Health issues linked with PAD

Understanding the Linked Health Consequences of Peripheral Arterial Disease

Apr 8, 2024Peripheral Vascular Disease, Vascular Disease

At Coastal Vascular Center, we devote our practice to helping those with Peripheral Arterial Disease.   We have encountered, diagnosed, and treated hundreds of patients with a variety of vascular disorders. One common condition that often goes undiagnosed or is misunderstood is Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). Understanding the linked health consequences of PAD is crucial to ensure appropriate preventative measures and prompt and effective treatment when necessary.

This article will share the wealth of experience gathered by Dr. Ayar and the highly skilled professional team at Coastal Vascular Center. We want to help shed light on Peripheral Arterial Disease and its connected health issues.

What is Peripheral Arterial Disease?

Peripheral Arterial Disease, often called PAD. This is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries restrict blood flow to the limbs, most commonly the legs. The narrowing is typically caused by atherosclerosis – a build-up of fatty deposits known as plaques on the arterial walls. This reduced blood flow can result in symptoms including leg pain, particularly during physical activities, and non-healing wounds on the feet or legs.

It’s important to understand that PAD is not just about discomfort or a temporary hindrance to active daily life. If left untreated, PAD can have serious health consequences beyond the circulatory problems in the legs.

Linked Health Consequences of Peripheral Arterial Disease

PAD is an indicator that fatty deposits are building up in the major arteries that carry blood to vital organs. This condition is linked to several significant health risks:

1. Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Individuals with PAD typically have an increased risk of developing other cardiovascular ailments. This includes issues such as coronary artery disease (heart disease). Also, cerebrovascular disease (affecting the arteries supplying oxygen and nutrients to the brain) can occur. Both these conditions can potentially lead to life-threatening events like heart attack or stroke.

2. Critical Limb Ischemia: In severe cases of PAD, if the blood flow to the legs is wholly or significantly blocked, ‘Critical Limb Ischemia‘ can occur. This chronic condition causes severe pain in the feet or toes, even when resting. Complications from this condition can result in non-healing ulcers, gangrene, and, in extreme cases, amputation.

3. Renal (Kidney) Artery Disease: Atherosclerosis, the process that causes PAD, can also affect the arteries supplying your kidneys. Renal artery disease can lead to chronic kidney disease, a long-term condition where the kidneys don’t work as well as they should.

Diagnosing and Treating PAD

Simple tests performed during a physical examination, such as taking the pulse in the legs, can give the first indication of PAD. However, more specific tests are often needed to diagnose the severity of the disease. An ankle-brachial index (ABI), a non-invasive comparison of blood pressure in your ankle and arm, is often used. More detailed imaging scans such as Doppler ultrasound, CT angiogram, or MR angiography might be used to locate the blockages.

At Coastal Vascular Center, we emphasize early diagnosis and treatment of PAD. This helps manage symptoms and stop the progression of atherosclerosis. Dr. Ayar and our team are skilled in a range of treatments for PAD. From lifestyle changes and medications to angioplasty, atherectomy, and bypass surgery.

The Ripple Effect of Poor Circulation

Poor circulation due to PAD can precipitate various chain reactions in the body. Diminished blood flow can lead to the physical deterioration of limbs and the impaired function of other organs and systems. For example, the kidneys depend on adequate circulation to filter waste from blood; compromised flow can lead to kidney disease. Furthermore, reduced circulation can affect the body’s ability to regulate temperature and healing, significantly impacting overall health.

When PAD reduces blood flow to the limbs, it can also contribute to muscle atrophy, loss of bone density, and decreased mobility overall. This decline in physical capability can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, further exacerbating cardiovascular risk factors.

Why Treating PAD Matters

Managing PAD is not just about alleviating leg pain or preserving limb function—it’s about addressing a systemic pathology that threatens heart and brain health. Treatment requires a multifaceted approach that often includes lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to improve cardiovascular health. Regular physical activity is also recommended to enhance circulation.

In some cases, medications to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels and prevent blood clots may be necessary. Interventional procedures, like angioplasty or bypass surgery, may also be performed to restore blood flow to the affected areas.

A specialized vascular center like the Coastal Vascular Center is critical in the care for PAD. Our approach includes in-depth vascular assessments, individualized treatment plans, and follow-up care geared toward not just treating PAD but also managing risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

The Importance of Comprehensive Care For Linked Health Issues

At Coastal Vascular Center, we are acutely aware of the broad implications of PAD on overall health. We offer advanced diagnostic services to identify PAD and accurately determine the extent of arterial disease. Dr. Ayar, employs the latest evidence-based practices to create personalized treatment strategies aimed at improving limb health and cardiovascular outcomes.

Regular Screening for At-risk Individuals

People who are at increased risk for PAD—those over the age of 65, smokers, diabetics, and individuals with hypertension or cholesterol issues—should be regularly screened for the disease. Early detection and intervention are crucial to preventing the progression of critical limb ischemia and to reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Collaborative Approach to Disease Management

Coastal Vascular Center works collaboratively with the patient’s existing medical team, including primary care providers, to deliver a comprehensive approach to disease management. This may include lifestyle coaching, medication management, and procedural interventions.

Take Charge of Your Vascular Health

If you have symptoms of PAD or risk factors for the disease, it’s time to take your vascular health seriously. Contact Coastal Vascular Center to schedule a consultation. With our expertise in vascular health and our commitment to patient-centered care, we will guide you on the path to better health, reducing your chances of severe cardiovascular events.

Coastal Vascular Center is a beacon of hope and healing in managing PAD and associated cardiovascular dangers for individuals in Pearland, Lake Jackson, and surrounding Houston, Texas. Call 713-999-6056 today to begin your journey to improved vascular health.

Remember, in combating PAD, you’re fighting more than just leg pain; you’re protecting your heart and brain, ensuring a healthier, more vibrant future.

Health-related information on is for educational purposes only and, therefore not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.