Peripheral Arterial Disease is a common circulatory disorder that causes the arteries to narrow leading to restricted blood flow to your limbs. The condition usually affects the blood flow to the legs leading to leg pain while walking. Other signs include leg numbness, change in the colour of your legs, slower growth of toenails, shiny skin on the legs and sometimes, erectile dysfunction in men.
HOW IS PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE DIAGNOSED?
A General Physician/Cardiologist diagnoses Peripheral Arterial Disease by using the ankle-brachial index which compares the blood pressure in the arm to the blood pressure in the ankle. In certain cases, the doctor may conduct Magnetic Resonance Angiography or a Doppler Ultrasound to diagnose Peripheral Arterial Disease.
HOW IS PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE TREATED?
Treatment for peripheral artery disease has two major goals:
• Manage symptoms, such as leg pain, so that you can resume physical activities.
• Stop the progression of atherosclerosis throughout your body to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
The doctor may prescribe medicine to prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and control pain and other symptoms. In some cases, angioplasty or surgery may be necessary to treat peripheral artery disease that's causing claudication.
DID YOU KNOW?
The incidence of symptomatic PAD increases with age, from about 0.3% per year for men aged 40–55 years to about 1% per year for men aged over 75 years. The prevalence of PAD varies considerably depending on how PAD is defined, and the age of the population being studied. Diagnosis is critical, as people with PAD have a four to five times higher risk of heart attack or stroke.