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FAQ About Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Peripheral arterial disease is a circulatory disease, where the arteries have considerable buildup of plaque that eventually hinders blood flow. PAD, as it is commonly known, is not a unique condition and is seen mostly in people over 50.

Below are some of the frequently asked questions along with relevant answers.

What causes PAD?

The buildup of plaque inside the blood vessels (arteries) is the main cause of PAD. The process of plaque buildup is better known in medical terms as atherosclerosis. The plaque is mostly made of fat, calcium and some of the other things found in the bloodstream. While the plaque initially stays in the blood vessels as a waxy substance, it does harden with time, and thereby, the blood flow is interrupted.

What are the symptoms?

Most patients complain of pain in the legs while walking. The pain is usually related to the movement and eventually subsides as the body is at rest. The pain is mostly felt in the calves, although in some cases, it can affect the feet, thighs, and buttocks, as well. Patients, who also have diabetes, can develop sores in their feet and legs, which may refuse to heal. The issue of erectile dysfunction has been also seen in male patients.

How to get tested?

PAD is often hard to detect, because the symptoms are not obvious as with other diseases. One of the easiest ways to detect the disease is the Quantaflo system. Doctors believe that this might be better way of finding and detecting PAD, as compared to the traditional Ankle-Brachial Index test.

Am I at risk for PAD?

If you have a family history of heart disease or PAD, you are at a higher risk of developing the disease. Of course, a few of the lifestyle factors are also responsible to some extent. Smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity are some of the contributing factors. Patients suffering for diabetes should consider getting tested for PAD, especially if they over the age of 50. People, regardless of gender, over the age of 70 are at a higher risk of getting S atherosclerosis.

Consult your doctor at the earliest, because the initial symptoms are hard to find. Also, a few changes in your life, such as quitting tobacco and starting regular exercises, can make a difference. If you are obese, try to lose weight in the most scientific way possible.