Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that occurs when there is a buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the limbs, particularly the legs. This plaque buildup narrows and hardens the arteries, reducing blood flow to the legs and feet. PAD can cause symptoms such as leg pain, cramping, and fatigue when walking or exercising, which is called intermittent claudication. It can also cause skin discoloration, slow healing wounds, and even gangrene in severe cases.
PAD can be a sign of more widespread atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of plaque in the arteries throughout the body and can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Risk factors for PAD include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, a family history of PAD or cardiovascular disease, and aging. Treatment options for PAD include lifestyle modifications such as quitting smoking, exercise, and a healthy diet, medications to manage symptoms and underlying risk factors, and in severe cases, procedures such as angioplasty or bypass surgery to improve blood flow
The symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some people may not experience any symptoms, while others may experience:
Treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) aims to reduce symptoms, improve blood flow, and prevent complications. Depending on the severity of PAD, treatment options may include: