Peripheral Arterial Disease of the Legs

AtherosclerosisVaricose veins might not be the only reason why your legs ache and ankles swallow. Also known as peripheral vascular disease, PAD is a condition that narrows or blocks arteries, which ends up in poor blood flow to arms and legs, injuring nerves and other tissues.

The blockages are caused by hardening of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis – fatty material builds up on the artery walls, making them narrower and stiff, and decreasing the blood flow. Because of the lack of proper blood circulation, leg muscles don’t get enough oxygen and they get damaged.

Atherosclerosis2There are various factors that increase the risk of developing PAD, and they’re not too far from varicose vein risk factors:

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Genetics, family history
  • Increasing age (typically people above the age of 50 are affected)

The risk of PAD can be reduced by simply eliminating some of the above mentioned factors, and having a healthy balance of diet and exercise. In some cases, the fat deposits can also build up in arteries supplying the heart and brain, causing serious complications such as stroke or a heart attack.

If you experience any painful cramping in your limbs and hips when walking, leg weakness or numbness, coldness in your lower legs or feet, discoloration or weak pulse in your legs, have your legs thoroughly examined by a medical professional as soon as possible!


Published on: 4 November 2015
Posted by: Veins