Everything You Should Know About Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease rarely causes any symptoms, but when it does, you may find it difficult to complete your daily activities. Additionally, the disorder increases your risk of complications like amputation and heart attack. If you are looking for relief from Peripheral Artery Disease Frisco the Prime Heart and Vascular team has your back.

What you should know about peripheral artery disease

Peripheral artery disease is a medical disorder due to the accumulation of plaque arteries, hindering blood circulation. This disorder usually cuts off the blood supply to your toes and feet, but it can also affect other parts of your body. An inadequate blood supply to your legs may lead to claudication and other uncomfortable symptoms. When you develop PAD, cholesterol and other substances gradually build up in your artery walls, slowly narrowing your arteries. The deposits are usually soft on the inside and hard on the outside. The exterior of the plaque may crack, allowing your platelets out, which later form blood clots that narrow your arteries even more. When a blood clot or plaque hinders blood flow to your tissues, it causes tissue death, also known as gangrene.

Signature symptoms of peripheral artery disease

Most people with this disorder experience mild to no symptoms, while some experience claudication. People who experience no symptoms may only know its existence during a medical examination for another condition. PAD symptoms may worsen with physical activity, making it difficult to carry out your daily tasks. You may experience painful cramping in your hips or thighs, shiny skin on the legs, slow growth of your toenails, weak or no pulse in the legs, sores on legs, feet, and toes that won’t heal, and erectile dysfunction. Over time, peripheral artery disease may worsen, leading to pain even when at rest. Hanging your legs over your couch or bed may temporarily alleviate the pain. Early detection of this disorder is crucial to get the necessary treatment to prevent life-threatening complications like stroke or a heart attack.

Risk factors of PAD

Tobacco is the leading risk factor for peripheral artery disease and its complications. Research shows that 80% of PAD patients used to smoke or are currently smoking. This unhealthy habit also causes the symptoms to begin ten years earlier. PAD patients who smoke have a higher chance of having unsuccessful results with bypass surgery, limb amputation, and stroke than those who don’t smoke. Regardless of whether you are male or female, you are more likely to develop PAD if you have several of these risks; you are African American, have high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, or a blood clotting disorder. Although PAD differs from coronary artery disease, the two elevate your risk of a heart attack or transient ischemic heart attack. It is also not surprising that the two disorders have similar risk factors.

Dr. Shah and his team at Prime Health and Vascular specialize in restoring normal blood circulation and preventing amputation. If you experience symptoms of peripheral artery disease, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Shah or schedule an appointment online for comprehensive care.

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