Sometimes called a “silent killer,” peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a narrowing of the arteries of the legs and feet, and it warns of serious cardiovascular problems. Sufferers often report no symptoms, or their symptoms are so mild that they do not seek medical treatment. But when constricted arteries prevent oxygen from flowing to the legs and feet, dangerous complications can arise, including debilitating pain, loss of limb, or even death.
Smoking is the greatest risk factor for PAD. Also at risk are those who have diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol.
If you suffer any of the following symptoms, visit your doctor right away:
Pain in the leg when walking, but not at rest
Ulcers or sores on legs or feet
Cold or blue-tinted skin
Slower nail or hair growth in the affected limb
About half the time the disease causes no symptoms, so it is important to see your doctor regularly. Your podiatrist knows all the hidden signs of PAD, and our office has all the latest technologies to diagnose the condition
Treatment may include any of the following:
Managing hypertension, diabetes and cholesterol
Medication, including statins, ACE inhibitors, and cilostazol, to reduce clot formation