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Peripheral artery disease, known by its initials PAD is a circulatory condition that inhibits blood flow to the limbs.
Other symptoms of peripheral artery disease include sores on the legs, feet and toes which refuse to heal. In its progressive stage, you could experience pain even while resting or lying down and the pain could be intense to a point of disrupting sleep.
Obesity and smoking are risk factors as well as elevated levels of homocysteine which is a protein that helps in building and maintaining tissue. There are various causes of peripheral artery disease and atherosclerosis is one of the major causes.
Peripheral artery disease is treated to manage the symptoms and the progression of the disease. Other medications could be prescribed to reduce blood clots, increase blood flow and provide relief from the symptoms. Although research on this treatment is still being conducted, it has been successful in animal testing in which the animal model showed improved production of new blood vessels in the legs.
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Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries outside the heart and brain are narrowed or blocked by fatty material called plaque. Without treatment, PAD can lead to serious medical problems, including leg sores, infection, and amputation.
Peripheral artery disease results from the build up of plaque in the arteries outside the heart, mainly the arteries supplying the legs and feet. Pain or cramping in your calves, thighs, and buttocks during physical activity, that goes away when you rest. PAD develops when the main arteries that supply the lower part of your body — called the abdominal aorta and its major branches — become blocked by fats, cholesterol, and other materials that form a waxy substance called plaque. Lack of physical activity (less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity 5 days a week). If you have symptoms or risk factors, your doctor will give you a physical exam and use tests to check for PAD.
Treatment includes taking medicines and eating healthy foods, engaging in regular physical activity, and quitting smoking.
Medicines such as cilostazol and pentoxifylline help improve blood flow so you can walk farther before leg pain forces you to stop and rest. PAD treatment also includes controlling your diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol with physical activity and healthy eating habits. Peripheral angioplasty is a procedure in which the doctor inserts a tube with a deflated balloon on its tip into your narrowed artery.
Bypass surgery uses a blood vessel from another part of your body to create a detour around the narrowed section of your artery. Lower your blood cholesterol levels by eating healthy foods (high in fiber and low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat), and taking your cholesterol-lowering medicine. If you have diabetes, work with your doctor to keep your blood sugar under control and maintain an HbA1c of less than 7 percent. If you drink alcohol, have no more than 1 drink a day if you're a woman, 2 if you're a man.
Old age people, individuals with high cholesterol, with high blood pressure, with diabetes, with family history of arthrosclerosis, with smoking habit and obese people are prone to develop peripheral vascular disease. One should follow the instructions of the doctor with respect to diet modifications and lifestyle and take medications as instructed to get maximum benefits. Atherosclerosis, sometimes called "hardening of the arteries," occurs when cholesterol, calcium, and other substances build up in the inner lining of the arteries, forming a material called plaque. It can be an endarterectomy similar to the endarterectomy for stroke surgery, but we operate on the arteries of the leg rather than the neck. If an artery is blocked, then a tube is run from the normal functioning artery above to a normal fucntioning artery below. This is fairly major surgery and the pros and cons will be explained to you before making a decision. Intermittent claudicationIn patients who have disease in the arteries of the leg, they can sometimes get pain in the leg, which feels like cramp, when they walk. In a small number of patients, despite the above measures, their symptoms are very disabling or get worse. More importantly, if you have intermittent claudication it is a warning that you will also have disease (atherosclerosis) in other parts of the body. Hands with acrocyanosis (left) caused by perpipheral artery disease compared with a healthy hand (right).
Varicose veins are enlarged or twisted superficial veins, often found in the legs and caused by defective valves in the veins. A 71-year-old female patient with leg ulcers, a history venous insufficiency and varicose veins. Narrowing and blockage of the peripheral arteries can cause pain, changes in skin color, sores, ulcers and difficulty walking.
Most people however experience intermittent claudication which is characterized by pain while walking, cramping and muscle pain in the legs, arms as well as calf pain.

