Peripheral Arterial Disease
Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a group of medical problems that produce poor blood flow in arteries providing blood to your brain, kidneys, arms, hands, legs and feet. Damage or clogging within the arteries may lead to serious, life-threatening problems such as stroke, high blood pressure, kidney failure, or loss of limbs. PAD may also indicate problems with circulation in other parts of your body, including the heart. More than 10 million Americans suffer from PAD.
PAD’s most common symptom is “leg pain while exercising or walking which disappears after a few minutes of rest. Most people determine the pain is natural, but PAD may be the cause and medical attention may be needed.”
Earlier symptoms may include cramping or fatigue in the legs or buttocks. Advanced symptoms include numbness/tingling or skin discoloration in hands, lower legs and feet; cold lower legs and feet; and sores on feet/toes that won’t heal. Numbness/tingling of one side of the face associated with arm and leg dysfunction are symptoms indicating poor blood supply to the brain or stroke. Also “black-outs” in one eye are warning signs for blockages in carotid arteries that supply blood to the brain.
PAD can occur at any age, but it is most common among people who are more than 50 years old. Risk factors for PAD include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, family history of heart attack or stroke, obesity and/or lack of physical activity.
Listen to Leg Pain and Peripheral Arterial Disease radio clip
Although PAD is common, it does not have to cause serious problems—especially if detected early and treated. Mary Cobb, our Cardiovascular Services Coordinator, can discuss your treatment options. Call (325) 947-6030 for more information.