Your heart continually pumps out freshly oxygenated blood along your arteries to every part of your body. If the arteries in your legs become narrowed or blocked, it can have painful consequences, but the team at Verma Health in Boynton Beach, Florida, can help. They provide screenings and diagnostics to identify peripheral arterial disease (PAD), as well as a range of state-of-the-art treatments. If you need to arrange a screening for PAD, call Verma Health today or book an appointment online.
Peripheral arterial disease or PAD is a circulatory problem caused by the narrowing of the arteries. Some people’s arteries start to suffer from a build-up of plaque, a substance made of fats and other particles that sticks to the walls of your arteries.
The peripheral arteries are the smaller blood vessels that carry blood to your legs and arms. If plaque buildup starts blocking these arteries, it’s known as peripheral arterial disease, peripheral artery disease, or PAD.
Peripheral arterial disease often causes no symptoms at all, or your symptoms might be so mild you don’t realize there’s anything wrong. However, as the disease progresses, you might develop a condition called claudication.
Claudication causes pain and cramps in your leg muscles that are worse when you’re moving and ease off when you sit down. In some cases, claudication pain can reach an intensity that makes it hard for you to walk.
Other symptoms you might experience in your legs and feet if you have PAD include:
The Verma Health team runs screening tests for peripheral arterial disease. If you’re over 65, you should attend a screening exam. You should attend screenings from the age of 50 if you smoke or have diabetes, and before you’re 50 if you have multiple risk factors for peripheral arterial disease.
There are several procedures the team at Verma Health can use to diagnose peripheral arterial disease.
ABI compares a blood pressure reading from your arm to one from your ankle. The two readings are about the same in a person who doesn’t have peripheral arterial disease, but significantly lower in your ankle if you do have PAD.
Doppler ultrasound uses diagnostic imaging technology to examine how well your blood flows and locate narrowed or blocked arteries.
Angiography involves using a dye that highlights the veins on diagnostic imaging devices.
The underlying cause of PAD is usually related to lifestyle, so making healthier choices like losing weight and cutting down on cholesterol are vital.
In some cases, these changes are all patients need. If your condition is more advanced, the Verma Health team might also prescribe cholesterol-lowering, blood-thinning, or high blood pressure medications.
If the narrowing is severe or there are blockages in the arteries, you may need to undergo a surgical procedure such as balloon angioplasty with or without a stent, or bypass surgery.
To schedule a screening test for peripheral arterial disease or arrange a consultation, call Verma Health today, or book an appointment online.