What Foods to Eat for PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease)? 

 What Foods to Eat for PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease)

PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease), is an affliction caused by poor circulation of blood. In this case, specifically, plaque builds up along the arterial walls and prevents blood and oxygen from flowing freely. Fortunately, there are ways of keeping this issue from progressing in severity — one of which is a change in diet. 

What foods should you eat if you have PAD? Well, there are a variety of foods that can help improve circulation. However, recent studies point towards a very specific type of diet that is known to have it all.  

 

Mediterranean Diet 

In an assessment of an exploratory and randomized trial, Miguel Ruiz et al. discovered a correlation between those who upheld a Mediterranean Diets and those with PAD.  

In this study, participants were given detailed dietary education programs which they were instructed to follow. Those that received ‘Mediterranean diet’ interventions benefitted from a reduced risk of PAD when compared to the control group.  

These trials were not entirely conclusive, however, they brought forward a school of thought involving the role of nutrition when it came to the prevention of Peripheral Arterial Disease. Based on their findings, it can be said that those who uphold a Mediterranean Diet are less likely to experience myocardial infarction, stroke, and PAD.  

 

What Does This Mean for Those with PAD? 

Although results are inconclusive, there is reason to believe that eating foods that play a large part in the regular Mediterranean diet can help reduce the risk of PAD — or, at the very least, limit the progression of the disease. 

The correlation between the disease and the diet is being studied further. However, according to Everyday Health, the main benefits of this diet is its richness in healthy fats!  

 

What is the Mediterranean Diet? 

If you compare the foods often recommended when it comes to improving blood circulation and the contents of a Mediterranean Diet, you’ll notice that the two are very similar!  

For example, nuts and certain types of oil (like Olive Oil) are key players when it comes to foods for blood circulation. They also appear quite often in the average Mediterranean diet. Nuts, specifically walnuts, and almonds, are also known for their ability to improve the production of nitric oxide — which is key for promoting the dilation of blood vessels and overall blood circulation improvement.  

Other foods that improve circulation and can be found in a regular Mediterranean diet include foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, fruitsvegetables, and grains.  

 

Conclusion —  What Foods to Eat for PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease)? 

The takeaway from this is not necessarily that you should follow a Mediterranean Diet, but that there is more than enough reason to believe that incorporating certain aspects of it to your own diet can greatly improve your chances of reducing the risk of PAD. It’s a small step towards recovery but it is a step nonetheless. 

 

REFERENCES 

  1. Ruiz-Canela, Miguel. “Mediterranean Diets and Peripheral Artery Disease.” JAMA, American Medical Association, 22 Jan. 2014, jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1817779. 
  2. Brown, Jennifer J. “The Mediterranean Diet Wins Against Peripheral Arterial Disease.” EverydayHealth.com, Everyday Health, 21 Jan. 2014, www.everydayhealth.com/news/mediterranean-diet-wins-against-peripheral-arterial-disease/ 

What are the Best Exercises for Peripheral Artery Disease? 

What are the Best Exercises for Peripheral Artery Disease

Inactivity is a body killer. Not just outwardly, but inwardly as well. In the case of Peripheral Arterial Disease, the lack of exercise or any form of physical activity can result in the worsening of the disease — making it even more disruptive to the daily living of those afflicted with it.  

That is why, it is often recommended that those with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), include an exercise routine into their daily lifestyle. So, one might ask, what are the best exercises for those with PAD?  

Let’s break it down a bit at a time.  

 

Why Exercise is Important? 

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty details, let’s discuss what you should hope to achieve with the addition of regular exercise to your routine. PAD is a circulatory condition that occurs when plaque builds up along the walls of your arteries — which narrows the available space for blood to pass through. 

This can turn into an intermittent sharp or numbing pain along the legs and feet. Which, ironically enough, occurs post-exerciseIt is because of this reasoning that people might consider it a bad idea to exercise when they have PAD.  

Why do it if all you’re going to do is get hurt after all? However, it doesn’t quite work that way. Certain studies have found that exercise can be the perfect rehabilitation technique for your narrowed and blocked up arteries — thus, improving the overall blood circulation in your body. 

 

Walking! 

The easiest and arguably most recommended form of exercise for PAD is walking. This ideal is based on multiple randomized clinical trials that have shown that adding walking to your daily routine is incredibly beneficial at slowing down the progression of atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque against the arterial walls.) 

