What is Peripheral Arterial Disease?
Peripheral arterial disease(PAD), or more commonly known as poor circulation is a condition in which there is restriction of blood flow in the arteries of the leg(s). This restricition results from the build-up of material in the blood, such as cholesterol and glucose, that stick to the walls of arteries and narrows the artieries. Since artieries carry nutrients in oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body, any narrowing of them, causes less blood and nutrients to reach the tissue in the legs and the feet.
The presence of PAD can be an indication of other arterial diseases elsewhere in the body that can affect the brain and the heart, increasing your risk for heart attack or stroke.
What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Diease?
The early stages of peripheral arterial diease usually have no symptoms, and unfortunately by the time symptoms are noticed, the artieries in the legs and the feet have become significantly blocked. With that being said, yearly visits, especially for individuals over the age of 50, with Dr. Shankar Yamini located in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles can help you detect perherial arterial diease in the early stages.
The common symptoms associated with peripheral arterial diease include:
- Leg pain, most commonly cramping, while walking
- Leg pain, most commonly cramping, while resting with leg laying flat
- Numbness and weakness in the legs and/or feet
- Cold legs and/or feet
- Ulcers or sores on legs, feet, or toes that will not heal
- Change of color or legs and/or feet
- Changes in toenail color and thickness
If any of these symptoms are presented, prompt evaluation of the legs, feet and the peripheral arteries is necessary. Unfortunately, untreated peripheral arterial diease can have debilitating and limb-threatening consequences as tissue can die without any blood supply. Early detection can significantly help with the treatment process in providing more conservative treatment options and a more timely recovery period. Dr. Syamak Yamini in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles can provide comprehensive physical and arterial exams that can accurately and promptly detect peripheral arterial diease.
Foot Problems with Peripheral Arterial Disease
Due to the nature of peripheral arterial disease, structural deformities of the foot( such as hammertoes, and bunion) or dermatological conditions such as ingrown toenails often becomes more serious concern when peripheral arterial disease is present. This is because blood is necessary for fast and proper healing and since with the condition blood flow in the legs and feet is restricted, small problems such has cuts in the feet can results in major complications.
In addition, the presence both of peripheral arterial disease and diabetes can further increase the potential for foot complications. The reason for this is that diabetes causes neuropathy in the feet, which makes the feet numb. This can be problematic because patients cannot feel pain when the feet are injured and as a result, they will not get treatment in a timely manner which can complicate the extend of the injury.
However, once peripheral arterial disease is detected, it may be corrected or at the very minimum it can be improved.
How is Peripheral Arterial Disease Diagnosed?
To diagnose the condition, Dr. Syamak Yamini located in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles will obtain a comprehensive medical history in addition to doing a physical examination of the legs and the feet. The physical exam will revival important health information such has the presence of pulse in the feet and legs, skin condition, and any foot deformities. Depending on the presence of these risk factors and their respective severity, Dr.Syamak Yamini may order further tests to confirm the presence of peripheral arterial disease and/or refer you to a vascular specialist for additional testing and treatment.
What are the General Treatment Options of Peripheral Arterial Disease?
- Lifestyle changes: like quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and eating a balanced diet
- Medications: to improve blood flow, prevent blood clots, and control cholesterol and blood glucose levels
- Surgery: in severe cases, various surgical options may be used to improve blood flow
Tips on Avoiding the Effects of Peripheral Arterial Disease
Getting regular foot exam from Dr. Syamak Yamini located in Porter Ranch, Encino, and Los Angeles can help you keep your feet healthy in addition to detect serious medical conditions early. It is also important to get immediate medical attention if you notice any changes in your feet as small problems can worsen very quickly if you suffer from peripheral arterial diease.
Peripheral Arterial Disease is a condition that requires ongoing attention. As such, various things can be done on a daily basis to avoid complications and major issues. These include:
- Washing your feet daily: Use lukewarm water and a mild soap. Be sure to thoroughly dry your feet
- Keep the foot skin soft: apply non-alcoholic lotion over the top and bottom of the foot but not in between the toes
- Trimming the toenails: be diligent to trim straight across and file the edges to avoid infected ingrowns
- Always wear shoes and socks: to avoid cut and abrasions
- Choose the right shoes: to avoid blisters and break in new shoes slowly over time
- Daily feet exams: check for sores, cuts, rashes and calluses and other abnormalities.