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Bensalem (215) 639-4500
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Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease

Monday, 05 October 2020 00:00

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that causes poor circulation in the lower limbs due to blockages in the blood vessels that supply blood to this area. The most common symptoms of PAD are pain, numbness, heaviness, or achiness in the leg muscles, especially when walking or climbing stairs. You may also notice a weak or absent pulse in the legs and feet, slow-healing wounds on the feet, a pale or bluish color to the skin, a lower temperature in one leg than the other, poor nail growth on the affected foot, and poor hair growth on the affected leg. However, it is worth noting that many people who have PAD have no noticeable symptoms. For this reason, it is important to receive regular screenings for PAD from a podiatrist, especially if you have certain risk factors, such as being a smoker, or having diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. 

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 Advanced Care Podiatry. 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

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 heel
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.

Diagnosis

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.

Treatment

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 one of our offices located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, Port Richmond, Philadelphia, and Hamilton, New Jersey. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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