Symptoms of P.A.D.

If you suffer from achy, painful legs and limbs, or hand or foot pain that worsens over time, you may be suffering from Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D.) or another serious circulatory condition.  P.A.D. sufferers are more than six times likely to be at risk for heart attack or stroke and usually exhibit the following:

  • Pain in the legs, thighs or buttocks
  • Cramps
  • Limb fatigue
  • Weakness in muscles of the limbs
  • Foot or toe pain that disturbs sleep
  • Sores, wounds or ulcers that heal slowly or not at all
  • Noticeable changes in color (blueness or paleness) or temperature of the limbs
  • Diminished hair and nail growth on affected limbs and digits

What is P.A.D.?

According to current statistics, Peripheral Artery Disease affects more than 8 million adults over the age of 50 in the United States. P.A.D. is a serious condition which occurs when arteries in the body become clogged or narrowed by fatty deposits called plaque.  This leads to decreased circulation, morbidity and often, death.

Despite its risk and prevalence, less than 25% of people affected with P.A.D. undergo treatment. Adults with diabetes, hypertension or who smoke cigarettes are at increased risk of P.A.D. Diagnosis is critical as those who suffer from P.A.D. are up to six times more likely to experience a stroke or heart attack.  If left untreated, P.A.D. can lead to a very poor quality of life, and in some cases, necessitate the amputation of the affected limb or limbs.

Who is at Risk?

Like many other illnesses, those most seriously affected by P.A.D. often have these risk factors:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Family history of heart attack, stroke or P.A.D.

What to Do if You Think You May Have P.A.D.

The best course of action is to see your health care provider right away. At PrimeMedical, we specialize in diseases of the arteries and circulatory system and have an excellent treatment program for our patients who suffer from P.A.D. Early detection and treatment can help save limbs and get our patients back on the path to living well again.

Diagnosing P.A.D.

PrimeMedical utilizes the latest technologies and diagnostic equipment to diagnose P.A.D. and other conditions of the vascular and circulatory systems, including:

  • Ankle Brachial Test – the purpose of this test is to evaluate blood flow to the legs. This non-invasive test enables your medical professional to determine if there is any narrowing or restriction of an artery or blood vessel that reduces blood flow, how serious the blockage is and exactly where it is located. This test is done by measuring blood pressure at the ankle and in the arm while a person is at rest.
  • Ultrasound – or Doppler Imaging, is a non-invasive method that visualizes the artery with sound waves and measures the blood flow to indicate the presence of a blockage.
  • Computed Tomographic Angiography (CTA) – is a non-invasive test that can show the arteries in the abdomen, pelvis and legs. This test is particularly useful in patients with pacemakers or stents.
  • Magnetic Resonance Arteriogram (MRA) – is a non-invasive test that yields information similar to that of a CT without the use of X-rays.
  • Peripheral Angiogram – a peripheral angiogram is a test that uses dye and special X-rays to show the inside of arteries that supply blood to the legs. This test allows the physician to determine if narrowing or blockage exists, the location and to what extent.

Not unlike a coronary angiogram to view the coronary artery anatomy, a peripheral angiogram procedure involves threading a long, thin flexible tube (catheter) into the arteries of the leg. Dye is injected through the catheter and special X-rays are taken while the dye is flowing through the arteries.

Treatments for P.A.D.

Once you have been diagnosed with P.A.D., there are a number of treatment options available, depending upon the severity and progression of the disease.  Because P.A.D. is a dangerous condition that can lead to stroke or heart attack, PrimeMedical will aggressively treat your cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure immediately to reduce risk factors.  Cessation of addictive habits like smoking is also critical.  Changes in diet and exercise will also be outlined.

If you or a loved one may have P.A.D., call PrimeMedical located in San Pedro, California today at 310.548.0201 for a comprehensive P.A.D. evaluation.

Posted in: Uncategorized