Peripheral Arterial Disease
Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD for short, is a disease that affects 8 to 12 million Americans. It is caused by a buildup for plaque in the arteries of the legs. Plaque consists of fatty deposits that cause the arteries of the legs to narrow and harden. This process is known as atherosclerosis and can lead to a reduction of blood flow to the legs and feet, which your Cincinnati podiatrist may refer to as poor circulation, resulting in leg pain. PAD usually occurs in the legs, but it can also affect the arteries that carry blood from the heart to vital areas of the body, such as the aorta, the kidneys, arms or the brain. If your Cincinnati podiatrist detects a hardening of the arteries in your heart, you will be diagnosed with coronary artery disease or cardiovascular disease. Facts About PAD
- Sufferers of PAD are two to six times more likely to die of a heart attack or stroke.
- PAD and diabetes are the major causes for foot and leg amputations in the US.
- The best treatment for PAD seems to be a change in lifestyle, although medications and surgical procedures are sometimes recommended.
- One in every five people over the age of 70 suffers from the disease.
- Less than half of individuals with PAD know that they have the disease.
- One quarter of PAD sufferers are receiving treatment.
- Of the 2.5 million diagnosed cases, 2.1 million are managed through proper treatment.
Controlling Risk Factors Since PAD sufferers are at higher risk for heart attacks and stroke, if you suffer from PAD, you are encouraged to do all you can to eliminate other risk factors, such as smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes. Signs of PAD
- Tiredness, fatigue and pain in your lower body that only occurs when you walk but seems to dissipate when you rest.
- Resting foot or toe pain that interrupts your normal sleep patterns.
- Wounds or ulcers on your feet or toes that fail to heal or that take a long time to heal.
- Leg pain that you have been ignoring for some time.
If you are experiencing leg pain or any of the above symptoms, you may be at higher risk for PAD. Make an appointment with your Cincinnati podiatrist at The Center for Foot Care at your earliest convenience by calling (513) 273-5119.