Peripheral arterial disease is prevalent among middle-aged and older adults, but it can also affect younger adults. The cramping and intermittent leg claudication are not only frustrating, but they can prevent you from accomplishing your daily tasks, affecting the quality of your life. You don’t need to tolerate the painful leg claudication when peripheral arterial disease Coconut Creek treatments from South Florida Vascular Associates can give you the relief you deserve.
What is peripheral arterial disease (PAD)?
Peripheral artery disease refers to a chronic circulatory illness that results from the accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries, restricting blood flow. The clogging of your arteries prevents the supply of vital nutrients and oxygen to your extremities leading to leg pain and discomfort. The peripheral arterial disease may develop in one leg before spreading to the other leg. Leg cramps that come when walking or running and disappearing with rest may be a warning sign of PAD. These cramps often occur in the legs, but they can also develop in other parts of your body like your kidneys, arms, and stomach.
What symptoms indicate that you have a PAD?
Leg pain and discomfort are the signature symptoms of PAD, especially among older people. In some cases, you may not experience PAD symptoms until they advance. The most prevalent symptom of PAD is leg claudication, which patients describe as cramping, pain, or aching that worsens when walking and improves when at rest. Some people may struggle with leg pain at night, disrupting their sleep. In severe PAD cases, it may be difficult for foot or leg wounds to heal normally due to an insufficient supply of necessary nutrients and oxygen. Such wounds may develop into ulcers, leading to gangrene ( tissue death). If gangrene is left untreated, it could deteriorate and prompt leg amputation.
What factors contribute to peripheral arterial disease?
PAD is usually an advanced form of atherosclerosis, which develops due to high cholesterol in your blood. High cholesterol levels and fatty deposits can build up in your artery walls, narrowing the affected arteries. These deposits may accumulate over time until they minimize blood flow, causing peripheral arterial disease. This hardened plaque may break open in some cases, leading to a blood clot, further reducing blood flow or cutting it entirely. Other factors contributing to PAD include hypertension, obesity, an inactive lifestyle, smoking, and diabetes.
How can you treat PAD?
During your appointment at South Florida Vascular Associates, your provider examines you thoroughly to determine the severity of your medical condition. The team may also use Doppler ultrasound to assess your blood flow and ankle-branchial index to evaluate the differences in blood pressure between your arm and ankle. Your treatment plan may involve several treatments such as medications, revascularization, weight loss, and adopting a balanced diet. Revascularization is a procedure that involves unblocking the narrowed arteries and restoring blood flow.
South Florida Vascular Associates specialists often recommend minimally invasive revascularization procedures with state-of-art equipment.
Call the Florida Vascular Associates office or arrange for a consultation online for a comprehensive medical exam and treatment if you have painful leg cramps.
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