ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Peripheral artery disease and its prevention

Updated on November 15, 2013

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition, in which a plaque builds up in arteries that supply blood to the head, organs or limbs. When a plaque builds up in an artery, it is called atherosclerosis.

Peripheral artery disease usually refers to development of atherosclerosis of the arteries of the legs, thus blocking blood flow to them. Blocked blood flow to the legs can cause pain and numbness. It also can raise the risk of getting an infection in the affected limbs. The body may have a hard time fighting the infection.

PDA has an age-adjusted prevalence of approximately 12%. The following figure shows the prevalence of peripheral artery disease by age in men and women -


Causes – The common causes are as follows -

  • Smoking
  • High amount of fats and cholesterol and fat in the blood
  • High blood pressure
  • Insulin resistance or diabetes
  • Less commonly, blood vessel inflammation, injury to the limbs, unusual anatomy of the ligaments or muscles, or radiation exposure

Symptoms and signs – The common signs and symptoms are as follows -

  • Leg pain that does not go away when you stop exercising or walking
  • Foot or toe wounds that won't heal or heal very slowly
  • Gangrene (tissue death)
  • A marked decrease in the temperature of the lower leg or foot particularly compared to the other leg or to the rest of your body
  • A change in the color of the legs
  • No pulse or weak pulse in the feet and legs
  • Slower growths of toenails
  • Erectile dysfunction in men

Risk factors – The common risk factors are as follows –

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • High blood pressure (140/90 millimeters of Hg or higher)
  • High cholesterol (total blood cholesterol over 240 milligrams per deciliter)
  • Increasing age, especially after reaching 50 years of age
  • A family history of peripheral artery disease, heart disease or stroke
  • High levels of homocysteine, a protein component that helps build and maintain tissue

Complications – The common complications of PAD are as follows –

  • Limb ischemia- This condition begins as open sores that don't heal, an injury, or an infection of the feet or legs. Critical limb ischemia occurs when such injuries or infections progress and can cause tissue death (gangrene), sometimes requiring amputation of the affected limb.
  • Stroke and heart attack- The atherosclerosis that causes the signs and symptoms of peripheral artery disease isn't limited to the legs. Fat deposits also build up in arteries supplying the heart and brain.

Management by lifestyle changes –

Smoking cessation – Smoking progresses the disease and increases the rest pain and chances of amputation. So, smoking cessation reduces the symptoms of the disease. In addition, it also helps prevent heart attacks and strokes.

Regular exercise - The most effective treatment for PAD is regular physical activity but begin slowly. Take into account that walking causes pain. Therefore, the program consists of alternating activity and rest in intervals to build up the amount of time a person can walk before the pain sets in.

Diet - Many PAD patients have elevated cholesterol. A diet low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol can help lower cholesterol level, but cholesterol lowerings drugs may be necessary to maintain the proper cholesterol levels.

Management of diabetes – Aggressive management of diabetes will limit the mortality and morbidity of persons having PAD. But the aggressive management of diabetes does not improve claudication symptoms. On the other hand, such a strategy will reduce the rate of cardiovascular events and micro-vascular complications (e.g., retinopathy, neuropathy).Therefore, strict diabetes control is advocated for this population.

Dyslipidemia management – Hyperlipidemia is associated with many PDA patients. Lipid lowering therapy reduces the risk of new or worsening symptoms of intermittent claudication.

Hypertension treatment - The target blood pressure in hypertensive PAD patients is similar to that for patients who have coronary artery disease.Special attention should be directed to hypertensive PAD patients who are also diabetic.

Weight loss – Weight loss should be done achieving the target BMI 18.5 to 24.9 kg/square m.

Summary -

PAD is a condition that can lead to a serious complication of the development of gangrene, so the disease should be managed properly. Moreover, it can be associated with hypertension and diabetes, in which case its management requires more attention and caution.

This disease can be effectively controlled by lifestyle changes such as cessation of smoking, regular exercise, diet, aggressive management of diabetes, management of hyperlipidemia, hypertension treatment and weight loss.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)