Coastal Vascular Center presents the 5 Facts about Arterial Disease. When every step you take hurts or your legs get easily tired, your quality of life can go downhill quickly. If the genesis of your symptoms is peripheral artery disease, also known as Arterial Disease or simply PAD, a condition that affects 8 to 10 million Americans, there’s more to be concerned about than just painful or tired legs.
Although Arterial Disease itself is not fatal, the underlying causes can be. To help inform you, Coastal Vascular Center has 5 facts about the disease you should consider. If you are suffering from Arterial Disease, Peripheral Artery Disease, or PAD, then contact us today.
1. If you have PAD, you most likely have blockages in other areas
Peripheral arterial disease is the result of a far more serious problem: atherosclerosis, a disease in which your arteries become clogged which restricts blood flow. People with PAD are also four to five times more likely to suffer a stroke or heart attack.
Early detection of PAD can help you prevent a heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure.
2. The symptoms of Arterial Disease are broad
Many people with Arterial Disease don’t have symptoms at all, and others may mistake these symptoms for normal aging-related aches and pains, or other conditions such as arthritis, anemia, spinal stenosis, and nerve damage.
The most common PAD related symptom is claudication, crampy leg pain while walking, climbing stairs, or exercising that generally goes away with rest.
Many who have PAD, experience problems with walking: They find they simply can’t walk as fast or as far as they used to.
People with the most extreme examples of arterial disease suffer from critical limb ischemia, experience extreme pain, as well as non-healing sores in the legs and feet.
3. Smokers are at high risk for Arterial Disease
The risk of Arterial Disease increases by four times in those who smoke or have a history of smoking. So stay clear of cigarettes!
For example, researchers at Harvard Medical School found that the more cigarettes a woman smokes daily, the more likely she is to develop PAD. Women who quit smoking are less likely to develop Arterial Disease.
4. Treatments have come a long way
“Early treatment of Arterial Disease can help restore pain-free mobility, prevent heart attack, and give you your life back.
Accomplishing these goals often involves a combination of approaches:
- Making long-term lifestyle changes
- Taking medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- In some cases, angioplasty and stent placement to restore blood flow
5. Prevention is the best medicine
While you can’t do anything about some of the risk factors for Arterial Disease (such as age, race, and family history) you can make lifestyle choices that will significantly lower your risk.
The same advice doctors give for reducing your risk of heart attack and stroke will also help keep Arterial Disease away:
- Eat a healthy diet that’s low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in whole grains and fresh produce.
- Don’t smoke. And if you currently smoke, quit immediately.
- Keep your vitals — blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose numbers at healthy levels.
- Be active, including at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week.
- Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight (a BMI above 24.9) or obese (a BMI of 30 or higher), talk to your doctor about steps you can take to lose weight.
If you are suffering contact Coastal Vascular today. Our experts can help!