Peripheral artery disease or peripheral arterial disease, otherwise known as PAD, is a condition that prevents your extremities from getting enough blood flow. Typically affecting your legs, PAD is often a sign that there is a build-up of fatty deposits in your arteries which can cause leg pain while walking (claudication.) The good news is that healthy, everyday activities can be a great treatment for this condition.
What to Look Out For
Since the plaque build-up is happening in your blood vessels, the evidence of this illness can be difficult to physically see, though you will likely feel it in other ways. Claudication affects each person differently both in the type of symptoms and their severity.
You could experience many of the above or maybe just a few. While many of these signs can be seen as just normal parts of aging, they can also be a sign of PAD and therefore symptoms that you’ll want to have your doctor check out.
Furthermore, if you are 65 or over 50 with a history of smoking or diabetes, it would be a good idea to ask for a peripheral artery disease screening to make sure you’re not at risk of developing the disease or already experiencing it without symptoms.
How do you get it?
PAD develops from something called atherosclerosis, this simply means fatty deposits build up in your arteries and restrict blood flow. Any number of factors can increase your chances of developing PAD including:
What can I do to prevent or treat PAD?
This may be surprising, but the best method to combat PAD is simply living a healthy lifestyle. Put some effort into lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure levels if they’re high. You can also exercise regularly and maintain a good diet with foods low in saturated fat. And we’re sure you’ve heard this one before, stop smoking!
These aren’t just the keys to preventing peripheral artery disease but great ways to stay fit and healthy overall! Talk to your doctor about screening for PAD and stay on top of your health for easy living as you age.