Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a circulatory disease that causes narrowed arteries to reduce blood flow to your limbs (usually your legs or arm).
Peripheral artery disease is also likely to be a sign of a more widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries (called Atherosclerosis). Our Port St. Lucie peripheral arterial disease doctor can help determine if this condition may be reducing blood flow to your legs as well as to the heart and brain, leading in more complicated cases to myocardial infarction (heart attack) or strokes. The most common cause is a build-up of plaque caused by cholesterol in the arteries.
When you develop PAD, your extremities don’t receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This causes many symptoms, most notably leg pain or calf cramping WHEN WALKING or climbing stairs (claudication). Because people with PAD have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, the American Heart Association (AHA) encourages people at risk to discuss their symptoms with their doctor to ensure early diagnosis and treatment.
It’s estimated that about 14.5 million Americans suffer from Peripheral Arterial Disease, up to 20 % of Americans over 60. Around half of all people with PAD do not even know they have this condition. Call our Port St. Lucie atherosclerosis specialist to find out if you are among them.
You may need to be screened for PAD if you are:
- Over 60
- Over 50 and have a history of diabetes or smoking
- Under 50, but have diabetes, diabetic foot, and other peripheral arterial disease risk factors, such as obesity, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.