As we age, it’s not uncommon to come across health and medical issues. Unfortunately, many of us delay going to the doctor if symptoms appear minor or seem to diminish over time. If you or a family member has Peripheral Arterial Disease and don’t know it, ignoring even the tiniest of PAD symptoms can lead to serious complications that could threaten your life.
PAD affects approximately 8.5 million people in the United States. It is a condition that causes poor blood circulation to the kidneys, intestines, arms, legs, and feet—leading to tissue and nerve injury or damage. The problem is that most people don’t know what PAD is and often mistake its symptoms for other conditions.
Causes of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
- High cholesterol levels
- Cardiovascular disease
- Having a relative with a history of heart disease
- High blood pressure
Don’t Ignore These 6 PAD Symptoms
The sluggish blood flow caused by PAD can progress from no symptoms at all to pain in one leg or both legs. If left unattended or undiagnosed, PAD symptoms can lead to a state of “no blood flow,” which places you at risk for leg amputation. Below are PAD symptoms you cannot ignore:
- Painful cramping in the legs or hips — This extremely common symptom occurs when walking or exercising and typically disappears if you stop the activity. You may also experience burning or aching pain in your feet or toes when resting (usually at night) that can make it hard to walk.
- A change in the appearance of feet/legs — Even if you aren’t experiencing any pain, be mindful of the appearance of your legs and feet including color changes (pale or blue), loss of hair on legs, shiny skin, and a decrease in toenail growth.
- Cold legs and feet — Poor circulation of blood can make your legs and feet noticeably colder than other body parts, such as your arms. If this is the case, you should plan to see a vascular specialist.
- Open sores that don’t heal — Ulcers (ischemic) come in all shapes, sizes, and severity and form on the lower extremities such as the legs, feet, toes, heels, and ankles.
- Erectile dysfunction in men — One of the many PAD symptoms for men is erectile dysfunction. This is particularly true for men who have diabetes.
- No pulse or weak pulse in legs and feet — Pulses show the strength of blood flow, so an absent or weak pulse in your extremities is one of the many PAD symptoms.
Ways to Prevent or Improve PAD Symptoms
If you are concerned about your risk, here are a few ways to prevent or improve your PAD symptoms:
- Quit smoking
- Eat healthier to lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Take the medication prescribed by your doctor
- Make and attend all doctor’s appointments
- Exercise regularly with your doctor’s permission
Schedule an Appointment with Precision to Learn More
If you have PAD, request an appointment with one of our specialists for an evaluation. Our doctors will create an individualized plan to help you get the best results. Please call us at 214-382-3200 or complete the form below.
Precision VIR serves the DFW area including Dallas, Fort Worth, Carrollton, Richardson, Garland, Mesquite, Highland Park, University Park, Park Cities, Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Arlington, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Lewisville and all of North Texas.
This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to starting any new treatment or questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider.