The Essential Guide to Peripheral Artery Disease

The Essential Guide to Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also known as peripheral arterial disease, is a prevalent condition where narrowed arteries reduce the blood flow to the arms or legs. In PAD, legs are particularly affected and the insufficient blood supply can lead to leg pain during even the most basic activities like walking with other associated symptoms. It is typically indicative of atherosclerosis, the condition that results from the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries, causing constriction that hampers blood flow in the legs and occasionally the arms. Treatment for peripheral artery disease involves a comprehensive approach, encompassing exercise, a nutritious diet, and the cessation of smoking or tobacco use. Mint Hospitals Chennai own all the required equipment and technology needed to address PAD.

Symptoms of PAD

Symptoms of PAD may include but are not restricted to:

  • Feeling chilly or cold in the lower leg
  • Finding a weak pulse or even no pulse in the lower legs and feet
  • Slowed growth of nails
  • Sores that will not heal on the lower body
  • Cramping in hips, thighs and calf muscles after walking and climbing stairs
  • Cramping and aching in arms when doing tasks that require arm movements
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Alopecia or slowed hair growth
  • Changes in skin colour on the legs 
  • Numbness or weakness in the foot

Visit a multispecialty hospital if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and get a diagnosis for PAD with a skilled medical expert.

Workout to manage the symptoms of PAD

Exercising with PAD might help you manage your symptoms and while it might be the last thing on your mind, physical activity in moderation may enable you to feel better.

Plaque made up of fatty acids may clog up your blood vessels and cause cramping. You can overcome this with moderate exercise to help increase blood circulation. The actual reason for cramping is the insufficient oxygen availability due to narrower arteries.

Walking is the most appropriate exercise for people with PAD. It refrains from getting too taxing on them while offering the necessary circulation required to prevent cramping. Several studies have been conducted on people with PAD to gauge their performance and overall health after a mild exercise like walking.

How to enhance your walking to suit PAD?

The following actions are essential to making the most of your walking program, whether it is supervised or not:

  1. First, get warm. Give each leg’s calf and thigh muscles a 10- to 15-second stretch.
  2. Get moving. Even if it can hurt a little, walk quickly enough for five minutes.
  3. Come to a stop and relax. When mild to severe pain lasts for five minutes, stop and take it easy until the pain subsides.
  4. Go through the walk-and-stop pattern multiple times. Gradually increase the amount of time you spend walking each session to 35 minutes throughout the first two months of your walking program, excluding rest periods. 

Continue adding minutes until you reach your 50-minute walking target.

  1. De-stress. Walk carefully for five minutes to finish. Stretch your thigh and calf muscles once more after that.
  2. Persist in it. Eventually, try to walk for fifty minutes, three or five times a week at the very least. Push yourself to work harder as that gets easier. You may try walking up stairs or hills, or you might modify your treadmill program to include an elevation.

Remember: It will take a few months to restore your walking, yet peripheral artery disease takes years to develop in your legs. 

How prevalent is peripheral vascular disease?

PAD affects 8 to 12 million people on a regular basis. But occasionally, medical professionals fail to adequately diagnose or treat PAD. The real figures are most likely higher.

What physical effects does peripheral artery disease cause?

Claudication, a medical term for leg pain that begins with walking or exercise and subsides with rest, is the most common symptom of PAD. The leg muscles are not getting enough oxygen, which is the cause of the pain.

The risks associated with PAD go far beyond walking difficulties. Your legs or feet can become infected with a non-healing sore if you have peripheral artery disease. These sores may become gangrenous (areas of dead tissue) in cases of severe PAD, necessitating your 

What are the peripheral artery disease risk factors?

The primary risk factor for PAD and its complications is tobacco use. As a matter of fact, 80% of individuals diagnosed with PAD are either current or former smokers. The risk of PAD increases by 400% with tobacco use. Additionally, it triggers PAD symptoms nearly ten years earlier.

People with PAD who smoke have higher odds of the following when compared to nonsmokers of the same age:

  • die from a stroke or heart attack.
  • have less favorable outcomes from leg bypass surgery procedures.
  • Get a limb amputated.

The doctors at Mint Hospital Chennai are equipped to identify these risk factors in their formative stages.

Modifications in lifestyle

The first step in treating PAD is changing your lifestyle to lower your risk factors. Among the adjustments you can make to control your condition are:

Give up using tobacco products. Find out more about smoking cessation programs from your healthcare provider.

Consume a well-balanced diet that is low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium and high in fibre. Don’t exceed 30% of your daily calories from fat. You should not consume more than 7% of your calories from saturated fat. Steer clear of trans fats, including those found in goods containing hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Work out. Begin a regular exercise regimen, like walking. PAD can be treated with walking. Regular walkers are able to extend the distance they can cover before experiencing leg pain.

Visit Mint Hospitals Chennai to get a proper diagnosis and ensure that you get the treatment on time for PAD. Following the advice of a skilled medical professional will help those with PAD live a regular life by navigating the condition as a manageable concern.

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