The cardiovascular system performs crucial functions necessary for wellbeing. The main parts of the circulatory system include the heart, blood vessels, and blood. Unfortunately, the walls of arteries, which are a type of blood vessel, are vulnerable to narrowing. When this happens and hinders blood flow to the limbs, it is called Warner Robins peripheral artery disease. Physicians are developing different diagnostic and treatment approaches to promote circulation to the limbs and restore peripheral function.
What are the symptoms of peripheral arterial disease?
When the legs do not receive adequate blood supply, a patient is prone to developing symptoms like claudication, which can lead to pain during activities such as walking, and this often leads to a lower quality of life. Rest can provide temporary relief of claudication symptoms. Other symptoms of the peripheral arterial disease include:
· Leg weakness
· Slow-healing wounds and sores on the legs and feet
· Skin discoloration
· Slow hair growth
· Erectile dysfunction
When to seek medical intervention for symptoms of arterial disease
Although it is easy to dismiss claudication symptoms due to aging, physicians recommend seeking intervention for pain that persists after having tried conservative approaches to relief. Your doctor will conduct a comprehensive examination to confirm a peripheral arterial disease diagnosis and develop a treatment to restore blood circulation in your legs.
What causes peripheral arterial disease?
One of the main causes of peripheral arterial disease is a fat buildup in arterial walls. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. The buildup of fat in arteries limits blood flow by narrowing the space. Moreover, limited space increases arterial blood pressure. Atherosclerosis affects the limbs and can affect other arteries in different parts of the body. When atherosclerosis develops in arteries supplying blood to the limbs, this condition is called peripheral arterial disease. Another less common cause of peripheral arterial disease is inflammation in the arteries. Physicians also check for peripheral arterial disease signs in trauma patients.
What are the risk factors of peripheral arterial disease?
Many risk factors can increase a person’s chance of developing narrowing in the arteries. Some of the most common risk factors of peripheral arterial disease include:
· Smoking: This habit is hazardous to the integrity of the structures comprising the circulatory system. Physicians recommend that active smokers quit or cut back since it leads to many health complications, including peripheral arterial disease.
· Diabetes: Patients with high blood sugar risk developing peripheral arterial disease because the disease causes the heart to work harder and may lead to damage in the arteries limiting blood flow to the limbs.
· High cholesterol: Excessive cholesterol can lead to fat buildup in the arteries, thus leading to peripheral arterial disease.
· Age: Older patients are at a higher risk of developing narrowed blood vessels.
· Family history: Your doctor will review your family history to ensure that there is no genetic predisposition to peripheral arterial disease. However, a positive family history necessitates preventative measures to ensure vascular health.
How to prevent peripheral arterial disease
Your best option in preventing peripheral arterial disease, especially in the presence of risk factors, is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Physicians encourage patients to consume healthy, balanced meals and exercise regularly to boost circulation. Contact Middle Georgia Vascular Surgery Center & Vein Solutions to learn about the available treatment options for peripheral arterial disease to restore wellness to your legs.