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Peripheral artery disease (PAD), also known as claudication, poor circulation, peripheral vascular disease, or hardening of arteries, is a chronic, life-threatening circulatory condition. September is PAD Awareness Month, and we use this opportunity to educate our friends and neighbors about this painful and sometimes deadly disease that affects 18 million Americans.
What is PAD?
PAD causes narrowing or blockage of the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs, and those blockages can restrict blood flow to the muscles, causing muscle cramps, tightness or weakness, especially during activity. PAD symptoms can be severe and include leg pain when walking, muscle cramps, numbness and sores that won’t heal. PAD patients are at a higher risk for heart attack, stroke and critical limb ischemia (CLI), a chronic condition that results in severe pain in the feet or toes and may even lead to limb amputation.
Am I at risk?
Prevention and intervention are key, but in early stages of PAD, many of those afflicted might not have any symptoms at all. That’s why it is critical to understand your risk factors and consult a qualified health care professional. Risk factors for PAD, as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and those 60 and older.
What can I do?
If you fit into any of those categories, we can help!
PAD can be diagnosed through a variety of non-invasive, office-based procedures and if necessary, we offer state-of-the art, safe and effective outpatient treatment options.
Talk to your primary care doctor about scheduling your PAD screening today. It’s quick, painless - and it might just save your life.