More than 160,000 amputations are performed each year, many of them as the result of Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD. PAD affects nearly 18 million Americans, but knowing the signs early can help prevent you or a loved one from losing a limb.

The team at Cardiovascular Health Clinic specializes in diagnosing and treating PAD. Boasting dedicated, caring physicians and state-of-the-art facilities, we provide comprehensive care with a personalized approach. We are committed to helping you evaluate your risk of developing PAD and treating any symptoms you may already be experiencing.

What is Peripheral Arterial Disease?

PAD is caused by a buildup of plaque on the interior walls of the arteries. Your arteries carry blood from your heart to your legs and feet. However, when arteries begin to harden and constrict due to plaque buildup—a process referred to as atherosclerosis—healthy blood flow is severely diminished. If left undiagnosed and untreated, PAD can lead to limb amputation.

Who is at risk for PAD?

PAD does not target any specific demographic, but there are some common risk factors. You may be at risk for PAD if you are an adult 50 years old or older, a current or former smoker, or an individual diagnosed with the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol

If you identify with one or more of these risk factors, speak to a CHC physician today about steps you can take to reduce your risk and prevent the disease from progressing.

What are the symptoms of PAD?

You may have PAD if you are suffering from one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Tiredness, heaviness, or cramping in the leg muscles
  • Toes or feet that look pale, discolored, or blue
  • Leg or foot pain that disturbs your sleep
  • Sores or wounds on your toes, feet, or legs that heal slowly or not at all
  • A leg or foot that feels colder than the other
  • Thick, yellow toenails that are not growing

The more symptoms that you are experiencing, the higher your risk of PAD.

I have been diagnosed with PAD. Now what?

PAD is not reversible or curable, but it is manageable. There is a wide range of steps you can take to help control the symptoms and reduce any pain or discomfort. They may also help to slow or halt disease progression and minimize potential complications.

Lifestyle changes are the simplest and most immediate ways to manage your PAD.

These include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Managing your diabetes more closely
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercising regularly

As with any change to your health regimen, be sure to consult with your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise. He or she can also be a great resource for services and tools to help you get—and stay—on the path toward a healthier life.

Certain medications can be beneficial in controlling PAD symptoms as well.

Our physicians may prescribe medications to:

  • Lower high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure
  • Thin your blood to prevent clots
  • Improve your mobility and reduce leg pain

There are also a variety of possible treatment procedures, including:

  • An angioplasty is a minimally invasive procedure in which a balloon is inflated inside a blocked artery to restore blood flow
  • A stent is a tiny tube placed in the blocked artery to keep it open
  • An atherectomy is another minimally invasive procedure that uses a medical device to open blocked arteries.
  • Bypass surgery is an intensive surgical procedure that uses a blood vessel or synthetic tube to bypass blockages in an artery.

Depending on your unique situation, our physicians may suggest a combination of medication, lifestyle changes, and procedures.

The physicians at CHC are qualified to both diagnose and treat PAD, and you do not need a referral to seek treatment. Call us at (405) 701-9880 or visit our website to book an appointment today and find your best treatment option. Just have questions? Email us at info@cvhealthclinic.com or submit your question via our chatbot. We do our best to respond within 24 hours.

PAD is a serious disease, but it is treatable. Early identification can mean the difference between a manageable diagnosis and an amputation. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact Cardiovascular Health Clinic today if you think you or a loved one may be at risk for PAD.