Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a circulatory disorder that affects the feet and lower limbs, among other extremities. It’s caused by a buildup of plaque and fat in the artery walls that impedes blood flow. In today’s post, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, shares symptoms and treatment options for this condition.
Some of the signs you may have PAD include numbness, a feeling of coldness, and pain. In addition, you may notice that minor lacerations on your foot or ankle take an abnormally long time to heal. You may also be more at risk of having this condition if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, are a diabetic, or if you are a smoker.
When left untreated, PAD can lead to serious health problems such as gangrene, and in severe cases, even the loss of a limb. While peripheral artery disease typically occurs in the arteries and legs, your podiatrist can diagnose the condition using a test called an ankle-brachial index. This test compares the blood pressure in your arm to your ankle to identify any irregularities. Imaging devices may also be used to diagnose the condition.
Symptoms of PAD include:
- Numbness in legs
- Pale looking skin
- Wounds and sores on feet and legs that are slow to heal
- Erectile dysfunction
- Leg pain from walking
- Decrease in the growth of toenails and leg hair
- Coldness in one leg.
It’s important to note that most individuals never exhibit any symptoms of PAD.
Luckily, lifestyle changes such as exercising, managing blood sugar and cholesterol levels, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy diet can all treat this condition. Medications that stop clotting can be prescribed, and in some cases, surgery may be required.
PAD can pose a serious danger to your health by increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. If you experience any symptoms of peripheral artery disease, contact Dr. Hubert Lee and his team at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936. We will assess your condition and provide you with the best treatment option.