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What Is Peripheral Artery Disease?

Wednesday, 18 December 2013 03:32 PM

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a disease in which the supply of blood to the leg muscles is restricted due to fat deposits in the arteries. Fat deposited in the arteries contain cholesterol and waste substances. The peripheral artery disease is also called peripheral vascular disease. PAD is a common disease. Usually, the patients experience no symptoms but they may feel pain in their legs that disappears after resting for some time. This pain may occur during walking. PAD is diagnosed through a physical examination. Peripheral artery disease is more common in men than in women. Smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol are common causes associated with the peripheral artery disease.
Severe symptoms of peripheral artery disease may cause stroke and coronary heart diseases. Changing lifestyle, exercising regularly, avoiding smoking, and taking prescribed medications are some common ways that peripheral artery disease can be prevented and treated. PAD mainly affects the elderly. Peripheral artery disease may affect 19 percent of people above the age of 70. It is a circulatory problem common among the elders.
In peripheral artery disease, one or more arteries become narrow, affecting the supply of blood to the limbs. This condition is also termed as a hardening of the arteries and it can increase with age. It occurs due to the development of plaque inside the linings of blood vessels. This plaque is also known as atheroma. It narrows the blood vessels as it becomes thicker. Reduced supply of blood can cause the symptoms of peripheral artery disease. Since blood and oxygen supply to the limbs is restricted, pain starts in the leg muscles. The pain may arise even during rest and at night. If the symptoms worsen, PAD patients should immediately seek medical help. The affected arteries in the peripheral artery disease can be diagnosed using tests like CT scan, ultrasound scan, and MRI.
Losing extra weight reduces the risk of developing PAD. Eating healthy food can be beneficial. Daily consumption of fruits and vegetables is recommended to stave off PAD. For preventing PAD, consuming a small amount of alcohol can also help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Nevertheless, consuming more than the recommended amount of alcohol can be harmful.

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Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a disease where pain arises due to reduced blood supply to the leg.
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Wednesday, 18 December 2013 03:32 PM
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