Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is characterized by poor circulation in the lower limbs. This is caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply the legs, ankles, and feet. As plaque sticks to the walls of the arteries, it can form blockages and make the arteries harden and narrow. Eventually, the arteries become so narrow that blood can no longer flow adequately to the lower limbs. Without an adequate blood supply, the lower limb muscles will not have enough oxygen and nutrients to function properly, leading to various symptoms and complications. 

The symptoms of PAD include leg cramps, pain, weakness, and fatigue. These symptoms tend to come and go, usually worsening with physical activity, and are known as intermittent claudication. As PAD progresses, the lower limbs can also become numb, cold, and discolored. The risk of developing sores and wounds, which tend to heal slowly and poorly and may become infected, also increases. 

Some people with PAD have no symptoms. This can be dangerous, as they are at risk of cardiovascular problems without even being aware of it. Because of this, it is important to get screened for PAD, especially if you have a personal or family history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or cardiovascular problems. Your chiropodist can perform simple, safe, and non-invasive vascular tests to assess your risk of developing PAD.

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