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What is Peripheral Arterial Disease PAD?

What is Peripheral Arterial Disease PAD?

Peripheral arterial disease is a common circulatory problem in which plaque (plak) builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your limbs and other organs. Our Vascular experts in Monmouth and Ocean county states that plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances in the blood.

When you develop peripheral arterial disease (PAD), your extremities — usually your legs — don’t receive enough blood flow to keep up with your daily demand. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking (intermittent claudication).

Peripheral arterial disease is also likely to be a sign of a more widespread accumulation of plaque in your arteries (atherosclerosis). This condition may be reducing blood flow to your heart and brain, as well as your legs.

Often, you can successfully treat peripheral artery disease by quitting tobacco, exercising and eating a healthy diet.

Symptoms

pad_plaque

  • Painful cramping or tightening in your calf, thigh muscles after activity, such as walking or climbing stairs (intermittent claudication). Which is relieved with rest
  • Leg numbness or weakness
  • Coldness in one or both of your lower leg or foot,
  • Wounds or cuts on your toes, feet or legs that won’t heal
  • A change in the color of your legs
  • Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs
  • Slower growth of your toenails
  • Shiny skin on your legs
  • No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet
  • Erectile dysfunction in men
  • Risk Factors

    Factors that increase your risk of developing peripheral artery disease include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Increasing age, especially after reaching 50 years of age
  • A family history of peripheral artery disease, heart disease or stroke
  • People who smoke or have diabetes have the greatest risk of developing peripheral artery disease due to reduced blood flow.
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