Anyone can develop peripheral arterial disease regardless of age or sex, although it is more prevalent in people struggling with weight problems and diabetes.
If you experience leg numbness and weakness or pain when walking, you may have PAD. Dr. Atur Kasha El Paso and his team at Desert West Vein & Surgery Center specialize in vascular disorders and offer personalized treatments to address your specific needs.
Signature symptoms of peripheral arterial disease
Peripheral arterial disease is a common circulatory disorder due to the narrowed arteries which limit blood flow to your extremities, resulting in claudication and other painful symptoms. This disorder indicates an accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis.
If left untreated, this circulatory disorder can result in life-threatening side effects like stroke or heart attack. Most people experience little to no symptoms, making it difficult to detect the disease until they experience a heart attack or stroke. Other people may experience leg pain and muscle cramping when walking.
The pain may range from a dull ache to debilitating pain that interferes with your ability to move around. Other symptoms that should alarm you include leg weakness and numbness, a weak or no pulse in your legs, slow growth of toenails, erectile dysfunction, sores on feet and toes, and pain in your arms when writing or knitting. In advanced stages, peripheral arterial disease may cause painful symptoms even when lying down.
Walking or hanging your legs may temporarily alleviate the discomfort, but you still need medical attention.
Risk factors and complications associated with peripheral arterial disease
Having diabetes or smoking can elevate your risk of developing PAD. Other factors that could lead to this disorder include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, high levels of the homocysteine amino acid, and a family history of peripheral arterial disease. If you experience several PAD symptoms, don’t hesitate to talk to your most trusted specialist at Desert West Vein & Surgery Center. Failure to seek treatment can result in critical limb ischemia, ulcers that don’t heal, or heart attack and stroke, which can lead to disability or even loss of life.
How your doctor develops a treatment plan
During your initial consultation, Dr. Kasha may discuss your symptoms, review your health history and perform a physical exam. He may also suggest blood pressure testing in your arm and ankle and ultrasound for accurate diagnosis.
The team may also use angiography to assess blood flow through your blood vessels. They then use your results to develop a personalized treatment plan. If you have mild PAD, a few lifestyle modifications may reverse the effects of the disorder. You may need to quit smoking, manage your blood sugar, eat a healthy diet and incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
In some cases, Dr. Kasha may recommend specific medications to control cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. These medications may also lower your risk of getting blood clots while alleviating your symptoms. If you have blocked or narrowed arteries, your physician may refer you to a specialist who may perform bypass surgery or angioplasty with stenting.
Call Dr. Kasha or schedule your appointment online for more information about PAD.