Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is the narrowing of arteries leading away from the heart and to other parts of the body. Unlike Coronary Artery Disease, PAD is often characterized by cramping, pain, or tiredness in the legs and low extremities. People with PAD also are at a greater risk of Coronary Artery Disease, heart attack, or stroke. However, many people will often mistake the symptoms of PAD with other conditions, and it will unfortunately go untreated which can lead to serious complications including gangrene and amputation.
PAD is caused by a narrowing of the peripheral arteries by plaque buildup on the artery walls. This can also cause the artery walls to stiffen and become thicker due to inflammation and damage. The risk also increases with ages, as well as smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
In serious cases, peripheral blood vessels may become blocked, causing pain, changes in skin color, difficulty walking, and sores. If left untreated, total blockage of blood flow to an arm or leg may cause tissue damage or gangrene. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
While this is a serious condition, PAD is easily diagnosed with a simple procedure that can be performed in your doctor’s office. After diagnosis, your doctor will make recommendations to help reduce your risks including lifestyles changes, and sometimes medication. Contact us today to speak with a knowledgeable physician and learn what you can do to treat your PAD.
The experienced physicians at Carolina Cardiology Associates are committed to the health of every patient who walks through our doors. We understand the challenges of cardiovascular disease and will work with you to provide treatment, education, and a plan for the future to help you live your healthiest life.