January 30, 2021
Are you at risk for Peripheral Arterial Disease?
By Brandy Cuevas, MHA, RN, William Newton Hospital Administrative Director of Cardiovascular Services
If you have leg pain while walking, with exercise or even at rest, this may be a sign of Peripheral Arterial Disease or PAD.
This disease affects the blood flow to your legs and feet, known as your peripheral arteries. Similar to coronary artery disease of the heart, plaque builds up in these arteries and can block the blood flow. As less and less blood flow reaches your legs and feet, it can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as leg pain, aching, and even wounds.
Recognizing risk factors is the first step towards getting diagnosed and treated. Untreated PAD can lead to complications including non-healing wounds and amputation. A few risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and over 60 years of age. In the early stages of PAD many people do not experience symptoms, which is why early detection is so important.
While many people with PAD are asymptomatic, there are several common symptoms to look for. You may have a few or none of these symptoms on your lower extremities:
- Painful leg cramping especially after exercise
- Leg numbness, weakness, heaviness
- Resting leg pain
- Cold feet or toes
- Dry and discolored skin
- Burning sensations or aching of feet and toes
- Hair loss
- Chronic sores
The good news is, help is here. William Newton Hospital clinics have the ability to perform a simple non-invasive test that helps your physician detect potential blood flow problems in about five minutes. It’s as easy as placing a sensor on your finger and toe, and a report is provided to your physician.
William Newton Cardiology is hosting a FREE screening for PAD on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 from 10am to 2pm. Call 620-222-6264 or contact your primary care physician to learn more. Our goal is to get you back on your feet, pain-free.
Editor's Note: This article was submitted by William Newton Hospital for the Cowley CourierTraveler Health & Wellness Guide published January 2021.