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Signs of Peripheral Artery Disease

A condition common among the diabetic community is peripheral artery disease, PAD, which affects between 8-10 million people a year in the United States. Many of them are over 50 years old, studies show. PAD causes fatty buildup in the arteries, including those in the feet. The clogged arteries restrict blood flow, and if left undetected can lead to severe tissue damage. Among the most common symptoms of PAD are pain and numbness, especially when walking. Weakness, cold feet, and wounds that take a long time to heal are also telltale signs to look out for. Taking proper medication to reduce the inflammation in the arteries is important, along with regular exercise, eating nutritious foods, and giving up smoking. In severe cases of PAD, medication and lifestyle changes may not be enough. If the condition persists, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist as soon as possible for an evaluation and extensive treatment plan.

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 Joe Mathew George DPM, FACFAS from Illinois. 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 offices located in Joliet, Bolingbrook, and Channahon, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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