Understanding The Risk Factors for Peripheral Artery Disease

Millions of persons in the United States struggle with peripheral artery disease (PAD). Even more alarming is the fact that close to 12M persons are diagnosed with the condition every year. More often than not, atherosclerosis is to blame for this condition. Atherosclerosis is characterized by artery constriction due to the accumulation of plaque on the walls of your arteries which causes the reduced blood flow in your extremities, especially your legs. Left untreated, peripheral artery disease Frisco could result in significant consequences such as amputation. Thus, it is best to learn what symptoms you should watch out for, especially if you are at risk of this concern. In this post, Dr. Rishin Shah discusses some of the common PAD symptoms and the various factors that can make you more vulnerable to this condition. Read on to learn more.

What Are The Common PAD Symptoms?

Nearly half of persons with PAD are unaware of it because the condition has no obvious symptoms. Here are some of the warning signs you should look out for:

§  Numbness or weakness in your legs

§  Fragile toenails

§  Sluggish-developing toenails

§  Sores or ulcers on your legs and/or feet that heal slowly

§  The legs appear glossy or the skin turns pale or bluish

§  Hair loss on the feet or legs

§  Difficulties finding a pulse in your leg or foot

§  Momentary discomfort when walking or climbing stairs, often known as ‘Claudication’

§  For men, impotence symptoms can arise

What Are The Risk Factors For Peripheral Artery Disease?

PAD can strike anybody at any time. Nevertheless, there are specific factors that make you more susceptible to the condition, including:

v  Smoking

As per the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, you are four times more vulnerable to PAD if you are a smoker or have smoked before. Tobacco contains compounds that are known to cause blood vessel damage. As the body attempts to mend the injury, plaque can build, leading to atherosclerosis.

v  Diabetes

Diabetes alters blood chemistry; thus, it frequently disrupts blood circulation. Another effect of diabetes is nerve degeneration, rendering it harder for diabetic patients to feel or sufficiently care for scrapes, cuts, and other traumas in their feet and legs. Proper blood circulation is necessary for wound healing, and PAD can inhibit wound healing, resulting in ulcers and, in extreme cases, tissue fatality.

v  Hypertension

If you have hypertension, you are more likely to develop atherosclerosis, leading to PAD. While individuals are sometimes misinformed about hypertension, the reality is that it is a ‘silent killer,’ which means you will probably experience no symptoms until the issue is severe. Thus, it is advisable to have regular blood pressure checks.

v  Increased Cholesterol Levels

Although the body requires some cholesterol, increased levels can lead to atherosclerosis. Cholesterol constitutes fat and calcium that can clump together to create plaque in your arteries; hence, restricting blood flow.

v  Obesity

An individual with a body mass index of 30.0 and above is considered obese. Obesity not only puts you in danger of PAD, but it could prompt other vascular and heart illnesses because of the extra fat.

v  Aging

As you grow older, especially around 50 years, you are more likely to acquire atherosclerosis and, as a result, PAD.

Now that you understand the risk factors and symptoms of PAD, you should not wait till you suffer debilitating symptoms to seek expert care. At Prime Heart and Vascular, Dr. Rishin Shah and his staff offer comprehensive diagnostic procedures to ensure they accurately diagnose your symptoms. If you have PAD, Dr. Shah will recommend a wide range of solutions, including lifestyle adjustments, medications, rehabilitation therapy, and, if necessary, minimally invasive procedures to eliminate the blockages in your arteries. Schedule an initial consultation today through mobile or book online to discuss your concerns and explore a care solution that meets your unique needs.