Peripheral Arterial Disease
The arteries are the blood vessels that carry the blood from the heart to all the areas of the body. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition in which fatty deposits (called plaque) build up along the walls of the arteries that carry blood to the arms and legs. This is also known as arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. The arteries slowly narrow and may even become blocked, affecting blood circulation, especially in the legs and feet.
Livingston’s doctors in North Bellmore NY work closely with specialists to provide vascular screening and effective treatments for our patients with PAD.
Who has it? – What are the signs of PAD?
- Cramping pains in the legs or hip muscles with walking, that stops during rest or feelings of numbness, weakness or heaviness of the legs with no pain can be a signs of PAD.
- Burning or aching in the feet and toes while at rest, particularly while lying flat
- Cooling of the skin in specific areas of the legs or feet
- Color changes in the skin, particularly in the arms or legs
- Sores (wounds or ulcers) on the foot and toes, especially ones that do not heal
- No pulses in the feet
- (20-50% of patients with PAD have no symptoms – Peripheral Arterial Disease Coalition)
Who is at risk?
Smoking is the number one risk factor for PAD and will interfere with treatment of the disease. People with PAD should stop smoking completely because even 1 or 2 cigarettes daily can affect treatment.
Diabetes is a significant risk factor for PAD. People with diabetes should keep strict control of their blood sugar to avoid serious problems resulting from PAD.
Older age is a predictor for PAD. It occurs more frequently in those 60 years of age or older. People with a family history of heart disease are at greater risk for PAD.