Common Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease

The first symptoms of PVD appear slowly and irregularly. You may feel weary, tired, and cramping in your legs and feet, which worsens with physical activity because of a lack of blood flow. You should tell your El Paso Desert West Vein & Surgery Center doctor if you have any PAD symptoms. These indicators are usually brushed aside due to aging, but delayed assessment and therapy can cause further complications. In severe cases of blood loss and gangrene (dead tissue) can develop. This is a medical emergency if you suddenly have a cold, painful, pale limb with weak or no pulses. Furthermore, you will need treatment immediately to avoid serious complications and amputation.

An overview of PAD

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is plaque accumulation in your leg arteries. Your leg arteries transport oxygen and nutrient-rich blood from the heart to your arms and legs. Arteries are hollow tubes with a smooth lining that prevents blood clotting and facilitates constant blood flow. When you have peripheral artery disease, plaque (composed of fat, cholesterol, and other chemicals) progressively accumulates inside your arterial walls. This narrows your arteries gradually.

Many plaque accumulations are hard on the exterior and soft on the inside. The hard surface can crack or break, enabling platelets (disc-shaped particles in your blood that aid it in clotting) to enter the region. Blood clots can develop around the plaque, making the artery narrower. When plaque or a blood clot narrows or obstructs your arteries, blood can’t reach to nourish organs and other tissues. This causes damage ― and even death (gangrene) ― to the tissues below the blockage. This occurs most often in your toes and feet.

Various causes of peripheral artery disease

Atherosclerosis is the most frequent cause of PAD. Atherosclerosis is a slow process in which fatty material accumulates inside the arteries. Blood clots in the arteries, limb damage, and atypical muscle and ligament morphology are less significant causes of peripheral artery disease. Additionally, risk factors contributing to PAD are diabetes, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, advancing age, high cholesterol, a family history of heart disease, and elevated levels of C-reactive protein or homocysteine.

Possible impacts of peripheral artery disease on your body

The most common sign of PAD is claudication, which is discomfort in your leg that begins with exercise or walking and goes away with rest. A lack of oxygen in your leg muscles causes pain. The hazards of PAD extend far beyond walking issues. Peripheral artery disease raises your chances of developing non healing leg or foot pain. In extreme PAD cases, these lesions can evolve into patches of dead tissue (gangrene), necessitating the removal of your foot or limb.

You can prevent or slow PAD progression by implementing lifestyle adjustments. Maintain all your follow-up visits with your healthcare provider and vascular specialist, and take all medications prescribed for your issues. Knowing the warning signals of PAD problems also helps you recognize when to seek assistance. Call Desert West Vein & Surgery Center or book your consultation online to determine which peripheral artery disease therapies are best for you.