Millions of Americans suffers from peripheral artery disease (PAD). This circulatory condition is caused by atherosclerosis, or narrowed arteries, which reduces blood flow to the limbs, and is more prevalent in older people. Men and women who suffer from PAD may experience pain or cramping in the legs or thighs, leg numbness or weakness, and sores on the feet, toes or legs that won’t heal.
Treatment for peripheral vascular disease includes managing the symptoms and preventing the progression of atherosclerosis, which helps to reduce a risk of heart attack or stroke. Here are four ways to keep PAD under control.
1. Quit Smoking
We’ve long known that smoking puts you at elevated risk for many health concerns, and smoking can greatly increase the chances of developing PAD. Talk to your doctor if you’re interested in quitting smoking and would like support in kicking the habit.
2. Improved Diet
A heart healthy diet can go a long way in helping to manage peripheral artery disease. Limit your sodium intake and focus on foods that are low in saturated fats to prevent narrowing of the arteries. A nutritious diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains can help you to enjoy better overall health.
Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to manage your PAD and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Medications to reduce LDL cholesterol, as well as medications to control blood sugar, lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots may help to manage peripheral artery disease.
In certain cases, angioplasty or surgery may be necessary to treat peripheral artery disease. Angioplasty involves the insertion of a small hollow tube through a blood vessel in the affected artery. Other procedures include bypass and thrombolytic surgeries.