One such study was conducted in 2012, by a Dr. Mohler. In his journal, he found that after performing six months of supervised walking on a treadmill, patients with PAD were able to walk farther while experiencing less pain than even those patients who opted for surgical procedures.  

This is not to say that other types of exercises will not be effective. However, as Dr. Mohler stated himself, at the momentwalking is the most studied form of rehabilitation for PAD. As such, it is undoubtedly the most trusted of all available options.  

 

Arm Exercises 

Of course, in some cases, the PAD might be so severe that even walking might be too much for a patient. For that, Arm Exercises are the next recommended form of exercise 

It might not sound very effective — after all, how can you get rid of leg pain by working out your arms? However, there was a study that suggested otherwise. In fact, according to WebMD, aerobic arm exercises might even be a better option than the more traditional supervised treadmill walking — at least, for patients who have poor lower extremity mobility.   

 

Conclusion —  What are the Best Exercises for Peripheral Artery Disease? 

Although the two methods of exercising that we introduced are the ones most recommended, that doesn’t mean that other forms of exercises are ineffective. In the end, it is always best to go with whatever form of rehabilitation your handling physician recommends for you. After all, not everyone will have the same capabilities and needs.  

You might need to jog rather than walk, or you might not even be able to walk at all — in which case arm exercises are your solution, etc. The important takeaway here is that exercise, of any kind, is important when it comes to your overall recovery.   

 

REFERENCE 

  1. Hamburg, Naomi M, and Gary J Balady. “Exercise Rehabilitation in Peripheral Artery Disease: Functional Impact and Mechanisms of Benefits.” Circulation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 4 Jan. 2011, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3061490/ 
  2. Murphy, Timothy P, et al. “Supervised Exercise versus Primary Stenting for Claudication Resulting from Aortoiliac Peripheral Artery Disease: Six-Month Outcomes from the Claudication: Exercise versus Endoluminal Revascularization (CLEVER) Study.” Circulation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 3 Jan. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22090168 
  3. Laino, Charlene. “Arm Exercise Relieves Leg Pain.” WebMD, WebMD, 14 Nov. 2006, www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20061214/leg-pain-relieved-by-arm-exercise#1 

Home Based Exercises for PAD? 

Home Based Exercises for PAD

Those that are afflicted with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) have to deal with impaired lower extremity functioning. For the most part, this shows itself as a sharp or numbing pain in the legs and feet that occurs directly after or during exercise. Of course, the more severe the condition of the patient is, the faster the rate of their mobility loss would be. 

In order to deal with this debilitating symptom, patients are either provided medication, surgery, or a form of supervised-exercising. However, for people that do not have access to supervised-exercising (or do not want to have to go through intensive surgery), the next solution is home-based exercises.  

What are the best home-based exercises for PAD? Let’s break it down.  

 

Why Home Based Exercises for PAD? 

Before we introduce you to the most commonly recommended home-based exercises for PAD. Let’s go over why it’s been said to be effective for clearing the symptoms of this circulatory condition. According to certain studies, supervised exercises (specifically on a treadmill) offer the most benefit.  

This is in comparison to medication — which is used more for their placebo-like effect than anything else. Unfortunately, access to supervised exercising is very limited — especially for patients who lack the funds to do so and are so limited in their mobility that traveling to and fro between the hospital and their home is impossible.  

In this case, the next best solution is home-based exercises. It’s not only inexpensive but it also poses as a convenient alternative to the more involved supervised treadmill exercises.  

 

Leg-Exercises 

The first bout of recommended home-based exercises, of course, are leg exercises. These are usually restricted mainly to walking, either on a treadmill or in an enclosed and safe area. These don’t need to take too long.  

You’ll find, that the duration of pain-free walks will increase over time. This was confirmed by a study from a Dr. Mohler, who published a journal on a six-month-long treadmill walking routine. If you’re well off enough to walk long distances. You might even want to consider taking a more scenic-route and taking your walk outside!  

 

Arm-Exercises 

Now, for patients with extremely poor lower extremity maneuverability, even just a short walk might not be possible. In this case, the most recommended solution is to go with simple arm exercises — which may sound ineffective but has been discovered to provide benefits similar to supervised treadmill walking! 

