Peripheral Vascular Disease

Peripheral Vascular Disease Every year, approximately eight million Americans suffer from peripheral vascular disease (PVD), which is caused by a narrowing of the vessels that carry blood to the legs, arms, stomach or kidneys. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the most common type of PVD.

People over the age of 50 have the highest risk of developing peripheral artery disease. Other factors that increase risk of peripheral artery disease include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol, or previous heart attack or stroke. If blood flow in the legs is severely affected, this can eventually lead to amputation.

What causes peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease is caused by atherosclerosis, a disease caused when plaque builds up in the arteries. The plaque building blocks vessels, which results in blood flow that is stopped or slowed down. When this happens, the body’s cells can’t get enough oxygen.

Symptoms

Symptoms of peripheral artery disease include:

  • Leg pain and cramps
  • Numbness or tingling in the legs
  • Tired leg or hip muscles
  • Aching feet and toes

How do I control peripheral artery disease?

Some ways that you can reduce peripheral artery disease include:

  • Walk daily
  • Quit smoking
  • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol under control

If any of the above symptoms apply to you, come see our specialists at the Center for Diabetic Limb Preservation at Northwest Hospital so they can treat and prevent further complications.