Peripheral Vascular Disease
Today it is well understood that patients who show signs of peripheral vascular disease (sometimes called peripheral arterial disease) and who do not seek treatment may eventually suffer not only considerable pain, discomfort or even actual loss of limb, but also an increase in cardiac mortality.
It is alarming that over 60% of lower extremity amputations in the United States and worldwide are performed without any vascular evaluation such as non-invasive vascular tests or angiograms.
Symptoms of Peripheral Vascular Disease
The most common symptom of peripheral vascular disease is cramping of the calf muscle with increased activity. Other times, the only symptoms are leg or hip weakness. In addition, peripheral vascular disease is also indicated by non-healing sores or ulcers, especially on the toes or feet.
You can have PAD without having symptoms – at least in the early stages. This is because your body creates small arteries that “re-route” blood around the affected vessel. But the body can only do so much. Unfortunately, untreated PAD puts you at high risk for a heart attack or stroke and you are more likely to die from coronary artery disease if you have PAD compared to those who don’t. So please, LOVE YOUR LIMBS™. If you believe you have any symptoms mentioned above, or have reached the age of 50, talk to your health professional about PAD.