Peripheral artery disease can be treated successfully with some lifestyle and diet changes. But what exactly is peripheral artery disease (PAD), what are the symptoms and how can it be treated?
PAD is a circulatory problem which affects the arteries that provide blood flow to your limbs. While this can occur in any limbs it usually presents itself and symptoms in your legs. These affected arteries actually get narrower due to the accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries. Generally this is a result of widespread fatty deposits in your arteries which could be reducing blood flow to your heart and brain as well.
One of the symptoms includes pain when walking. This is because your body can’t supply enough blood to your leg muscles due to the restricted artery size. When the person experiences this pain, they can rest and the it will usually go away. Since this is a gradual narrowing of the arteries, its possible that PAD could go undetected for some time. Its reported that pain in the calf muscle is the most common location. Other symptoms may include:
- Leg numbness or weakness
- Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side
- Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won’t heal
- A change in the color of your legs
- Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs
- Slower growth of your toenails
- Shiny skin on your legs
- No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet
- Erectile dysfunction in men
Living a healthy lifestyle and a well balanced healthy diet prevents many health problem. PAD is no exception. If you feel you could be at risk or your doctor has diagnosed you with PAD there are many things you can do. First if you are a smoker you need to quit. Second if you have diabetes you need to keep your blood sugar in check at all times. Once your doctor has cleared you for exercising, 30 to 45 minuets of moderate exercise several times a week can make a big difference. Your doctor may suggest some diet changes like less saturated fats and ideal healthy weight to reduce stress on your heart.
As always if you are experiencing pain, or you notice a change in your body, please contact your doctor. After running tests and talking with you they can make sure you are properly diagnosed. With this a plan of action will be set up to help you make changes and continue living a healthy life.