Your blood vessels never stop working from when you were born until you take your last breath. Their role in transporting blood, nutrients, and waste products to and from different parts of your body is crucial and is done throughout the clock. These blood vessels experience problems when conducting their transportation duties. They can self-repair, although conditions affecting the artery like peripheral arterial disease El Paso may require intervention through specialized care. More about peripheral artery disease is discussed below in detail.
What is Peripheral Artery Disease?
Peripheral artery disease is a typical problem affecting the circulatory system whereby your arteries are narrowed, thus decreasing blood flow to your limbs.
Peripheral arterial disease is characterized by your arms or legs not getting enough flow of blood to cope with demand. This causes side effects like pain in your leg when walking.
A buildup of fat deposits in your arteries may narrow your arteries, thus decreasing the amount of blood reaching your legs or arms.
Conventional treatment methods like eating a healthy diet, exercising, and quitting tobacco may successfully deal with the condition.
Signs and Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease
This condition may exist without visible symptoms or mild symptoms like claudication.
Claudication is characterized by cramping or muscle pain in your limbs triggered by any movement while disappearing quickly with several minutes of rest. This pain is felt in the site around the narrowed or clogged artery, with the calf being the most common area. Claudication pain levels vary, with severe claudication may hinder movement or other types of physical activity.
Peripheral Arterial Disease has signs and symptoms that include:
- Weakness or leg numbness
- Painful cramping in your thighs, calf muscles, either or both your hips after certain activities like walking
- Sores on your feet, toes, or legs that do not heal
- Shivers in your foot or lower leg as compared to the other leg
- Slow or inhibit hair growth on your legs and feet
- A change in your leg’s color
- Shiny skin on your legs
- The slow growth of toenails
- Erectile dysfunction in men
- Weak pulse or no pulse found in your feet or legs
- Aching and cramping pain when using your arms when doing activities like writing, knitting, or other manual duties
Peripheral arterial disease is most often caused by atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is characterized by fatty deposits bulking up your artery walls and decreasing blood flow. Atherosclerosis is mainly associated with your heart, although it may also affect arteries going to your limbs.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis is typically performed through a physical and if necessary other tests like:
- Ankle-brachial index
- Blood tests
Medications given include:
- High blood pressure medications
- Cholesterol-lowering medications
- Blood clot medications
- Blood sugar drugs
- Symptom-relief drugs
Operations that may be required in case medications do not work are:
- Bypass surgery
- Thrombolytic therapy
Treating peripheral arterial disease aims to minimize symptoms to resume your physical activities. The arterial blood clots may also be inhibited from going to other parts of your body. If you think you may have this condition, visit our website or call our offices in El Paso, TX, for assistance.