Color changes in the legs, cold sensations on the lower part of one leg, slow toenail growth, hair loss on the legs, shiny appearance of the skin on the legs, weak or no pulse on the legs or feet and erectile dysfunction in men are other symptoms you may need to be keen on. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor. This condition leads to the formation of fat deposits which clog up the arteries and hinder proper flow of blood. Angioplasty is a treatment that is pursued with PAD and the procedure involves unclogging the arteries with the help of a catheter. Bone marrow derived stem cells could help create new blood cells which could help provide relief for peripheral artery disease. You can slow it down by taking medicines and adopting healthy habits, like exercising and giving up cigarettes. A painless test that compares the blood pressure in your ankle to the blood pressure in your arm.
Sound waves make pictures of your arteries and measure blood flow to show if they are narrowed or blocked.
Dyes injected into arteries and x-rays show areas of narrowing or blockage in the arteries that supply the thighs and legs. A type of magnetic resonance imaging scan that uses a powerful magnetic field and radio waves to create 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional images to show narrowing or blockage in the arteries, without using injected dyes or x-rays. PAD occurs because of atherosclerosis in the abdominal aorta or its major branches that supply blood to the hips, thighs, and calves. These include antiplatelet medicines (such as aspirin or clopidogrel) and anticoagulant medicines (such as coumadin). Smoking causes your arteries to tighten (constrict) and increases your risk of PAD, stroke and coronary artery disease (CAD). Walk, ride a bike, or do other types of moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week.
HbA1c (hemoglobin A1c) is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar level for the previous 2 to 3 months. If you need to lose more, a weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is recommended until you reach a healthy weight.. Basically the artery of the major blood vessel gets blocked by plaque like deposits causing blockage in the normal blood flow. Inflammation of blood vessels can occur due to connective tissue damage or injury due to accidents or blood clotting disorders. A person with one or more risk factors given above has increased chances of developing this disease. Some people may have rest pain when there is not enough blood supply to the extremities (arms and legs) even while they are resting. He would look for change of skin color on the feet and hands and check the blood pressure on the limbs. In this procedure a thin long plastic tube is inserted into the groin and dye is injected into it. Usually the doctor starts with low dosage of aspirin and subsequently may increase the power according to the extent of peripheral vascular disease. A balloon in deflated condition is sent through it and inflated inside the artery for widening the gap to facilitate normal blood flow. Bypass surgery is one in which the surgeon will bypass the route that supplies blood to the heart and create graft for facilitating good blood flow. He should not eat fat rich diet and stick on to diet that helps in lowering the blood cholesterol.
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It is important that the risks and benefits are discussed with you before planning treatment.
A small wire is then passed into the artery and guided to the area where the  A deflated balloon is threaded over the wire and inflated once it is in the correct position so that the narrowed area is opened out.
This pain usually comes on after walking a certain distance and is typically relieved by resting. They are treated with a cholesterol lowering medication (statin) even if their blood cholesterol level is normal. These cases may benefit from treatment to widen the diseased artery (angioplasty) or to have the diseased artery bypassed.
It is very important that progression of this disease is halted but institution of the above medical regime.
Ischemia is a lack of blood supply to an area of the body, caused by a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply it. The purplish blue color is a result of spasms in the small blood vessels that reduce blood flow. Venous insufficiency is the failure of valves in the veins to function properly, which interferes with blood flow to the heart. Common symptoms include cramping, pain or tiredness in the leg or hip muscles while walking or climbing stairs. People with diabetes may need to be screened for PAD and those aged 70 are at a high risk as well. Atherosclerosis doesn’t affect the heart only it affects various arteries throughout the body including your limbs. The medications prescribed with peripheral artery disease are meant to lower cholesterol levels and high blood pressure as well as control blood sugar levels.

Plaque reduces blood and oxygen flow to your hip (buttock), thigh, and calf muscles, causing pain and tissue damage. Your chances also increase if you have close family members with PAD, coronary artery disease (CAD), or stroke.
If the pressure in your ankle isn't at least 90 percent of the pressure in your arm, it may indicate a lack of blood flow to your legs due to PAD. People with PAD often have atherosclerosis in other arteries, including those that supply the heart, brain, and kidneys. If blood flow to your legs and feet is reduced for a long time, tissue in those areas can become infected or die.
The major artery that supplies blood to vital organs like heart, brain, arms or legs can get either partially or completely blocked due to atherosclerosis.
This occurs due to conditions like prolonged diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, infectious diseases like lupus and old age.
This condition is somewhat serious causing sharp pain on the feet and hands and often pain is felt during night when the person is at complete rest. He may order for ultrasound scan of legs or arms to check for the collection of plaque particles or fatty deposits on the artery. The surgeon would monitor the path of the dye which gives the right picture of problematic areas of artery.
The methods of treatment include medications combined with exercises, angioplasty or surgery. People with lesions inside the artery or blood vessel with number of constrictions in the artery can be corrected by surgical procedure. If atherosclerosis affects the brain arteries (carotid or cerebral arteries), a stroke can occur.
This tube can be a vein, which runs along the inside of your leg or a synthetic tube made of Dacron, as used in aneurysm repairs.
They can only walk a shorter distance if they walk up a hill or slope or if they try to walk faster.
There is even greater benefit if patients can increase their exercise and try to walk through the pain. These cases should be referred to Stuart Walker for an assessment and to discuss the options. Spasms are often triggered by cold weather and result in excessively sweaty, often cold hands. PAD is a condition resulting from obstructed peripheral arteries, caused by underlying conditions such as atherosclerosis, stenosis, an embolism or a thrombus.
Patients with PAD have a four-to-five times higher risk of myocardial infarction and stroke. Peripheral artery disease could be a sign of atherosclerosis which is the widespread buildup of fat deposits in the arteries. Besides atherosclerosis, injury, inflammation of the blood vessels, exposure to radiation and a usual formation of your muscles and ligaments could be major cause of PAD.
People with diabetes might confuse PAD leg pain with neuropathy, a burning discomfort in the feet and thighs that is common with diabetes. Special types of contrast agents may be used to make the blood vessels show up more clearly. The blood vessel becomes narrow and constricted due to plaque like fatty deposits thereby blocking the oxygenated blood supply to vital organs. Smoking or prolonged use of tobacco or stressful lifestyle can cause damage to the blood vessels causing PVD. For some people the pain becomes intolerable that they have to stop walking or doing exercise. Medications of anti-clotting drugs like statins are prescribed to prevent blood clotting on the extremities.
Smoking can definitely increase the chance of getting heart attack or stroke and hence quitting smoking is the only way to prevent it.
The pain is due to a mismatch between the blood supply to the leg and the blood required by the leg muscles, usually due to atherosclerosis as shown in the picture above.
People who have symptoms of PAD also have an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. Peripheral vascular disease can be caused by diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity.
In other words the pain is felt in the form of severe cramps on the legs or arms and the pain becomes worse while doing exercises.
For restoring the normal blood flow on the legs and arms drugs like cilostazol or Trental are given. For individuals with high blood pressure and high cholesterol statin medications are prescribed. If you have a buildup of plaque in your leg arteries, you are likely to have plaque buildup in other arteries—such as those leading to the heart or brain. If this plaque ruptures, it can cause clots to form that may cause a heart attack or stroke. In rare cases peripheral vascular disease can cause ulcers and gangrene and death of the cells on the arms and legs requiring amputation.

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