If you have vascular issues, you might experience cold sensations in your legs or feet, feel discomfort in your hips while you are walking, or develop pale skin on your legs. These frustrating physical problems may indicate that you have a condition called peripheral artery disease. At the Commonwealth Vein Center in Richmond and Colonial Heights, VA, we can use medications and many other gentle techniques to help you treat this illness.
Can You Reverse Peripheral Artery Disease?
Peripheral artery disease is a condition that develops when your arteries become damaged and your blood flow decreases. This illness is also known as PAD. Under many circumstances, you can reverse the uncomfortable symptoms that are associated with your illness and decrease your chance of developing future vascular problems by working with a healthcare professional.
If you have this vascular illness, you should set up an initial appointment at one of our offices in Virginia. We can use prescription medications and other easy methods to manage your symptoms and improve your wellbeing.
It’s very common to use prescription medications to address this type of vascular problem. For example, we may advise you to take antihypertensives after you are diagnosed with PAD. Antihypertensives can improve your health by decreasing your blood pressure. If you feel uncomfortable when you walk, we may advise you to address this problem by taking a medication called Ramipril.
Making Healthy Choices
Adopting healthy habits can be a good way to enhance your circulation and improve the condition of your arteries. For example, we might instruct you to reverse your symptoms by removing extra sugar, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates from your diet.
Living an active lifestyle can also relieve the symptoms that are associated with PAD. In particular, we may instruct you to begin biking, going on walks, and doing other types of exercise for a certain amount of time each week. In addition, quitting smoking can be a good way to decrease the severity of your symptoms. Quitting this harmful habit will also lower your chance of developing more significant health challenges in the future.
Receiving an Angioplasty
Under some circumstances, we may improve the condition of your arteries by giving you an angioplasty. During this medical procedure, we will use a tube to insert a special device into one of your arteries. We will use this sophisticated device to widen this damaged artery and enhance your blood flow.
What Are the Symptoms of This Vascular Condition?
There are a number of physical problems that are associated with PAD. If you ignore your symptoms, your vascular problems could lead to more severe medical issues. As a result, you should not ignore your mobility problems and other physical challenges. Receiving early treatment for PAD can be a good way to manage this health condition and slow the progression of your illness.
Developing Ulcers and Sores
If you have PAD, you may have sores and ulcers on your legs or feet that never heal or take a very long time to improve.
Experiencing Mobility Issues
PAD can lead to mobility problems that prevent you from doing household tasks and other activities. In particular, you might feel discomfort in your legs while you are going on walks. This problem is called claudication.
Noticing Changes in Your Appearance
PAD can also change the appearance of your feet, arms, and legs. In particular, the skin in these locations may become shiny, pale, or blue. Further, the amount of hair on your feet and legs may decrease, and your toenails may become more fragile.
Developing Other Symptoms
PAD may cause you to have cramps and develop feelings of weakness in your legs. In addition, your feet and lower legs may begin to feel cold. In addition, you might become uncomfortable when you use your hands to write emails or do other physical tasks.
How Can You Diagnose PAD?
Since we can use a wide variety of comfortable methods to diagnose this health problem, you shouldn’t feel worried or apprehensive when you begin the process of addressing your vascular issues.
Measuring Your Blood Pressure
Measuring your blood pressure will allow us to analyze the condition of your vascular system in an easy and non-invasive manner. In particular, looking at the difference between the pressure in your ankles and arms can help us diagnose the cause of your physical symptoms. This gentle process will usually take a very short time to finish, and you will feel comfortable as we put inflatable cuffs onto your legs and arms.
Taking a Sample of Your Blood
Sometimes, we will use blood tests to learn more about risk factors that can increase your chance of developing vascular problems. In particular, we may use this type of test to learn more about your cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Performing an Angiogram
An angiogram is an imaging test that will allow us to visualize some of your blood vessels. During this comfortable test, we will use a substance called lidocaine to numb some of your tissues. Next, we will carefully place a very small tube into one of your arteries. We will use this tube to send dye into this location. As the dye enters your artery, we will create images of your blood vessels.
