Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, affects up to 8 million people in the United States. It is a serious heart condition that many people don’t know they have until devastating symptoms occur. Peripheral artery disease is when the arteries or blood vessels outside the heart become narrowed or blocked. Most commonly, PAD refers to cholesterol blockage in the arteries that supply blood to the legs. If not treated, peripheral artery disease can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Dr. Corrielus specializes in non-surgical treatments for a full menu of minor and complex heart conditions, including peripheral artery disease. Our Philadelphia cardiology center recognizes the strong link between healthy lifestyle habits and optimal heart health. When it comes to diagnosing and treating PAD, we value the use of non-invasive care and lifestyle changes as a means to effectively address mild to moderate PAD and help patients avoid its serious consequences.
Symptoms & Causes of Peripheral Artery Disease
PAD is caused by the buildup of fatty deposits or plaque within the artery walls. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking all contribute to plaque buildup. Therefore, a detailed examination of a patient’s lifestyle is critical in diagnosing and treating peripheral artery disease.
The symptoms of peripheral artery disease are dependent on the size and location of the blockage. Although it can affect arteries in the neck or abdomen, PAD most commonly affects the legs. Therefore, when these arteries that supply blood and nutrients to the legs become narrowed or restricted, patients may feel the effects of nerve and tissue damage in this area. Symptoms can include numbness or a tight, aching, or cramping pain in the calf, thigh, or buttock. Often, the pain occurs after walking a specific distance.
Treatment of Peripheral Artery Disease
While symptoms of PAD can be quite disruptive, the good news is that there are a number of non-surgical treatments to help you manage your condition. By choosing to treat your peripheral artery disease with dedicated lifestyle changes, you could be protecting yourself from heart attack, stroke, leg amputations and even death. At Corrielus Cardiology, we educate patients on the importance of the following when it comes to treating PAD as well as many other heart-related conditions:
- Quit smoking
- Follow a regular exercise program.
- Manage your cholesterol and blood pressure if they are high
- Control blood sugars if you are diabetic
- Maintain a healthy weight
For more information on Peripheral Artery Disease or how to treat your PAD symptoms, please contact Corrielus Cardiology today to schedule your appointment. Dr. Corrielus is a renowned non-invasive cardiologist who welcomes the opportunity to restore your heart health and improve your quality of life.