PERIPHERAL ARTERIAL DISEASE: Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

According to the Best Cardiologist in Chennai, Peripheral Arterial Disease is a common complication of hyperlipidemia and other co-morbid conditions that involves the narrowing of arteries. Peripheral Artery Disease results in reduced blood flow to the limbs as there is decreased availability of blood due to the lessening of space inside the lumen of arteries.

When an individual develops Peripheral Artery Disease, he or she might sense pain in the lower limb areas like legs while walking. This is due to a shortage of blood supply. As the blood carries oxygen, there is insufficient oxygen supply to the tissues with respect to demand. It is most likely to be an indication of the accumulation of fatty acids around the walls of arteries that restrict blood flow, a condition generally known as atherosclerosis. This condition might reduce blood supply to the brain or heart or to legs and cause the death or damage of tissues due to the shortage of oxygen supply.

What are the causes of Peripheral Artery Disease?

The cardiologists generally point out to the following as the reasons for Peripheral Artery Disease:

  1. Atherosclerosis: It is the progressive narrowing to blood vessels due to the accumulation of fatty deposits in the wall of the arteries, resulting in narrower and stiff arteries. It is the most common cause of the disease.
  2. Blood vessel inflammation
  3. Severe injury to legs
  4. Radiation exposure
  5. Unusual anatomy of legs

The following co-morbid diseases increase the risk of an individual towards Peripheral Artery Disease:

  1. Smoking
  2. Diabetes
  3. Obesity 
  4. High blood pressure
  5. High cholesterol diet
  6. Increasing age
  7. A family history of atherosclerosis
  8. High levels of homocysteine

What are the symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease?

 The symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease are:

  1. Leg pain: Leg pain while walking is the most common symptom of this disease
  2. Muscle pain: Muscle pain or cramping in legs is also frequently seen. It is usually triggered by walking or physical activity but disappears is some time following some rest.
  3. Cramping: Cramping in lower limbs and in the hip area can occur frequently
  4. Leg weakness
  5. Feeling temperature change: Coldness in one leg with respect to the other could indicate Peripheral Artery Disease
  6. Change in the color of legs
  7. Hair loss or slower hair growth on legs
  8. No pulse or a slow or weak pulse in your legs
  9. Erectile dysfunction in men
  10. Sores on legs that won’t heal

If you are experiencing a few or more of the above symptoms, book an appointment with a Cardiologist in Chennai or a city near you.

What are the complications of  Peripheral Artery Disease?

If Peripheral Artery Disease is caused by Atherosclerosis then the following complications may also take place:

  1. Critical Limb Ischemia: this condition begins with sores that won’t heal and an injury or infection on feet or legs. This is characterized by the spread of infection leading to tissue death commonly called gangrene. This sometimes might be cured by amputation of the limb altogether. 
  2. Stroke and heart attack: due to blockage of arteries the blood flow to the heart or brain could drop to unsustainable levels leading to a heart attack or stroke. 

What can be done to prevent  Peripheral Artery Disease?

Preventive steps that can be taken to keep away from Peripheral Artery Disease:

  1. Keep diabetes under check through daily exercise
  2. Lower cholesterol content in your food
  3. Limited intake of saturated fats like butter and ghee 
  4. Quit smoking
  5. Maintain a healthy weight

In case of persistent leg weakness or pain or numbness, do visit cardiologist in Chennai or any other area near you. Complications like Peripheral Artery Disease shouldn’t be dismissed something that comes with age. The disease can degenerate and cause increasing discomfort and other ailments that can have a very negative effect on an individual’s health.