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The Two Types of Peripheral Artery Disease

Tuesday, 01 February 2022 00:00

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a medical condition characterized by poor blood flow to the lower limbs. Though often asymptomatic in its early stages, PAD can eventually result in leg cramps and pain while walking, muscle weakness, coldness or numbness in the feet, and the formation of ulcers on the feet and lower legs. There are two types of PAD, occlusive and functional. Occlusive PAD occurs when something physically blocks or narrows the arteries. The most common cause of occlusive PAD is a buildup of a fatty substance, called plaque, along the artery walls. Functional PAD occurs when the blood vessels are not working properly. This is often caused by abnormal contractions, or muscle spasms, in the walls of the arteries. To learn more about PAD, please consult with a podiatrist. 

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

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.

Diagnosis

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.

Treatment

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.

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