Peripheral artery disease, abbreviated as PAD, is defined as diseases of the blood vessels which are situated outside the heart as well as the brain. This disease is usually caused by an accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries. PAD also has other names like peripheral arterial disease or peripheral vascular disease, as it includes both veins and arteries.
This article will enlighten us about its symptoms, causes, and the right treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease.
Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease
- The patient may lose hair on his feet and legs.
- Intermittent claudication or the patient may report pain in his thighs or calf muscles while walking or climbing stairs. Some also experience painful hips.
- Weakness in the legs.
- A patient may feel his foot or the lower leg getting cold.
- The legs go numb.
- The toenails go brittle.
- Their growth is also affected. They grow slowly.
- The patient may also have sores or ulcers on the leg or feet which have not been cured for a long period of time.
- The skin on the patient’s legs goes pale or bluish.
- There is a difficulty in finding a pulse in the patient’s leg or foot.
- It may also cause an erectile dysfunction. It means that it causes impotence in men, problems or difficulties in getting an erection.
Causes of Peripheral Artery Disease
The most common reason why peripheral artery disease is caused is atherosclerosis. It is a slow process in which the accumulation takes place inside the arteries. Rare causes of peripheral artery disease are blood clots in the arteries, injured limbs, and peculiar anatomy of muscles and ligaments. The factors that contribute to peripheral artery disease are diabetes, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, increasing age, high cholesterol, family history of heart disease, and excess levels of C-reactive protein or homocysteine.
Treatments of Peripheral Artery Disease
- Regular physical activity
This is probably the best way to treat peripheral artery disease. Your doctor may recommend you a program of supervised exercise training. It will take some time for you to settle in the exercise. For a decreased rate of symptoms in 4 to 8 weeks, follow simple walking regimens, leg exercises, and treadmill exercise programs three times a week and notice the difference.
- Diet changes and adjustment
It is highly recommended to consume a diet which is low in in saturated fat, Trans fat, and cholesterol. You should also increase the intake of fruits and vegetables. It will greatly help in lowering the blood cholesterol levels.
- Smoking cessation
Tobacco adds to the risk of peripheral artery disease, heart attack, and stroke. Smokers are more prone to the risk of developing the peripheral artery disease than the non-smokers. By putting a halt to smoking helps in slowing down the development of peripheral artery disease and other cardiovascular diseases.
You simply cannot escape them. Your doctor may prescribe you some antihypertensive drugs and statins to lower the levels of cholesterol. It is recommended to take Cilostazol and pentoxifylline with intermittent claudication.