PAD. Quitting smoking, couple with antiplatelet therapy, and vasodilator therapy. Aggressive walking program will improve collateral circulation and reduce claudication pain.
Medical management. In general, taking an Aspirin and statin medicine is the quickest way to begin treatment of peripheral vascular disease. Exercise, weight loss, blood pressure, and diabetes control can be improved immediately. Many people will get improvement with these measures alone. See your doctor before starting any new medicine or lifestyle change.
Stenting. Severe arteriosclerosis which results in inadequate blood supply may require an arterial stent. Your Dr can order the appropriate studies and make recommendations.
Lifelong. There is no way to significantly reverse arteriosclerosis. The calcified cholesterol plaques will remain there lifelong. The goal is to prevent this, reduce further development, and reduce the potential problems associated with it - heart attack, stroke, leg claudication.
Usually start with. Dopplers of the lower or upper extremities. Its easy and inexpensive. If this is abnormal then I usually proceed to a cat scan with contrast to define the anatomy. With this information I decide if a catheter and a stent or angioplasty vs a surgical bypass is needed..
Arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis is a hardening of the arteries. This happens from fat, cholesterol or other harmful substances stick to the wall of the artery and form a plaque. Over time, the plaque can grow and end up closing off most of the artery. This causes a decreased blood flow and you can get problems with the extremities from them not getting enough blood.
Similar process. Progressive injury to the vascular wall of blood vessels feeding different tissues is the the process. The symptoms arise from compromise of the affected organ or tissue. In the extremeties, one can experience pain and cramping with use or exercise. If severe, gangrene can develop, possibly prompting amputation. Sort out risk factors and consult your healthcare provider to intervene.
Claudication. Cramping in the extremity with use, is usually the first symptom. As it progresses rest pain, change in coloring, and in extreme cases gangrene.
PAD. Peripheral arterial disease is caused by cholesterol build up that narrows the arteries carrying oxygen and blood flow to the legs. Most patients have no symptoms and are diagnosed with an abi, measuring blood pressure in the legs. Treatment is lowering cholesterol, exercise, not smoking, and controlling blood pressure.
Yes. Don't smoke and don't be exposed to second-hand smoke. Avoid diabetes by maintaining normal body weight. Perform regular exercise. If you do these 3 things consistently throughout your life, you will not develop peripheral arterial disease (pad) (arteriosclerosis of the extremities).
No. Ther is no way to stop it but you can decrease your risk factors. The risk factors are smoking, diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. These are the main risk factors that you can control. Genetics and family history you can not control so it is better to decrease or eliminate the ones that you can.
A few. Diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, hypertension, genetic predisposition.
Some are reversible. A strong family history of atherosclerosis (stoke or heart attack at age less than 50) is the strongest risk factor, and along with age and your gender, something beyond your control. Focus on hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, smoking, and obesity to stay ahead.
My adult kids are worried about my health now that I have arteriosclerosis of extremities. What should I tell them?
You can do it... Reassure them that you are doing what it takes to improve your health. This includes eating healthy, quitting smoking, regular exercise per direction of your doctor and take prescribed medications which may include blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medications, Aspirin or clopidogrel. The goal is to decrease risk of heart attack and stroke in addition to improving circulation in your legs.
Arteriosclerosis. This is a generalized process that can involve arteries in the legs, brain, and heart.