What is Peripheral Artery Disease?
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a chronic and common circulatory condition that causes your arteries to become more narrow. Due to the fact your arteries are narrowed, the blood flow to your lower limbs is reduced. When this happens your extremities (legs) don’t get the blood flow they need to function properly.
The most notable sign you should experience if you have PAD is leg pain when walking which is referred to as claudication.
What Causes Peripheral Artery Disease?
The most common cause of PAD is atherosclerosis which is plaque or fatty deposits that build up in your arteries and cause them to clog. The fatty deposits are made of cholesterol, fatty substances, cellular waste products, calcium and fibrin (a clotting material in the blood).
As the plaque builds the artery wall gets thicker and starts to narrow, which reduces the opening for blood flow and oxygen to the cells.
Can Peripheral Artery Disease Be Prevented?
One in every 20 Americans over the age of 50 has PAD. The obvious cause is a buildup of plaque over time in the aging process. Additionally, people tend to be less active as they age. Lifestyle choices, however, can cause someone to get PAD at a much earlier age.
The Risk Factors:
- Age: PAD usually strikes patients over the age of 50.
- Tobacco: Chewing tobacco and smoking cigarettes are the biggest contributors to PAD.
- Diabetes: Diabetes affects circulation and plaque buildup in the arteries.
- High blood pressure and cholesterol: These two conditions greatly increase your risk.
- Lack of exercise: Living a sedentary lifestyle and not exercising regularly increases your chances of having PAD.
If you know you have Peripheral Artery Disease or you identify with any symptom(s) don’t delay, contact Alabama Vascular & Lymphatic Specialists today. Your life may depend on it.
We provide the most comprehensive, progressive, and personal care available for Peripheral Artery Disease in the Birmingham, Alabama area.
During your visit our specialist(s) will review your medical history and develop a treatment plan to get you on the path to better health.