These are perfect as a home-based exercise too! You won’t have to go anywhere far in order to get your exercise-time in, and you won’t need any fancy or expensive equipment. Quite literally, it can be just you on a chair, working out the muscles in your arms and allowing your blood vessels to expand as oxygen passes through them.  

 

Conclusion —  Home Based Exercises for PAD? 

For those without the means to afford supervised-exercising or those with such poor motor-ability that they cannot move long-distances, home-based exercises are the perfect solution. Not only is the patient able to stay at home, but they can take their progress at their own pace — just so long as they ensure that progress is being made, they can keep in full control of their recuperation.  

 

REFERENCES 

  1. McDermott, Mary M, and Tamar S Polonsky. “Home-Based Exercise: A Therapeutic Option for Peripheral Artery Disease.” Circulation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Oct. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5572122/ 
  2. Murphy, Timothy P, et al. “Supervised Exercise versus Primary Stenting for Claudication Resulting from Aortoiliac Peripheral Artery Disease: Six-Month Outcomes from the Claudication: Exercise versus Endoluminal Revascularization (CLEVER) Study.” Circulation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 3 Jan. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22090168 

Best Workout to Manage for PAD 

Best Workout to Manage for PAD 

Although there are medications and surgical procedures available for patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease, these aren’t always the best way of managing existing PAD in a patient. Instead, most turn to exercise regimens that help free up their blood pathways and manage symptoms of claudication (pain or numbness in the legs and feet.) 

What is the best workout to manage for PAD? Let’s break it down below.  

Recommended Workout 

First, let’s introduce a tried and tested workout routine written up by a Dr. Mohler. Who is well known for his studies in supervised treadmill exercises and home-based exercises for those with Peripheral Arterial Disease. In his studies, he discovered, that the best way to get results from your scheduled walking program is to follow the steps as they are listed below:  

 

  • Step 1: Warm Up 

Just like with any good workout, a warmup is required before you jump into the main event. This doesn’t have to be extensive to start. You can sit or stand as you stretch your calf and thigh muscles for (both legs) around 10 to 15 seconds. 

  • Step 2: The Walk 

Next, it’s time for the actual walk. Of course, the amount you’ll be able to walk is different from everyone else. However, it is recommended that you walk through mild pain — as this will help you grow tolerance and increase your mobility.  

Start with pushing your pain tolerance about 5 minutes (or until the pain gets too much) at a time.  

  • Step 3: Rest 

After the first five minutes has passed, now would be a good time to rest. Have a seat, catch your breath, and allow yourself to relax until the pain goes away.  

  • Step 4: Repeat 

As you have probably guessed, these steps are meant to be repeated. 

Of course, take it at your own pace (or perhaps have a doctor draw up a plan for you.) Just make sure that you continue the walk and rest method and build up slowly to around 30 to 35 minutes. The goal here is to extend your tolerance to about 50 minutes of walk time – just make sure to take the build-up to 50 minutes as slow as you want or need to be (over weeks or months if need be.)  

  • Step 5: The Cool Down 

Your workout doesn’t stop when you finish exerting yourself. You’ll also have to cool down. 

This is an important step followed even by professional athletes in order to relax their muscles after a good and long game. For this, simply repeat the stretches that you do in step one — by stretching your calf and thigh muscles once more. 

 

Conclusion —  Best Workout to Manage for PAD 

Of course, the workout planning won’t necessarily stop there. Depending on your capabilities, PAD is not something that you should stop trying to manage. There is no cure for this disease, but the workout set-up above is a good way of making sure that it isn’t as intense as it could be. 

You’ll have to stick to it, build-up your walk-time, increase the difficulty, etc.  

It all goes into making sure that you’re not stuck with the more debilitating symptoms of this condition. Allowing you a semblance of control that you might have never had gotten otherwise.  

 

REFERENCES 

  1. Murphy, Timothy P, et al. “Supervised Exercise versus Primary Stenting for Claudication Resulting from Aortoiliac Peripheral Artery Disease: Six-Month Outcomes from the Claudication: Exercise versus Endoluminal Revascularization (CLEVER) Study.” Circulation, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 3 Jan. 2012, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22090168 

Which Foods Improve Circulation?

Which Foods Improve Circulation? 

