A Look at Peripheral Artery Disease

For your body to function normally, your organs need a steady supply of oxygen-rich blood. If your arteries are clogged, you are at a much higher risk of suffering a range of heart problems or other serious conditions. Peripheral artery disease occurs when the arteries become narrowed, limiting the amount of blood that reaches your limbs.

Vein - stable atherosclerotic plaque

Peripheral artery disease often occurs as a direct result of atherosclerosis, in which the arteries in the heart suffer a buildup of plaque. This buildup of plaque eventually narrows the arteries throughout the body, including arteries that lead to the arms and legs. Some cases of peripheral artery disease occur as a result of injury to the limbs or blood vessel inflammation.  

Some people with peripheral artery disease feel sudden cramping in their arms or legs, while others feel numbness or weakness in their limbs. Some also notice a weak pulse in their limbs or even a change of color. One reason why peripheral artery disease is so disconcerting is that it often doesn’t come with any symptoms.

People who smoke, have diabetes, or high blood pressure are the most at risk of developing peripheral artery disease. Narrowed arteries can seriously increase one’s risk of stroke, heart disease, or a blood clot in the leg. If you suspect that your have  peripheral artery disease , it’s important that you receive treatment as quickly as possible.

Lifestyle changes—including diet, exercise, and smoking cessation—can help halt the development of peripheral artery disease. A cardiologist may also prescribe high blood pressure medication or cholesterol-lowering medications. If peripheral artery disease reaches an advanced stage, an angioplasty or bypass surgery may be necessary.

The cardiologists at Cardiac Solutions can help make sure your arteries are as clear as possible. We’ve been safeguarding the  heart health  of Phoenix-area residents since 1984, and we have what it takes to successfully treat a wide range of heart conditions. Call (623) 208-5305 if you have any questions for our skilled cardiologists and medical staff.

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