Peripheral Artery Disease Florida
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) can have a significant impact on your life, often causing pain and limiting your ability to maintain an active lifestyle. This can lead to other health issues, as well as social problems.
PAD may also increase the risk of developing similar issues in the carotid arteries, which can cause a stroke, and in the heart, leading to a heart attack. If you suspect that you may have PAD, it is important to seek medical advice to help reduce the risk of serious health complications.
Vein Health Clinic can assist with diagnosing and recommending the correct course of treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease. Florida residents can contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss these options.
What is Peripheral Artery Disease?
Peripheral artery disease is a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the arms and legs. The plaque causes the arteries to narrow and harden, reducing blood flow to the limbs.
This can lead to pain, numbness, and other symptoms in the affected areas. PAD can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems. Obesity is believed to play a role in the onset of PAD.
Cause of Peripheral Artery Disease
The most common cause of peripheral artery disease is atherosclerosis, a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries, narrowing them and restricting blood flow.
Other causes include:
- Diabetes: Diabetes can cause a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries, which can lead to peripheral artery disease by narrowing or blocking the arteries and reducing blood flow to the legs and feet.
- Smoking: Smoking is a major risk factor for peripheral artery disease. Smoking increases the risk because it causes a buildup of plaque in the arteries. This can lead to blockages and reduce the amount of blood and oxygen getting to the legs and feet.
- High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can damage the walls of the arteries and cause them to become narrow and hard. This can lead to peripheral artery disease by reducing the amount of blood that can flow through the arteries to the legs and feet.
- High Cholesterol: High cholesterol can cause a build-up of plaque in the arteries, which can lead to blockages and reduce the amount of blood and oxygen getting to the legs and feet. This can lead to peripheral artery disease by reducing the amount of blood flow to the legs and feet.
Rare causes of peripheral artery disease include Buerger’s disease, caused by inflammation in the arteries, and fibromuscular dysplasia, caused by abnormal growth of cells in the walls of the arteries.
Symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease
The most common symptom of PAD include:
- Leg Pain, Especially During Exercise (Claudication): Claudication is one of the most common symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). It is characterized by a cramping or dull ache in the muscles of the legs, particularly in the calves, during exercise. It is caused by inadequate blood flow to the legs due to blocked or narrowed arteries, which restricts the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.
- Weak or Absent Pulses in the Legs or Feet: This is a classic symptom of PAD. When the arteries of the legs are blocked or narrowed, the pressure of the blood is reduced and the pulse can become weak or nonexistent. This is a sign that the arteries are not able to deliver enough blood to the legs.
- Leg Numbness or Weakness: Numbness or weakness in the legs can be a sign of PAD. This is caused by a decreased blood flow to the legs, which can lead to a lack of oxygen and nutrients in the muscles. This can cause the muscles to become weak and can cause a tingling or numb sensation in the legs.
- Coldness in the Lower Leg or Foot, Compared with the Other Side: A decreased blood flow to the legs can cause one side of the leg to be colder than the other. This is because the coldness is caused by the lack of blood flow to the affected area, which can lead to a decrease in temperature.
- Sores on the Toes, Feet, or Legs that Won’t Heal: Non-healing sores on the toes, feet, or legs can be a sign of PAD. This is because the decreased blood flow can prevent the sores from receiving the oxygen and nutrients they need to heal.
- A Change in the Color of the Legs: A change in the color of the legs can be a sign of PAD. This is because the decreased blood flow can cause the skin to become pale or discolored.
- A Decrease in Hair Growth on the Feet and Legs: A decrease in hair growth on the feet and legs can be a sign of PAD. This is because the decreased blood flow can prevent the hair follicles from receiving the oxygen and nutrients they need to produce hair.
- Slower Growth of Toenails: Slower growth of toenails can be a sign of PAD. This is because the decreased blood flow can prevent the toenails from receiving the oxygen and nutrients they need to grow.
- Erectile Dysfunction in Men: Erectile dysfunction can be a sign of PAD. This is because the decreased blood flow can prevent the penis from receiving the oxygen and nutrients it needs to achieve an erection.
