Poor circulation is a circulatory system problem that emerges when there is inadequate blood flow to the hands, legs, heart and other parts of the body. The blood vessels become blocked due to the deposition and hardening of a fatty substance called plaque, thus contracting the walls of the arteries and veins. Eventually, a section of plaque can rupture, causing a blood clot to form at the site. This build-up of plaque or blood clots limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your body as they severely block the arteries. As a result, the normal flow of blood through the vessels is interrupted, resulting in poor circulation.
A variety of conditions can be brought on by poor circulation. These may include high blood pressure, hypertension, stroke, varicose veins, peripheral artery disease, heart disease, kidney damage, etc.
The peripheral artery disease (P.A.D.) causes the arteries and veins to contract which slows down or sometimes even ceases the blood flow. This happen primarily due to the accumulation of large amounts of fats in the blood vessels which stops the normal blood flow through the heart, arms, legs and brain.
What Are Its Symptoms?
- Leg pain that does not go away when you stop exercising- If you have leg pain when you walk or climb stairs, talk with your doctor. Sometimes the old people assume that leg pain is just a symptom of aging. However, the reason for the pain could be P.A.D. You should consult your doctor if you’re feeling pain in your legs and discuss whether you should be tested for P.A.D.
- Foot or toe wounds that don’t heal or heal very slowly.
- Gangrene – If severe enough, blocked blood flow can cause gangrene (tissue death). In very serious cases, this can lead to leg amputation.
- Poor nail growth on the toes or hair growth on the legs.
- Erectile dysfunction, especially in men with diabetes.
Many people who have peripheral artery disease (P.A.D.) don’t have any signs or symptoms. Even if you don’t have signs of P.A.D, ask your doctor whether you should get checked for P.A.D. if you’re:
- Aged 70 or more.
- Aged 50 or more and have a habit of smoking or diabetes.
- Younger than 50 and have diabetes.
Causes Of Peripheral Artery Disease (P.A.D):
- Smoking: Smoking is the main cause for P.A.D and your risk escalates if you have a habit of smoking. Quitting smoking slows the progress of P.A.D. People who have diabetes or smoke are at the highest risk for P.A.D. complications.
- Old Age: As you grow older, plaque builds up in your arteries. Older age in addition to other risk factors, such as smoking or diabetes, puts you at higher risk for P.A.D.
- Diseases and Conditions
Many diseases and conditions can raise your risk of P.A.D, including:
- High Blood Cholesterol
- High Blood Pressure
- Coronary Heart Disease
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Genetic Factors
P.A.D. increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, coronary heart disease and mini-stroke. Although P.A.D. is serious, it’s treatable. If you are suffering from it, you should confer with your doctor regularly. P.A.D treatments include lifestyle changes, medicines, and surgery or procedures.
How To Prevent P.A.D?
There are various methods to prevent and treat P.A.D which include the following:
- Follow heart healthy eating.
- Be active. Do exercises.
- Quit smoking. Talk with your doctor about programs and products that can help you quit smoking.
- If you’re obese or overweight, make a reasonable weight-loss plan from your doctor.
The lifestyle changes mentioned above can reduce your risk of developing P.A.D.
Treatment Of P.A.D
The overall objective of treating P.A.D. includes decreasing the risk of heart attack and stroke, enhancing mobility and overall quality of life and impeding complications. The treatment may slow or stop the progression of the disease and reduce the risk of complications. Without treatment, P.A.D. may progress, resulting in serious tissue damage in the form of sores or gangrene due to inadequate blood flow. In extreme cases of P.A.D, also known as critical limb ischemia (CLI), amputation of part of the leg or foot may be necessary.