Peripheral Arterial Disease
Are numbness, swelling and skin discoloration normal?
People with pain, cramping, swelling, numbness, or skin discoloration in their legs may be showing signs of peripheral arterial disease. Peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, is a narrowing of the peripheral arteries, most commonly seen in the arteries of the pelvis and legs. Many think symptoms like these are a part of the aging process and wait until there condition is advanced to consult their doctor about the cause.
The symptoms of leg and foot pain are more common than you think, particularly for people over the age of 50, and especially for those who smoke or have diabetes. About 30% of adults in this category have some form of peripheral arterial disease, which is often the underlying cause of leg pain.
Quick Facts about PAD
The most common symptoms of PAD are cramping, pain or tiredness in the leg or hip muscles while walking or climbing stairs.
Typically, this pain goes away with rest and returns when you walk again.
- Many people mistake the symptoms of PAD for something else.
- PAD often goes undiagnosed by healthcare professionals.
- People with peripheral arterial disease have four to five times more risk of heart attack or stroke.
- Left untreated, PAD can lead to gangrene and amputation.
Added risks for PAD
- If you smoke, you have an especially high risk for PAD.
- If you have diabetes, you have an especially high risk for PAD.
- People with high blood pressure or high cholesterol are at risk for PAD.
The good news for PAD patients
- PAD is easily diagnosed in a simple, painless way.
- You can take control by leading a heart-healthy lifestyle and following the recommendations of your healthcare professional.
- Most cases of PAD can be managed with lifestyle changes and medication.
Our East Orange office now offers a test which can be done to determine if you have P.A.D. Watch this video to learn about this new testing! This is a 15-20 minute test that is both non-invasive and non-painful. Call our office if you have symptoms of PAD, to find out more and if you need to be tested.
For more information please click on the following link: American Heart Asssociation