What is peripheral artery disease (PAD) and how does it affect our body

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What is peripheral artery disease (PAD) and how does it affect our body

Peripheral artery disease is usually characterized by pain and fatigue, mostly in the legs, and often during exercise. The pain caused by peripheral artery disease can be reduced by giving adequate rest to the affected areas. This is a disease of the arteries in the legs. Common symptoms include numbness in the legs, painful cramps in one or both hips. Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is an accumulation of fat and cholesterol in the arteries in the legs or arms. This makes it difficult for our blood to carry oxygen and nutrients to the tissues in those areas. PAD is a long-term disease, but it can be improved by exercising and eating low-fat and quitting tobacco products. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is mostly caused by a buildup of fatty, cholesterol-rich deposits, also known as plaque, on artery walls. This fatty build-up is also called atherosclerosis. Many plaque deposits are hard on the outside and soft on the inside. Blood clots can form around the plaque, making our arteries narrower.

What are the most powerful risk factors for peripheral artery disease

1. Smoking is the biggest risk factor for PAD.

2. Having diabetes.

3. Having a disease of blood clotting.

4. Increasing age, and especially after reaching the age of 50.

5. Having a family history of heart or blood vessel disease.

6. Having high blood pressure.

7. Having abdominal obesity.

8. Having high cholesterol.

9. Kidney disease.

What are the serious health problems that can develop due to peripheral artery disease

PAD further increases the risk of developing non-healing wounds in our feet. These wounds develop into areas of dead tissue and eventually it becomes necessary to amputate a leg. People who have peripheral artery disease have an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, mini-stroke, or problems with their kidney (renal) arteries. People with PAD can be beset by serious health problems, including:

Heart attack problems: Our heart muscles are more prone to permanent damage due to prolonged lack of blood supply.

Transient ischemic attack: The risk of a temporary blockage in the blood supply to our brain.

Kidney artery disease or stenosis: A narrowing or blockage of an artery that supplies blood to our kidneys.

Stroke problem: There is an increased risk of blockage of blood flow to our brain.

Amputation problems: The risk of amputation of the leg and sometimes part or all of the arm, especially in people with diabetes.

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