Peripheral artery disease: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments.

Peripheral artery disease: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatments.

Peripheral arterial disease, PAD,
What is peripheral artery disease? What are its symptoms and causes? How can this disease disturb the blood circulation in the extremities? Important information in this article.

Which is known by several different names, such as: arteriosclerosis and poor blood circulation.

What is peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease is a common health problem that may affect the peripheral arteries in the body, and the peripheral arteries are the arteries located in areas of the body far from the heart and aorta.

Peripheral artery disease tends to progress slowly in the body, and it usually arises as a result of problems in the peripheral arteries that may reduce the ability of oxygenated blood to flow in them freely and in the normal amount, such as the following problems: narrowing of the arteries, blockages in the arteries, and arterial spasm.

A person with peripheral artery disease may not have any symptoms at first, but as the disease progresses, some symptoms may begin to appear, such as: pain, weakness in the extremities, and cold extremities.

This health problem often arises in the arteries of the lower extremities specifically, but it is possible for peripheral artery disease to affect arteries in other areas of the body as well, such as: the arms, abdomen, kidneys, head, and stomach.

What is the relationship of peripheral artery disease with peripheral vascular disease?

Peripheral vascular disease is a type of peripheral vascular disease. Peripheral vascular disease is a disease that can affect any type of blood vessel outside the heart. But the term peripheral vascular disease is often used as an alternative name for peripheral artery disease.

Peripheral artery disease causes

Here is a list of the most notable:

1. The common cause: arteriosclerosis

Atherosclerosis or atherosclerosis is a condition in which plaques begin to accumulate inside the arteries, and plaques are a waxy substance composed of a mixture of substances, most notably cholesterol and calcium, and when plaques begin to accumulate inside the arteries, the arteries become hardened and narrowed.

Due to the negative effect of atherosclerosis on the arteries, the flow of oxygenated blood in these arteries decreases, which reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that may reach the various tissues in the body.

2. Less common causes: infections, clots, etc.

Although atherosclerosis is the most common cause, PAD can also arise from other causes such as:

Arterial exposure to injury or accident.

Congenital defects in the arteries or in the ligaments and muscles.

Infection in the arteries.

exposure to radiation;

Formation of blood clots in the body.

Risk Factors

These are the main factors that may increase the chances of developing peripheral artery disease:

Having diseases and health problems in the heart and blood vessels, such as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and coronary artery disease.

Having other health problems, such as: diabetes, obesity.

Other factors, such as: advanced age, genetics, cigarette smoking, menopause for women, and lack of movement.

Symptoms of Peripheral Artery Disease

Often the patient does not have any symptoms, but in other cases, some symptoms may appear, which often arise as a result of a lack of oxygen and nutrients flowing to the body tissues in the areas where the arteries were affected.

Here is a list of the most prominent symptoms expected to appear on the patient:

Cramps, pain or a general feeling of heaviness in the lower extremities often appear when doing some physical activities, such as climbing stairs and walking.

General weakness or numbness in the lower extremities.

Weakness or complete absence of pulse in the legs.

cold feet or legs

Changes in the color of the skin in the area of ​​​​the legs, such as the color of the legs becomes pale or bluish.

Loss of hair on the feet or the growth of hair on the feet at a slow pace.

Toenails grow slowly.

Sores on the feet and legs do not heal quickly, and in some cases never heal.

Peripheral Artery Disease Diagnosis

Peripheral artery disease is diagnosed by performing these tests for the patient:

Examination of the health status of the patient's foot by subjecting the patient to an examination of the pressure ratio between the ankle and the upper arm.


Blood tests.

Ultrasound imaging.

Treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease

The goal of the treatment plan that the doctor may suggest is to try to keep the disease under control and prevent its exacerbation. Here are some suggested treatments:

Making some healthy lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking, sticking to a healthy diet, and exercising.

Use of medications that may improve blood flow in the arteries and may help keep some diseases that may worsen the condition under control, such as: anticoagulants, antiplatelets, cholesterol lowering drugs, diabetes medications, and blood pressure medications.

Surgery in some severe cases, such as bypass surgery.

 A person with peripheral artery disease must seek treatment by a doctor. Leaving this disease untreated may increase the patient's chances of developing serious complications, such as: heart attack, stroke, and the need for limb amputation.

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