Peripheral artery disease occurs when blood flow to the arms and legs is reduced due to narrowing arteries. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is characterized by the inadequate blood supply to the extremities, most commonly the legs. Pain in the legs while walking (claudication) is one possible sign.
Atherosclerosis, the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries, is a common cause of the peripheral arterial disease (atherosclerosis). Because atherosclerosis promotes artery narrowing, blood flow to the legs and, in rare cases, the arms may be impaired. Exercising, eating right, and quitting cigarette use are all effective ways to manage peripheral artery disease.
Quick facts about Peripheral Artery Disease
The peripheral arteries, which carry blood from the heart to the rest of the body, can become narrowed due to peripheral arterial disease. Lower-extremity PAD, in which blood flow is restricted to the legs and feet, is the most frequent kind of PAD.
Atherosclerosis, or the accumulation of fatty plaque in the arteries, causes PAD and coronary artery disease by reducing blood flow to vital organs such as the heart, brain, arms, legs, pelvis, and kidneys. Lower extremity PAD symptoms include leg and hip muscle cramping, weariness, soreness, pain, or discomfort while walking or climbing stairs. After a respite, the pain subsides, but it returns whenever you start walking again.
- Those experiencing PAD symptoms are often misdiagnosed.
- Medical experts frequently miss the diagnosis of PAD.
- In addition to an increased risk of coronary artery disease, heart attack, and stroke, people with peripheral artery disease also have a greater risk of developing these conditions.
- PAD can cause gangrene and, ultimately, amputation if left untreated.
Extra Risks for PAD
A higher risk of peripheral artery disease is associated with factors such as:
- Older age.
- Both high blood pressure and high cholesterol can be fatal
- Type 2 Diabetes
How Can Severe Peripheral Artery Disease be Life-Threatening?
As a result of the obstructions, blood flow to limbs and organs is reduced, making PAD a potentially life-threatening condition. Your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, arms, legs, and feet might die if your blood stops flowing properly. When tissue is infected or dies without treatment, it is called gangrene. One of the worst outcomes of PAD is limb loss due to amputation. If left untreated, it can lead to coronary artery disease, cardiovascular failure, and stroke.
Arterial narrowing and blockage can occur anywhere in the body, including the heart, brain, arms, legs, pelvis, and kidneys, although PAD may be the first indicator. Atherosclerosis is the formation of fatty plaque in the arteries. Additionally, fatty deposits raise the danger of vascular inflammation and blood clots, both of which can cut off blood flow and kill off tissues. PAD is a potentially fatal yet treatable disease.
How to Prevent Peripheral Artery Disease?
The best way to defend against peripheral artery disease-related leg pain is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. That includes:
- Avoid smoking
- Control blood sugar
- Consume foods that have low saturated fat
- Get frequent exercise, but talk to your healthcare professional about it
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Manage cholesterol and blood pressure
Your risk of a heart attack, stroke, and transient ischemic attack can all be impacted by PAD. Physical examination, cardiac, and imaging tests diagnose PAD. Treatment options include dietary adjustments, medications, and even surgery. Dietary adjustments, physical activity, and efforts to control high cholesterol and high blood pressure are all examples of lifestyle changes.