Poor blood circulation can be caused by a variety of different conditions. The most common of which include PAD, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, etc. Fortunately, most of these conditions, or at least the symptoms of said conditions, can be treated by living a healthier lifestyle. That includes increased physical activity and a healthier diet.   

In fact, there are many things that good dietary decisions can do to help improve circulation. It’s just a matter of knowing what to eat.  

Fatty Fish 

An example of a food item that you might one to fit into your diet is fatty fish. That would include fish like salmon and mackerel, which are chock-filled with omega-3 fatty acids. These can promote the production of a molecule called nitric oxide. Which is an important molecule that has been known to promote the dilation of blood vessels, which can greatly improve blood circulation.  

Omega-3 fatty acids can also help prevent clots, which reduces the risk for blocked up arteries. There are also studies that would suggest that fish oil is particularly effective at improving blood flow during and post exercise(something those who suffer from PAD or similar circulatory issues can benefit from.)  

Cayenne Pepper 

Another possible addition to your diet is Cayenne Pepper. Nowadays, Cayenne Pepper — or most specifically capsaicin, is incredibly popular as a health and fitness supplement. This is due to its ability to increase metabolism and promote the release of nitric oxide. This increase in arterial dilation is beneficial in promoting blood flow, especially when exercising.  

Citrus Fruits 

Oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits contain antioxidants, specifically flavonoids. This is important because flavonoids have been known to help strengthen arterial walls and improves blood circulation and nitric oxide production by reducing the risk of inflammation.  

Nuts 

Walnuts, almonds, and certain raw nuts are known for being packed with compounds that can help promote nitric oxide production. Research has shown, that walnuts, in particular, are beneficial for diabetics that have poor circulation. As it will not only help reduce the risk for inflammation but can also help control high blood pressure as well.  

Beets 

Another popular name in the world of fitness and health supplements are beets. Beets, similar to cayenne pepper, are known for its ability to increase performance by improving blood flow during exercise — which can help boost muscle growth. This is due to the fact that they are filled with nitrates, a compound used in order to produce nitric oxide.  

Conclusion — Which Foods Improve Circulation? 

Poor circulation is often a result of a condition, rather than the cause of it. Fortunately, as mentioned in the very beginning, most of the conditions that are linked to poor circulation can be treated with a healthier lifestyle. That involves exercise, of course, but a healthy diet is important too!  

REFERENCES 

  1. Ma, Yingying, et al. “Effects of Walnut Consumption on Endothelial Function in Type 2 Diabetic Subjects.” Diabetes Care, American Diabetes Association, 1 Feb. 2010, care.diabetesjournals.org/content/33/2/227.  
  2. Raubenheimer, Kyle, et al. “Acute Effects of Nitrate-Rich Beetroot Juice on Blood Pressure, Hemostasis and Vascular Inflammation Markers in Healthy Older Adults: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study.” MDPI, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 22 Nov. 2017, www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/11/1270 

What Causes Poor Blood Circulation?

What Causes Poor Blood Circulation? 

Poor circulation, on its own, is not considered a condition. Instead, it’s a result of other issues. Something that must be dealt with directly. That is why it is important to know what causes poor blood circulation.  

Peripheral Arterial Disease 

The first condition of note is Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD.) PAD, specifically, can cause poor circulation in the legs and feet. The disease is associated with a condition called atherosclerosis — which occurs when plaque builds up in the arteries and blood vessels.  

This can, ultimately, result in narrowed arteries and blood vessels — which restricts the flow of blood. People who suffer from poor blood circulation caused by PAD often experience sharp or numbing pain in the legs and feet during or post-exercise.  

If diagnosed early enough, a patient should be able to treat the symptoms of PAD (even if no known cure is available) through a series of lifestyle changes. If not, the disease could easily result in coronary and cardiovascular risks, including heart attacks and stroke.  

Diabetes 

Although diabetes is better known to cause poor blood sugar levels, it can also cause poor blood circulation. In fact, according to recent studies, diabetes has been known to increase a person’s risk for atherosclerosis, which is the main cause of PAD. What’s worse, the risk of coronary and cardiovascular events increases in patients with both PAD and Diabetes — and in some cases might even result in death.  

Blood Clots 

Another common cause of poor blood circulation is blood clots. These, as you might already know, either completely or partially block the flow of blood. Unlike PAD, blood clots can naturally occur throughout the body (not just in the extremities.)  

