WHAT IS PERIPHERAL VASCULAR DISEASE?
Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) is a blockage or narrowing of the arteries in the legs. The buildup of plaque causes the arteries to harden and narrow, which is called atherosclerosis. This results in a reduction of blood flow to the legs and feet. PVD occurs most often in the arteries in the legs, but it can also affect other arteries that carry blood outside the heart. This includes arteries that go to the aorta, the brain, the arms, the kidneys, and the stomach. When arteries inside the heart are hardened or narrowed, it is called coronary artery disease or cardiovascular disease.
PAD affects 8 to 12 million Americans, and one in every five people over the age of 70 has the disease. People with PAD have a two-to-six times' greater chance of death from a heart attack or stroke. PAD and diabetes are the leading causes of foot or leg amputations in the United States.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OR RISK FACTORS?
Risk factors for PAD and other conditions that may complicate PAD include the following:
High Blood Pressure
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PVD?
The symptoms of PAD include the following:
Fatigue, tiredness, or pain in your legs, thighs, or buttocks that always happens when you walk but goes away when you rest.
Foot or toe pain at rest that often disturbs your sleep.
Skin wounds or ulcers on your feet or toes that are slow to heal (or that do not heal for 8 to 12 weeks)
However, many individuals with PAD do not experience typical leg symptoms such as cramping, pain, or fatigue known as claudication.
HOW IS PERIPHERAL VASCULAR DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
We can perform a simple test to determine if you have PAD.
PVD can be treated with lifestyle changes, medicines, and surgical procedures if necessary. Medical treatment options include:
Programs to stop smoking
Blood pressure control
Manage high blood sugar (diabetes)
Medications to prevent clotting