These images will help us assess your circulation and analyze the condition of your arteries. Once we have created a sufficient number of images, we will take out the tube and put a small amount of pressure onto the surface of your skin. After you have rested for a few hours, you will probably be able to go back to your normal routine.
Receiving a Vascular Ultrasound
In addition to performing an angiogram, we can use an ultrasound machine to make images of your blood vessels. During this completely noninvasive test, we will put a handheld machine on the top layer of your skin. This machine will use gentle sound waves to make a picture of your artery.
Why Do You Have This Artery Disease?
You can develop this vascular illness after some of your arteries become damaged. The blood vessels that appear in your arms, legs, and other extremities are called your peripheral arteries. When the vessels in these locations become narrower, your blood flow will change, and you may develop PAD.
Developing Damaged Arteries
A problem called atherosclerosis can damage your arteries and cause you to experience this health issue. Over time, plaque and fatty materials may collect on the walls of your arteries. As this build-up increases, your arteries will become narrower, and your blood flow will decrease.
Sometimes, other problems can damage your vascular system. If you injure one of your limbs, you may develop this illness. Radiation exposure and certain inflammation issues are also associated with PAD.
When your arteries are damaged, your arms, legs, and other extremities will receive a lower amount of blood. As this problem becomes more significant, you might develop discomfort when you walk, experience numb feelings, and have other physical symptoms. If you do not receive medical treatment, you might have a stroke, experience a heart attack, or develop other serious complications.
What Risk Factors Will Increase Your Chance of Getting This Peripheral Artery Disease?
Your age, genetics, and many other variables will impact your chance of developing peripheral artery disease. If you have risk factors for this illness, you should think about setting up an appointment at one of our offices in Virginia so that we can talk about your health and assess the condition of your vascular system.
Although you can experience PAD at any time in your life, you will become increasingly likely to develop this health problem when you are older. In particular, it’s common to develop this vascular problem after you turn fifty.
If you are a man, you will have a greater chance of experiencing this health condition.
Your Daily Habits
Some lifestyle habits can heighten your chance of developing PAD. Smoking cigarettes can increase your blood pressure and decrease the amount of blood that is sent to your extremities.
If you do not exercise and frequently experience stressful events, you will be more likely to develop PAD. Your diet can also raise your risk of becoming diagnosed with PAD. When you eat foods that contain a high amount of saturated fats, you will be more likely to develop narrow arteries. Eating an excessive amount of calories can also increase your weight and put additional pressure on your vascular system.
Your Family History
If your family members have certain medical conditions, you will have a heightened chance of being diagnosed with PAD. In particular, you will be more likely to experience this health issue if your relatives have PAD, heart disease, or vasculitis.
Similarly, having relatives who have experienced strokes or other vascular issues will increase your personal risk. If you have family members with these illnesses, you should tell us this information when you have your initial consultation.
Your Medical Issues
Developing diabetes, chronic kidney disease, or fibromuscular dysplasia, will enhance your risk of experiencing PAD. If you have diabetes, your blood vessels can become narrower, and your blood flow may decrease. In addition, you may develop PAD after you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, thrombocytosis, or preeclampsia.
Which PAD Treatment Should You Receive?
It’s normal to feel uncertain after you learn about the wide range of options that you can use to address PAD. Fortunately, we can use our skills and training to develop a comfortable treatment plan that will be designed to match your personal preferences, the severity of your symptoms, and other factors. After we review your symptoms and analyze the condition of your vascular system, we will provide a personalized set of instructions for you.
If you are experiencing mild physical issues, we may recommend changing your diet, getting more exercise, and adopting other healthy habits. For example, we may advise you to begin by decreasing your sugar consumption and following a gentle exercise program. If your arteries are more damaged, we may advise you to receive a medical procedure or begin taking antihypertensives and other medications.
Enhance Your Health
Developing PAD can make it difficult for you to take walks with your friends and do chores around your home. You can improve the symptoms that are connected to peripheral artery disease by adopting healthier habits, taking medications, or getting an angioplasty. To learn more about these methods, get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation at the Commonwealth Vein Center in Richmond and Colonial Heights, VA.