A blood clot can become very dangerous, because it can travel or break away from its current location of obstruction (unlike plaque — which is stuck against the arterial wall.) When blood clots move, they can travel all the way to the heart or lungs. This can cause serious conditions that might result in death, especially if left untreated. 

Obesity 

Obesity has also been linked to poor circulation, especially those who constantly find themselves in a stationary position (whether it be sitting or standing.) One also has to consider the fact that obesity can increase the risk of other conditions that can cause poor circulation as well (including varicose veins.)  

Raynaud’s Disease 

Although not as common, there are those (especially those who live in colder climates) who might become afflicted with Raynaud’s Disease. This condition primarily affects the small arteries in the fingers and toes, and it might appear symptomatically as cold hands or feet.   

Conclusion — What Causes Poor Blood Circulation? 

Although there are a great many conditions that can potentially cause poor blood circulation, the aforementioned conditions are the most common. Fortunately, most of these conditions, or at least its symptoms, can be treated if diagnosed early enough. It’s all a matter of identifying what issues you might be suffering from, and getting the help that you need.  

REFERENCES 

  1. Kielhorn, Caitlin E, and Ehrin J Armstrong. “Peripheral Artery Disease in Patients with Diabetes: Epidemiology, Mechanisms, and Outcomes.” World Journal of Gastroenterology, Baishideng Publishing Group Inc., 10 July 2015, www.wjgnet.com/1948-9358/full/v6/i7/961.htmPage Break
  2. “Raynaud’s Disease.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 31 Oct. 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/raynauds-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20363571 

Is Walking Good for PAD?

Is Walking Good for PAD?

People who suffer from Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), often experience intermittent pain or numbness during exercise. This leads to an understandable reluctance to perform any physical activity that would strain the legs and feet. However, there are some studies that would suggest that this is the opposite of what a person suffering from PAD should do.  

Why is that? Let’s take a closer look! 

Why is Walking Good for PAD? 

PAD has no known cure. Even surgical procedures, which might prove to be necessary in the most severe cases, cannot completely cure this condition. 

However, there are ways that you can treat the symptoms of PAD. For example, the sensation that we described in the very beginning (pain/numbness during or after exercise), is a common symptom of PAD called claudication. This symptom can greatly affect how patients with PAD might live their life and is highly disruptive, even in the mildest of cases.  

Now, even though straining the legs and feet can cause pain. There is reason to believe that walking can actually lessen or even get rid of the pain completely! Walking has also been said to prevent the disease from progressing further, which should help keep the patient from having to worry about highly invasive surgical procedures. 

How Does Walking Help?  

Of course, there are other ways that a healthy and regular walking routine can do to make PAD less disruptive. These can include the following: 

  • By helping treat claudication, patients are able to walk for longer periods at a time; 
  • The previous statement applies to other forms of exercise as well, allowing the patient to become more active as time passes; 
  • As a general benefit of walking, a patient’s health and well-being is improved; 
  • It can also help control blood pressure and blood sugar levels, which can exacerbate the condition (especially in patients who are diabetic); 
  • Finally, walking comes at no cost or risk to the patient, which cannot be said for some of the more invasive surgical procedures or costly medication that might become necessary if PAD is left untreated.  

Walking Routine 

The last thing to consider then is how a patient might want to go about adding a walking routine into their schedule. It is for this very reason that patients are recommended to sign up for supervised exercise. For this, a routine is drawn up to perfectly suit the patient’s unique capabilities by an experienced handler.   

If you are a patient suffering from PAD, then that is the most recommended route. However, if that type of option is unavailable to you, then you can always request a recommendation for one of the more generic programs available from your handling physician.  

Conclusion — Is Walking Good for PAD? 

If treated early enough, PAD can be made less disruptive. For some patients, all it takes is a regular walk three to four times a week in order to improve! If this is an issue that you yourself are facing, then the time to take action is now. Find a nice place to take a stroll and take complete reign over your future!  

REFERENCES:  

  1. Rantner, Barbara, et al. “The Fate of Patients with Intermittent Claudication in the 21st Century Revisited – Results from the CAVASIC Study.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 3 Apr. 2017, www.nature.com/articles/srep45833 

Can Poor Circulation Cause Weight Gain?

Can Poor Circulation Cause Weight Gain?

