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Can Vascular Disease Affect the Foot?

Monday, 22 March 2021 00:00

The normal flow of blood to and from various parts of the body does not occur in people with vascular disease—a condition known to damage blood vessels and reduce circulation in the foot. In Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), there is a failure in transporting oxygen away from the heart, with symptoms such as tingling and numbness in your feet and legs, cold feet, and also a tingling sensation when you walk. You are more at risk of developing PAD if you smoke, have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. Your feet are often indicators of problems in other areas of your body, which is why it is important to be diagnosed early and treated properly by a podiatrist to avoid complications such as cardiovascular disease or severe blockages in the arteries of the legs (critical limb ischemia)—both of which may lead to a heart attack or stroke.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Cory Brown, DPM from Brown Foot and Ankle. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.


Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.


While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.


Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Abilene, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Peripheral Artery Disease
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