Peripheral vascular disease, also known as peripheral artery disease (PAD), is a condition in which there is reduced blood flow to the limbs, usually due to the narrowing of the blood vessels that supply them. Reduction in blood flow can cause severe damage to tissue which may lead to sudden death and eventually causing gangrene. Diabetic foot is a condition in which there may be a poorly healing/non-healing wounds in the leg.
Symptoms of peripheral vascular disease can vary depending on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, there may be no symptoms at all. In more severe cases, the most common symptoms include:
1. Pain or discomfort in the legs or arms, especially during physical activity
2. Numbness or tingling in the legs or feet
3. Weakness in the legs or arms
4. Changes in skin color or temperature in the affected area
5. Slow-healing wounds or sores on the feet or legs
There are several risk factors that can increase the likelihood of developing peripheral vascular disease, including:
2. High blood pressure
3. High cholesterol
6. Family history of vascular disease
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of peripheral vascular disease, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. A diagnosis can be made through a physical examination, as well as imaging tests such as ultrasound or angiography.
Treatment options for peripheral vascular disease may include lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. Medications such as blood thinners, cholesterol-lowering drugs, and medications to improve blood flow may also be prescribed. In severe cases, surgery or other procedures may be necessary to open up blocked blood vessels.
It is always better to treat non-healing wounds, at an earlier date than to delay which causes increase in the tissue death and poor results to treatment. So if you have symptoms similar to peripheral vascular disease get checked by a specialist so that treatment can be started before the leg goes into gangrene.
It is important to work closely with your healthcare provider to manage peripheral vascular disease and reduce the risk of complications such as heart attack or stroke. With proper treatment and management, it is possible to live a healthy and active life with this condition.