If you’re experiencing pain in your legs when you walk or other issues in your lower extremities, then you could be dealing with peripheral arterial disease. This disease can last for a year or even a lifetime depending on the severity of the condition. While it can be treated by a medical professional, it’s vital that you’re aware of the risk factor such as diabetes, smoking, and aging. At our peripheral artery disease clinic, you can have the disease treated, so you can walk easier and feel better. In addition, you can also begin to incorporate exercise, tobacco cessation, and a healthier diet into your lifestyle. If you want to have your peripheral artery disease treated, then take the time to contact Vascular Health Centers.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) occurs when the peripheral arteries become narrow. It is a sign that there are fatty deposits and calcium in the walls of the arteries. This can occur if you have diabetes or if you smoke frequently. Atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque made up of fat, cholesterol, and other substances stick to the walls of the veins, is the most common cause of peripheral artery disease. The plaque in your veins may reduce the flow of blood through the artery. It can also become brittle or inflamed, which is what causes pain when you walk. Sometimes, plaque causes a blood clot to form that can block the blood flow even more.

PAD can occur in the arteries leading to the arms, stomach, or head; however, it occurs most frequently in the legs. By being aware of the symptoms of this disease, you won’t be improperly diagnosed. Generally, peripheral artery disease goes undiagnosed by healthcare professionals, which is why if you notice that there is pain and numbness in your legs, then you should take the time to talk to a professional. Those who have this disease have a higher risk of having coronary artery disease, strokes, and heart attacks. For this reason, it’s essential that if you’re experiencing discomfort, that you come to our clinic for peripheral artery disease treatment.

Be aware that the most common symptoms of PAD include cramping in the lower extremities, fatigue of the legs or hip muscles during motion, or pain in the legs or the hips. The pain usually disappears with rest, only to return once you begin to move again. In addition, if you smoke or you have diabetes, then you have a higher risk of PAD. While it can be difficult and painful, there is a treatment that is easy and painless. By making a healthy choice in your lifestyle with a combination of medicine, you’re able to lead a life that’s pain-free even if you have PAD. You’ll want to consult an expert in PAD at our clinic to determine the best treatment for you.

Keep in mind that you are the one who knows your body and the reason for any discomfort you may be feeling, so it’s vital that you’re in tune with the pain you may be experiencing. It isn’t unusual for physicians to miss diagnosis the disease. This occurs often because the patient or their doctor mistakes the associated symptoms for other conditions. Peripheral artery disease can easily be mistaken for other diseases, so it’s vital that you rely all of the symptoms you may be feeling and you visit an expert to let them know what’s going on with your body. Under-diagnosis is a serious problem because of the increased risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, and heart disease that accompanies PAD. Patients who fail to get diagnosed and treated for peripheral artery disease may develop gangrene and, possibly, amputation.

Who Is at Risk for PAD?

People who smoke, have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure are at a high risk for PAD. Your risk also increases as you get older. You should schedule an evaluation and learn your risk if you think you may have PAD.

Testing for PAD

Testing for PAD at the peripheral arterial disease clinic is easy and painless. The vein specialist will begin with a physical examination, which includes listening for bruits, or murmurs, that indicate poor wound healing.

  • Ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a common test for PAD. The vein specialist will use this test to compare the blood pressure in the ankle with that in your arm.
  • Ultrasound is another non-invasive testing method that allows the vascular doctor to identify the location of diseased arteries.
  • Angiography is a minimally-invasive diagnostic test that involves the injection of a dye, or contrast material, that identifies narrowed arteries through X-ray, MRA, or CTA scans. Doctors sometimes use a more invasive method of catheter angiography in which they place a catheter through an artery in the groin to deliver the contrast material directly to the diseased area. The advantage of this diagnostic test is that the doctor can widen the narrowed vessel at the same time the test is performed.

The peripheral arterial disease clinic uses a variety of medications to treat PAD. High blood pressure medications, those used to treat diabetes, or cholesterol-lowering drugs can treat your specific conditions. Other methods of treatment include angioplasty in which a small balloon is inserted into the artery to stretch it open and bypass surgery.

The right treatment for peripheral arterial disease starts with an accurate diagnosis. Don’t ignore the symptoms that may be the first signs of PAD.

If you think that you have peripheral artery disease, then take the time to visit Vascular Health Centers in Oviedo, FL. While this disease can be painful, we can help you find a treatment that works and helps you live a normal and high quality life. We look forward to helping you live a pain-free life with our services.