Recognizing the Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease

A doctor holding a heart next to a potted plant, blood pressure cuff, and stethoscope A common circulation issue called peripheral artery disease (PAD) causes a reduction in your limbs’ blood flow, especially to your legs. If untreated, it can cause several problems.

For this reason, early detection and treatment of peripheral artery disease are crucial. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of this condition below.

What Causes Peripheral Artery Disease?

Peripheral artery disease is primarily caused by atherosclerosis, a condition where fatty deposits build up in the arteries. They narrow arteries and restrict your blood flow. Other risk factors include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. 

Age also plays a role, with PAD being more common in older adults, especially those over 50. A family history of PAD or cardiovascular disease increases the risk. Men are generally more likely to develop PAD than women. However, women’s risk increases after menopause. 

Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease

Recognizing the symptoms of PAD can help you in early diagnosis and treatment. Common symptoms include leg pain, known as intermittent claudication. It occurs during physical activity and improves with rest. But, it can return upon resuming activity. 

Individuals may also experience numbness, weakness, or a feeling of heaviness in the legs, making it difficult to walk or perform daily activities. Reduced blood flow can cause the affected leg to feel cold to the touch and appear pale or discolored. You can easily compare the symptoms to the unaffected leg. 

Poor circulation may impede wound healing. It can lead to slow-healing sores or ulcers on the feet or legs. In severe cases, tissue death (gangrene) is also possible. It can result in blackened or dead tissue and a foul odor. 

Additionally, a weakened or absent pulse in the affected limb, particularly in the ankles, may indicate reduced blood flow due to PAD. These symptoms warrant prompt evaluation by a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and management.

Book Your Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment in Maryland

Early recognition of the symptoms of peripheral artery disease is vital for prompt diagnosis and treatment. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, call us at 301-622-5360 and schedule an appointment with Midatlantic Vascular & Interventional. 

Our healthcare professionals can evaluate your symptoms and guide you through the treatment process. Don’t ignore the signs; book a consultation today to assess your vascular health and take proactive steps toward preserving your limb function.

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