How to Treat Your Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, can lead to serious health problems if not treated. And, like many other conditions, the earlier you treat it, the better. If you have PAD, follow our recommendations below, or make an appointment with one of our experienced vein specialists at Precision Vascular in Arlington, Dallas, Mesquite, and McKinney, Texas.

What is PAD?

Peripheral artery disease is a condition that affects blood circulation in your legs. It occurs when the arteries that supply blood to your legs become narrowed or blocked by plaque. Plaque is made of fatty deposits, calcium, and cholesterol. When these substances harden, they can block the blood flow through your arteries and lead to a heart attack or stroke. 

People with PAD are also at risk for leg and foot problems like gangrene. Watch for signs like leg and foot pain, numbness, weakness, cold legs, and sores that take a long time to heal. If your tissue starts to deteriorate, you may need an amputation, which is why it’s important to treat PAD as early as possible. Luckily, there are things you can do to help lower your risk of PAD in the first place and its complications should you develop it.

Lifestyle modifications

Learning how to reduce your risk for PAD is important for you to remain healthy for years to come. Here are our recommendations.

Eat a healthy diet

A diet full of nutritious fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy and meats, and high fiber will lower cholesterol levels and help you lose weight. Also, try to limit your intake of saturated fats, and avoid trans fats that contain things like hydrogenated vegetable oils. 

Exercise

We understand walking may be painful if you have PAD, but it’s one of the best things you can do to improve blood circulation to your legs. Try to walk a bit farther each day. Talk to us if it’s too painful. Sometimes, medication can help get you on your feet.

Quit smoking

If you smoke, try hard to quit. Smoking causes inflammation in your blood vessels that can lead to blocked arteries. As a result, you’re at a higher risk of having PAD, a heart attack, or a stroke.

Take care of underlying conditions

If you’ve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol, it’s important to follow your doctor’s advice and take all medications as prescribed. By keeping these health conditions under control, you lower your risk of developing PAD.

Keep an eye on your feet

If you have PAD, your toenails may grow at a much slower rate than they used to, and you may have sores that take a long time to heal. Make it a habit to check your feet every day for signs of trouble. Sores can get infected or turn gangrenous if not treated soon enough.

Medical treatment for PAD

Sometimes, you may need medical help to treat PAD. Depending on the severity of your condition, we may prescribe medication like blood thinners to aid blood flow or statins to lower cholesterol. You may also need surgery. We provide a variety of minimally invasive procedures like balloon angioplasty which opens your clogged arteries, stent insertion to keep the arteries open, or an atherectomy that breaks up and removes plaque.

There’s no cure for PAD, but by following our recommendations at home, you could not only stop it from getting worse, but you could also improve your overall health. If you do need a surgical procedure to improve your blood circulation, don’t worry — you're in good hands at Precision Vascular. Call us at 214-380-0918 today to learn more, or request an appointment online today.

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