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Peripheral Arterial Disease: What You Should Know

How common is PAD and could you or a loved one have it?

Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with peripheral artery disease (PAD) or you are concerned that your leg pain could be due to this serious health problem, we are glad you are here. Our Orlando, FL, interventional cardiologist and endovascular specialist Dr. Pradip Baiju wants to make sure that you understand PAD and recognize the signs and symptoms so you can get the immediate treatment and care you need.

What is peripheral artery disease? 

This condition involves a narrowing of the arteries that greatly restricts blood flow to certain areas of the body. In most cases, it is the legs that don’t receive the proper amount of blood flow, which can lead to very noticeable and frequent leg pain. 

What causes PAD? 

PAD is often the result of plaque buildup within the heart’s arteries, which in turn reduces blood flow. Of course, this condition can affect other arteries in the body, as well. Certain risk factors can also increase your chances of developing PAD including, 

  • Diabetes 
  • Being obese
  • Using tobacco products 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) 
  • A family history of heart disease or peripheral arterial disease

What are the symptoms of peripheral arterial disease?

There are some people with PAD who don’t experience symptoms at all or only experience minor discomfort; however, others may experience chronic or severe leg pain. The pain may also cause cramping of the extremities, particularly during movement or activity. You may find the pain subsides when you rest. While leg pain may leave you heading to a foot doctor, you may also want to turn to our Orlando, FL, heart doctor to rule out peripheral arterial disease.

Besides pain and cramping, you may also notice, 

  • Legs or arms that are cold, compared to the rest of the body 
  • Numbness or weakness in the legs 
  • Color changes in the legs 
  • Sores on the feet or legs that don’t heal
  • Hair loss or reduced hair growth of the legs and feet

It’s important not to ignore these issues if you are dealing with them. You will want to make an appointment with our Orlando, FL, heart doctor if you are experiencing pain, numbness, weakness or other symptoms of peripheral arterial disease. Call Heart and Vascular Care today at (407) 730-8970.

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