Risks of Peripheral Arterial Disease
There are many risks associated with peripheral arterial disease if left untreated which are: Pain: PAD can cause pain in the affected limb due to decreased blood flow. This pain is typically worse when walking or exercising.
- Tissue death: If PAD is left untreated, it can cause tissue death (known as gangrene) in the affected limb. This can lead to amputation of the affected limb.
- Heart attack or stroke: PAD can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke due to the buildup of plaque in the arteries.
- Reduced mobility: PAD can cause reduced mobility due to pain and a decrease in blood flow. This can lead to a decrease in the ability to exercise, walk and perform daily activities.
- Diabetes: PAD can increase the risk of developing diabetes due to the decrease in blood flow to the extremities.
Diagnosing Peripheral Artery Disease
The diagnosis of peripheral artery disease (PAD) is typically made by a combination of a physical exam, medical history, imaging tests, and laboratory tests.
A physical exam may include a check of your pulse and blood pressure in your arms and legs and an evaluation of your legs for signs of decreased blood flow, such as weak or no pulse, pale or cool skin, or hair loss.
Your doctor will ask about your risk factors for PAD, such as smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a family history of cardiovascular disease.
Imaging Tests such as ultrasound, magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), and computed tomography angiography (CTA) can be used to visualize the arteries and detect areas of blockage or narrowing.
Blood tests can be used to measure your cholesterol levels, as well as to detect inflammation and clotting disorders, which can lead to PAD.
Ankle-brachial index (ABI) is a test used to measure the ratio of the blood pressure in the ankle to the blood pressure in the arm. It is most commonly used to diagnose peripheral artery disease (PAD).
It is performed by taking blood pressure readings at the same time from both the ankle and the arm with a blood pressure cuff. A normal ABI is considered to be a ratio of 1.0 or greater. A low ABI indicates that there is a narrowing or blockage of the arteries in the legs.
Our clinic offers a full range of diagnostics and tests to correctly diagnose this condition.
Peripheral Artery Disease Treatment Florida
Peripheral Artery Disease treatments and lifestyle changes include:
- Exercise is an important part of managing peripheral artery disease (PAD). Regular physical activity can help improve circulation and reduce pain. Walking, cycling, and swimming are all good forms of exercise for those with PAD.
- Several medications can help improve circulation and reduce pain in those with PAD. These medications include antiplatelet agents (such as aspirin and clopidogrel), cholesterol-lowering drugs (such as statins), and medications to lower blood pressure (such as ACE inhibitors).
- Angioplasty is a procedure used to open the affected artery by widening it. It is done by inflating a tiny balloon inside the artery to widen it and then inserting a stent to keep it open.
- Surgery can be used to bypass blocked arteries and restore blood flow. This is usually done when angioplasty is not possible or successful.
- Lifestyle Changes: It is important to make lifestyle changes to help manage PAD. These changes include quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight.
The cost of peripheral artery disease treatment at any of our Florida clinics is determined on a case-by-case basis.
After an initial consultation, we can give you an exact figure for the treatment, as well as any potential health insurance reimbursements. Please reach out to us to learn more about pricing.
How to Schedule a Consultation
For more information on our vein care services and the cost of each service, or to schedule a consultation at our clinic, please contact us at one of the following:
Frequently Asked Questions
The best treatment for peripheral artery disease depends on the severity of the condition. Lifestyle changes including quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly are recommended to reduce symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.Medications such as antiplatelet and anticoagulants can be used to reduce the risk of blood clots and improve circulation. In more severe cases, surgery may be recommended to open blocked arteries.
Peripheral artery disease can be prevented or reversed in some cases. Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, and controlling diabetes and high blood pressure can help prevent or reduce the symptoms of peripheral artery disease.In some cases, medications or surgery may also be necessary to improve blood flow in the blood vessel and reduce the risk of complications.
Yes, they are related. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a form of atherosclerosis, a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries, which can also affect the coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart).PAD and coronary artery disease (CAD) share many risk factors, including smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a sedentary lifestyle.
This information is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment. It is aimed at presenting a perspective only and is not a substitute for a prescription. Anyone experiencing a medical condition should consult their doctor.