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Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral Arterial Disease

Peripheral arterial disease, also known as peripheral vascular disease, is the name given to the condition in which the arteries are narrowed, reducing the flow of blood to the limbs. It is useful to note that only the large arteries are associated with peripheral arterial disease, not those within the brain, coronary, or aortic vasculature. Therefore, most individuals with peripheral arterial disease will experience symptoms in the extremities. Some vein experts in Monmouth County include microvascular disease such as Raynaud’s phenomenon under the umbrella of peripheral arterial disease.

Vascular doctors in Monmouth County explain that peripheral arterial disease is most likely the sign of a widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Other causes of peripheral arterial disease include inflammatory processes leading to stenosis, an embolism, or the formation of a thrombus.

While most individuals with peripheral artery disease do not experience any symptoms, some patients may experience leg pain when walking. Vein doctors in Monmouth County and other healthcare professionals refer to this as intermittent claudication. Typically, intermittent claudication is associated with muscle pain or cramping in the legs (and sometimes arms) triggered by activities such as walking. The symptoms disappear a few minutes after the activity is stopped. Other symptoms may include:

  • Leg numbness or weakness
  • Colder leg or foot on one side as compared to the other
  • Sores on the toes or feet that will not heal
  • Change in the color of one leg
  • Loss of hair or reduced hair loss on the feet and legs
  • Shiny skin on the legs
  • Weak pulse in the legs or feet
  • Erectile dysfunction in men

  • Peripheral artery disease can be successfully managed in the early stages through simple lifestyle changes such as regular physical activity and eating a healthy balanced diet.