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How to keep peripheral artery disease at bay

Weight gain could predispose you to peripheral artery disease, which results from the buildup of fats and cholesterol in the arteries. The arteries that have plague could be narrowed or blocked, which harms the normal blood flow from the heart to the legs, arms, and other parts of the body. You should consult Plano peripheral artery disease experts for early diagnosis and prevention of severe issues such as leg amputation that results from peripheral artery disease.

Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease

Some people with peripheral artery disease might not have any symptoms, but some could have leg pain, which results from claudication, which is pain triggered by movement but stops when one takes rest.  You could experience painful cramps on the hips, thighs, and other parts of the arms after certain activities like climbing stairs. You may also have leg numbness and weakness as well as coldness in the areas affected by plaque. Soreness of the toes, feet, and hands with changes in color and shiny skin in the affected areas could be symptoms. You could also realize that your toenails are growing slower when you have peripheral artery disease. As well as a low pulse in your leg and feet, and men could have erectile dysfunction.

Causes of Peripheral Artery Disease

Exposure to high radiation and injuries to your limbs could trigger peripheral artery disease; if you have an unusual anatomy of the ligaments and muscles, you could also develop this disease. An unhealthy lifestyle like smoking and being overweight could cause peripheral artery disease.  People with diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure could quickly develop this condition. Moreover, this condition also is associated with increasing age, high levels of specific proteins that build muscles, and a family history of the condition.

Diagnosis of Peripheral Artery Disease

You could undergo a peripheral artery physical exam, which shows a weak or absent pulse on the affected area. Moreover, your doctor could undertake the ankle-brachial index (ABI), which could compare the blood pressure in your leg and the arms, which helps in detecting the narrowing of the arteries. Leg ultrasounds could also help identify areas with blockages by evaluating the blood flow in different parts of the legs. Your doctor could inject a contrasting (dye) material through the blood veins and observe the blood flow in the leg using an x-ray.

Treatment and Prevent

You could use medication that prevents blood clots and those that control blood sugars, which regulate the level of glucose and the formation of plaque in the arteries. You may also use symptom relief medications or resort to corrective surgery. You can prevent peripheral artery disease by avoiding smoking, lowering your blood sugar, exercising, eating healthy food, and maintaining a healthy diet.

The Bottom Line

Although peripheral artery disease could affect the legs, it could be an indication of widespread fat accumulation in other parts of the body. It is prudent to seek treatment of peripheral artery disease as it could result in complications such as amputation and other health issues. You might consider avoiding smoking, exercising, maintaining an optimum weight, and lowering blood sugar to prevent plaque in the arteries.