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Cardiovascular Services: Peripheral Artery Disease

Do you feel heaviness, aching or cramping in your feet, legs or buttocks as you are walking or climbing stairs? If so, you may be suffering from Peripheral Artery Disease, or PAD.

PAD Assessment

PAD is usually caused by atherosclerosis, a condition where fatty deposits build up in the arteries and eventually block blood flow. This is what causes the ramping and pain.
Atherosclerosis can be caused by:

  • Age
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Family history

Many people confuse PAD with arthritis, because some of the symptoms of peripheral artery disease, including the achiness, are similar. But while arthritis pain centers in the joints, such as the knees or hips, PAD pain is more general and in more areas.

Some common signs of PAD include:

  • Pale or bluish skin when your leg is elevated
  • Dark red feet when you are standing or sitting
  • Your foot hair and toenails, stop growing
  • Sores on your toes, feet or legs that are slow to heal, or don’t heal at all

PAD Treatment Options

There are several ways to treat PAD, including:

  • Stop smoking
  • Control cholesterol
  • Lower high blood pressure
  • Medication
  • Angioplasty
  • Surgery
  • Exercise

If you are suffering from PAD, or believe you may be at risk, please contact us. We can work with you to control and lessen the problem if it’s present, or come up with a plan to keep it from happening.

For more information on peripheral artery disease or to schedule a pad screening test, contact Valley Baptist Medical Center – Harlingen at (956) 389-1100, or Valley Baptist Medical Center – Brownsville at (956) 698-5400.


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