Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) – Silent but Deadly
Over 18 million Americans have Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), yet over half of them are unaware.
PAD is a serious disease affecting the arteries that supply blood to the legs and feet. When excess cholesterol builds up in these arteries, blood flow is reduced. This reduced flow robs the tissue in the legs and feet of oxygen-rich blood, causing the tissue to die, and eventually decompose. Left untreated, PAD can lead to amputation and even death.
One of the most common symptoms of PAD is pain in the legs when exercising or walking that is alleviated by resting. Recognizing and reporting this symptom to your doctor is the first step to better health.
However, many people who suffer from PAD are unable to feel pain in their legs, due to nerve damage caused by diabetes and other commonly associated ailments. So, PAD can advance without any warning signs or symptoms.
Anyone aged 65 or older, or aged 50 or over with other risk factors like diabetes should be tested for PAD.
Talk to your doctor if you have any of these common risk factors:
- Smoker or former smoker
- High Cholesterol
- High Blood Pressure
- Family history of PAD
- Coronary disease
You and your doctor can develop a treatment plan to get you on the road to better health. This often includes:
- Quitting smoking
- Controlling your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar
- Healthy diet
Fortunately, a fast, simple, painless test can be performed in your doctor’s office in less than 10 minutes to identify indications of this deadly, preventable disease.
Take the first step toward better health today! Talk to your doctor about PAD.