Poor circulation is a result of conditions like PAD, Reynaud’s syndrome, and diabetes. It’s also been linked to obesity and weight gain. Considering that relation, can poor circulation cause weight gain or is it the other way around? Let’s investigate the matter.  

What is Obesity? 

There is more to being obese than just weighing more than you should. According to the Cleveland Clinic, obesity is a serious and chronic condition that can slowly but surely damage your body. These damages can take the form of conditions and complications that can result in serious mortal risk or even death.  

Common Causes of Obesity 

There are plenty of potential causes for obesity, and it’s not necessarily going to be the same for each person. Especially in places like the United States, where according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 35% of women and just over 30% of men are considered obese.  

The most common causes of obesity are as follows: 

  • Poor Diet 
  • Physical Inactivity 
  • Tobacco Abuse 

These ‘causes,’ for anyone suffering from poor circulation (specifically in the lower extremities), are probably very familiar. In other words, the list above is identical to the most common causes of Peripheral Arterial Disease — which is a circulatory condition that targets the legs and feet.  

Can Poor Circulation Cause Weight Gain? 

As mentioned, Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a circulatory condition centered around the legs and feet. It’s most likely to occur in patients who have a history of smoking or those who have poor blood pressure or blood sugar levels (things that can be caused by both physical inactivity and a poor diet.)  

That draws up a straightforward connection between obesity and a poor circulatory condition. However, we have yet to answer the actual question. Will poor circulation cause weight gain? At this point, we can say that the opposite is true – weight gain can cause poor circulation.  

However, outside of making it more difficult for you to exercise or perhaps making it more difficult for you to gain muscle, poor circulation should not cause any weight gain. Not substantially, in any case.  

Conclusion — Can Poor Circulation Cause Weight Gain? 

To summarize, whilst there is a correlation between poor circulation and weight gain, said correlation is positive on only one side of the spectrum. Which means, that while obesity can result in poor circulation, the opposite is unlikely to occur. 

REFERENCES 

  1. Team, Chronic Conditions. “Obesity Is Now Considered a Disease.” Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, 17 July 2015, health.clevelandclinic.org/obesity-is-now-considered-a-disease/. 
  2. “Overweight & Obesity Statistics.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1 Aug. 2017, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/overweight-obesity 

What is the Most Common Symptom of Peripheral Artery Disease?

What is the Most Common Symptom of Peripheral Artery Disease?

Peripheral Artery Disease exists both symptomatically and asymptomatically. That means, that one patient might display symptoms of the condition, and another none at all.  

What can a person with symptomatic PAD expect? 

There are various symptoms linked to PAD, and each person is unlikely to have the same ones. However, the most common symptom of Peripheral Artery Disease, Claudication, is one that most people appear to have.  

The Most Common Symptom of PAD 

Claudication, in and of itself, is also varied. According to the MayoClinic, one person might experience mild to sharp pain, and others might feel a more numbing pain (a.i. cramps.) Either way, claudication is caused by a lack of blood flow. For PAD, claudication exists in the lower extremities, but intermittent claudication can affect the arms as well.  

For most people, claudication is felt only when exercising, but as the plaque build-up caused by PAD worsens (and blood is unable to pass through), according to research from John Hopkins Medicine, a patient might feel pain even when they’re resting.  

If you’re experiencing claudication as a symptom of PAD, there are treatments available that can help you get back on your feet. Such treatments might include medication (to help with the pain, to prevent clotting, etc.) or even surgical procedures like angioplasty and stenting (for clearing clogged arteries and then providing it support.)  

Other Common Symptoms of PAD 

Other symptoms that are commonly present in patients with PAD include:  

  • Coldness in the legs and feet that is not mirrored in both sides (only one leg feels cold); 
  • Sores on your lower extremities that do not heal; 
  • Discoloration in the skin around your legs and feet, the skin might also appear shiny, or brittle in comparison to everywhere else; 
  • Hair loss, or hair that doesn’t grow on the legs and feet; 
  • Possible erectile dysfunction in men; 
  • And finally, nails that either do not grow or suddenly turn brittle.   

Much like claudication, some of these symptoms can be made less severe with the application of treatment in the form of medication or surgical procedures.  

Conclusion — What is the Most Common Symptom of Peripheral Artery Disease? 

