Infrequent leg pain is not a matter of concern, but if you have considerable pain in your legs while walking, especially in the calves, you should consider getting tested for peripheral artery disease. Simply known as PAD, this is a common circulatory disorder.
Here are seven facts about PAD at a glance.
- Peripheral artery disease is also known as atherosclerosis. The most common cause is the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which eventually hinders blood flow. The plaque, which is mostly made of cholesterol and other components from the blood stream, tends to harden over a period of time, eventually leading to PAD.
- People with a family history of heart disease, or atherosclerosis are at a higher risk of developing the condition. Smokers, obese people, and those with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, are also at a higher risk.
- Patients who have both diabetes and PAD may develop a condition known as critical limb ischemia. The condition starts with a sore in the leg or food, which eventually refuses to heal and can even lead to gangrene.
- There are varied ways of getting tested for PAD, but the Quantaflo Test is known to be the easiest and simpler option. Many doctors believe that it can be a good replacement for the traditional Ankle-Brachial Index test, as far as convenience is concerned.
- Changing one’s lifestyle may help in dealing with atherosclerosis. Reducing the consumption of saturated fat, quitting smoking and maintaining a healthy weight are some of the things that doctors typically suggest for patients.
- Anyone over the age of 50 should get tested for atherosclerosis. This is not a common condition for younger people, but if you have consistent pain in your legs, you should seek medical help at the earliest.
- Some of the other signs and symptoms of peripheral artery disease include numbness in the legs and pain in the thighs and buttocks. One of the legs may feel colder than the other, and the skin may feel shiny with less hair.
Do not take the signs and symptoms of peripheral artery disease lightly. If plaque develops in the arteries leading to the kidneys or heart, the complications can be severe. The good thing is PAD can be treated effectively, so early diagnosis is the key to treatment. Also, don’t forget to get yourself tested for PAD if you are detected with high cholesterol. Check online to find more details.