Peripheral artery disease (PAD) causes a narrowing of arteries in the limbs that are not close to the center of the body, such as the legs and feet. These arteries, which carry blood from the heart, become blocked by a buildup of plaque and cannot deliver adequate blood supply to muscles and tissues. This can result in muscle cramping while exercising (claudication) that does not go away after you stop. You may also experience slow-healing foot wounds and slower growth of leg hair and toenails. The skin on your legs may also have a shiny appearance. PAD is potentially dangerous because it increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Also, tissue which does not receive enough blood can become infected or die (gangrene) which, left untreated, may lead to a life-threatening blood infection called sepsis. It is important to pay attention and see a podiatrist if your body gives you any warning signs of PAD.
Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with one of our podiatrists from Quad Cities Foot and Ankle Associates. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.
Symptoms of PAD include:
- Claudication (leg pain from walking)
- Numbness in legs
- Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
- Paleness of the skin
- Erectile dysfunction
- Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
- Coldness in one leg
It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.
While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.
Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Davenport, and DeWitt, IA and Rock Island, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.Read more about Peripheral Artery Disease