Signs You Might Have Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

If you regularly experience cramping, aching, or heaviness in your leg while taking a walk, you might have peripheral artery disease. PAD is a common condition that causes reduced blood flow to the arteries in some of your limbs.

Living with PAD can be uncomfortable and potentially dangerous, but with treatment, PAD is a very manageable syndrome. Our team of doctors at Scottsdale, Arizona-based IYA Medical share all of the most common symptoms of PAD and the treatment options available.

Understanding peripheral artery disease

PAD originates in your body’s circulatory system. You develop PAD when your body builds up fatty plaque deposits on the walls of your arteries.

This causes your arteries to narrow or clog, which lowers the amount of blood flowing through the affected arteries. Usually, PAD affects your extremities, with your legs being the most common area to develop the condition. 

Symptoms of peripheral artery disease

PAD can cause pain, cramps, and other changes in your affected leg. These are some of the PAD symptoms you’re most likely to experience.

Cramping during a walk

After moving your leg through activities such as walking, exercising, or climbing stairs, you might feel cramping or pain in your calves, thighs, or hips. The pain tends to occur when you’re doing the activity and stops after a few minutes of resting.

Numbness, achiness, coldness, or weakness

Your leg with PAD could experience intermittent or chronic numbness, weakness, and aches. You might also notice the leg feels colder or weaker in comparison with your other leg.

Different skin color in the affected area

You could have PAD if the skin in your leg changes color compared to the rest of your skin. You can also develop sores on your legs or feet that take longer than usual to heal.

Slower leg hair and toenail growth

The slower blood flow that results also sometimes causes body hair and your toenails to grow more slowly.

One or more PAD risk factors along with symptoms

You’re more likely to develop PAD if you have additional risk factors. Your odds of getting PAD are higher if you have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, and/or if you’re a smoker or older than 50.

Treating peripheral artery disease

You should make an appointment at IYA Medical for an evaluation if you have PAD symptoms. PAD is a manageable, treatable condition, but left untreated, PAD can lead to serious complications, such as a stroke or heart attack.

Ayad Agha, DO, IYA Medical’s PAD specialist, performs a full evaluation before recommending a treatment plan. Often, PAD is manageable conservatively through lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthier diet and quitting smoking.

When more intervention is needed, Dr. Agha can treat your PAD by performing minimally invasive interventional radiology treatments. In this procedure, Dr. Agha inserts a catheter into the affected blood vessel and uses medication, medical instruments, medical balloons, or a stent to expand the narrowed artery and dissolve blood clots.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of PAD, call to make an appointment today at IYA Medical to get comprehensive treatment. We offer in-office and virtual telehealth appointments.

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