The peripheral arterial disease affects 10 million Americans, but it is serious for almost half of the affected population because they are asymptomatic. Although it is an age-related disease that increases with age, as evident from the high number of patients who are 75 years or older, the disease affects 12%-14% of the general population. The Center for Vascular Medicine offers treatment for peripheral artery disease and helps to save lives. The treatment cannot reverse the condition but focuses on preventing further progression of the condition that becomes evident from the reduced symptoms after the treatment.
Signs and symptoms of peripheral artery disease
Symptoms of peripheral artery disease or PAD can range from mild to severe due to a reduced supply of oxygenated blood to the arms and legs. The initial symptom starts with the feeling of pain, tightness, cramping, heaviness, or fatigue in the extremity of the affected part, especially the legs, with increased activity. Most people experience problems when walking, climbing the stairs, or walking along an uphill path when exerting more pressure on the legs. The problems reduce as soon as the movements stop.
Making some changes in lifestyle alongside the treatment can stop the disease on its tracks and improve the condition of patients.
Smoking tobacco increases the risk of PAD as well as the chances of stroke and heart attacks. The nicotine in tobacco increases the plaque buildup in the arteries that lower the supply of oxygenated blood to the heart and brain, and limbs, which causes PAD. Take steps to quit smoking by taking medicines that aid in nicotine replacement, going through behavior modification programs, and trying out other quit-smoking medications. Leaving smoking will prevent the progression of the disease and reduce the risks associated with it.
Plaque buildup in the arteries results from high cholesterol levels in the blood that deposits on the walls of the arteries and restrict the passage for blood flow. Eat foods with low trans fat and saturated fat while taking cholesterol-lowering medications if advised by the doctor. Eat a healthy diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Include dairy products like poultry that has low fat, fish, poultry, seeds, nuts, legumes, and olive oil, or some similar non-tropical vegetable oil. Limit sodium intake along with added sugar; avoid red meat and beverages sweetened with sugar.
Focus on physical activity
Regular physical activity is a must to keep PAD in check. You can exercise regularly under the guidance of a professional trainer who recommends the right exercises for you. Also referred to as supervised exercise therapy (SET), it might include only walking schedules, treadmill exercises, and leg exercises that can reduce symptoms. If walking causes pain, then you must do some exercise for intermittent claudication. The program consists of alternating cycles of walking and rests to increase the time you can walk before the pain starts.
Religiously taking the medications prescribed by the doctor and missing a dose or two can be dangerous as it instantly increases the risks of strokes and heart attacks.