Do Lifestyle Habits Determine Your Risk Of Developing Peripheral Arterial Disease?

When the arteries in the peripheral region of your body narrow, blood flow is constricted and does not flow to your legs. This condition is known as peripheral arterial disease and does not only affect the legs but can affect other extremities like the arms. When blood does not flow into body parts, a patient begins to experience symptoms such as pain. The specialists at Prime Heart and Vascular treat peripheral artery disease in Frisco to help relieve discomfort and other symptoms, enabling patients to resume activities without any limitations.

What are the causes of peripheral arterial disease?

The leading cause of peripheral arterial disease is arteriosclerosis. This condition involves the buildup of fatty deposits in arterial walls. Over time, the walls become narrow, and blood does not flow to satisfy demand. However, there are other causes of peripheral arterial disease like inflammation of the vessel’s walls which can cause it to reduce in size. Specific injuries can also cause arteries to narrow and restrict blood flow from the heart to the limbs. Radiation exposure is another cause.

What are the symptoms of peripheral arterial disease?

In the initial stages of the condition, many patients do not exhibit any symptoms. However, there are those that experience mild symptoms, including claudication that involves pain when walking. Claudication symptoms are usually due to motion but disappear when the patient rests. Although the discomfort depends on the region of the affected artery, most patients with peripheral arterial disease report having calf pain. Moreover, the severity of symptoms depends on the degree of arterial damage. Other symptoms patients experience include:

  • Limb weakness or numbness
  • Coldness of the feet
  • Chronic sores
  • Slower hair and nail growth on the affected limb
  • Male patients may get erectile dysfunction

What are the risk factors of peripheral arterial disease?

The development of peripheral arterial disease is not imminent for everyone; certain factors make you vulnerable to getting the disease. Some of the risk factors include:

  • Smoking
  • Medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity
  • Genetics: Some patients with peripheral arterial disease have had a family history of the condition or other cardiovascular complications like stroke.
  • Aging: The older you get, the higher your risk of developing atherosclerosis.

How can you prevent peripheral arterial disease?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to lower your risk of developing peripheral arterial disease. Some of the habits to improve on include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Consuming a healthy balanced diet: Avoid sugary and fast foods with saturated fat. Always go for the option that will lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Exercise regularly: Movement will improve your cardiovascular health and break down accumulated fat into energy. Moreover, exercising will help you maintain a healthy weight.

What is the treatment of peripheral arterial disease?

Peripheral arterial disease can cause severe complications if you do not seek medical attention in time. Symptoms like chronic ischemia may cause tissue death that may result in the need for limb amputation. Treatments of peripheral arterial disease include supervised walking, physical therapy, and medications. Surgical procedures are also an option to remove blockages. Schedule an appointment with Prime Heart and Vascular to have a doctor assess your limbs for any sign of peripheral arterial disease.