Narrowing of arteries causes a reduction in the blood supply in the legs, which can cause pain in the calf that reduces with rest and also can cause limb numbness and weakness. Hypertensive and diabetic patients, people older than 50 years and overweight persons are at a high risk of PAD. The risk can be reduced by quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and good blood sugar control in people who have diabetes.