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, or a grouping of the symptoms, mentioned above, then it’s vital that you talk to your doctor. This is especially true if you are feeling intermittent claudication (whether during exercise or at rest.) There is no known cure for PAD. However, there are plenty of treatments that can help you get over its more common symptoms.  

The earlier that you are diagnosed, the better off you will be. If treated early enough, you will not have to worry about any of the symptoms mentioned above intruding into your daily life.  

 

REFERENCES 

  1. “Claudication.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 Apr. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/claudication/symptoms-causes/syc-20370952. 
  2. “Symptoms & Treatment of Claudication.” Is There Really Any Benefit to Multivitamins?, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/cardiovascular_diseases/claudication_85,P08251. 
  3. NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/peripheral-arterial-disease-pad/ 

Can You Reverse Peripheral Artery Disease?

Can You Reverse Peripheral Artery Disease

Whether Peripheral Artery Disease is reversible is a bit of a yes and no. In a sense that while there are methods of treating the symptoms of PAD, the disease itself cannot be cured.  

So, to answer the questions as to if you can reverse Peripheral Artery Disease, it’s a strong maybe. However, if you are proactive about treating its symptoms, then a healthier and pain-free life might be in the works for you!  

Common Symptoms of PAD 

In order to discuss reversal techniques, we must first discuss what is there to reverse in the first place! PAD exists both symptomatically and asymptomatically. That means, you either get the short end of the stick (wherein you feel all or some of the most common symptoms) or the better-end (wherein you experience little to no symptoms at all.)  

According to NHS UK, the most common symptoms of PAD include: 

  • Claudication; sharp or numbing pain felt after exercising; 
  • Overall weakness or numbness in the legs and feet; 
  • Physical abnormalities, which includes brittleness in the toenails, wiry hair, or even discoloration in skin pigmentation; 
  • and finally, sores and wounds that do not heal. 

Make Healthy Life Choices 

The first and simplest way to ‘reverse’ the symptoms of PAD is through a series of lifestyle changes. In most patients, living healthier can very well put a stop to all their symptoms altogether! 

For example, smoking is known to be one of the worst things a patient can do to perpetuate PAD. Thus, it is recommended that one cease smoking immediately — in some cases, smoking cessation has even been said to substantially reduce the risk for PAD in patients!  

Exercising or changing to a low-fat and healthy-diet has also been known to decrease the intrusiveness of the condition. This is all about maintaining a healthier weight, keeping active, and making sure that your body is getting all the right nutrients (and none of the wrong ones!) 

In some cases, like when a patient with PAD just so happens to have diabetes as well, more serious actions must be taken to help control blood pressure, glucose levels, etc. This would involve getting in touch with a doctor, who should be able to provide a recommendation as to the kind of medication you might need.   

Other Options 

Of course, sometimes, just changing your lifestyle for the better might not be enough. Fortunately, there are other options that you can consider. These might include:  

  • Angioplasty: PAD occurs due to a build-up of plaque around the arteries. Angioplasty, when applicable, is done in order to get rid of that plaque. Note, this is a highly intrusive operation — requiring an overnight stay and a procedure that involves inserting a tube through your arteries.  
  • Stenting: This usually happens in conjunction with angioplasty (which has a tendency of weakening the arteries.) For this procedure, a mesh-tube is placed (called a stent) to support the weakened artery.  
  • Bypass Surgery: In certain specialized cases, the blocked-up artery will be completely left blocked in favor of ‘installing’ a new artery. Hence, the name bypass — as it allows blood to bypass blockages by using a new artery instead.  

Conclusion — Can You Reverse Peripheral Artery Disease? 

In the end, there are lots of options available that you can use to ‘reverse’ your PAD. However, the best, and easiest option is to simply live a much healthier life! Of course, such methods are usually more effective when the disease is still in its early stages. So, the earlier that you get diagnosed, the better!  

 

REFERENCES 

  1. NHS Choices, NHS, www.nhs.uk/conditions/peripheral-arterial-disease-pad/. 
  2. Conen, David, et al. “Smoking, Smoking Cessation, and Risk for Symptomatic Peripheral Artery Disease in Women: A Cohort Study.” Annals of Internal Medicine, American College of Physicians, 7 June 2011, annals.org/aim/article-abstract/746966/smoking-smoking-cessation-risk-symptomatic-peripheral-artery-disease-women-cohort?doi=10.7326/0003-4819-154-11-201106070-00003.