Arteriosclerosis is best known for causing heart attacks. This buildup of plaque in your arteries prevents the proper flow of blood. When blood flow to the heart is compromised, the heart can get damaged.
But did you know that arteries in other parts of your body are also susceptible to the buildup of plaque? A blocked artery in your lower limbs is a condition we call Peripheral Arterial Disease - PAD - and its really bad news for your feet.
Who gets PAD?
Peripheral Arterial Disease is very common in people with diabetes. If you’re diabetic, you’re at a high risk of developing PAD. And the sad truth is, your risk is high whether you’ve done a good job or a lousy job of managing your blood sugar. Other risk factors include
· age - people over 70 are more likely to develop peripheral arterial disease
· smoking - the chemicals in tobacco have a negative affect on the structure and function of your blood vessels
· weight - PAD is more common in the overweight and obese.
What does PAD look like?
You can begin to suspect compromised blood flow in your lower limbs if you have any of the following symptoms:
· legs that get tired very easily
· painful cramping in your legs, especially your calves
· a weak pulse in your feet
· foot sores that don’t heal (which can lead to infections and amputations)
· cold feet.
A comprehensive approach to PAD treatment
If you’ve got diabetes, regular screenings for PAD should be an essential part of your care. Count on the board-certified podiatrists at Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center in Monmouth County, New Jersey for complete, comprehensive treatment. In addition to screening with PADnet - a special tool that can detect PAD in its earliest stages - we believe in treating PAD as a team with your primary care doctor, vascular specialist, and physical therapist.