A condition called peripheral artery disease - also referred to as PAD - is an accumulation of plaque and cholesterol in the arteries. It can cause discomfort in the feet and legs and limit activities. More severe cases of PAD can lead to loss of limb. In observance of National Heart Month, Dr. Joel Segalman, Dr. Stephen Lazaroff, and Dr. Brittany Ciaramello at Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC in New Haven County and Fairfield County are sharing some facts about PAD that you may not be aware of.
Inspecting the pulses in your feet. The easiest way to screen for PAD is to have your podiatrist examine the pulses in your feet. There are usually two pulses in each of your feet, and this test to confirm the blood flow to your feet is normal.
General screenings could offer fake positive results. There are offers for screening at community events provided by for-profit companies or interventional groups. These tests often cover a wide range of conditions, ranging from coronary artery disease to osteoporosis.
Indications of an issue. If your legs are hurting or tire quickly, or if you can’t walk long distances due to cramping in your legs, you should have a screening for PAD. Completing an assessment should be done of past or current smokers or anyone with a PAD family history.
No symptoms, no testing required. Testing for PAD typically doesn’t make sense for a healthy individual who has no symptoms, has never smoked, has no family history of heart disease, or is younger than 60. For these people, screening may expose more of a risk because the tests can sometimes be incorrect and lead to riskier, more invasive testing.
PAD can have an effect on the whole body. It's important to keep in mind that PAD is a systemic disease that can affect the entire body's arteries. Because of that, if you have PAD, you are at greater risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.Lifestyle changes and medication, including not smoking, are crucial for patients with decreased blood flow in their feet and legs.
So listen to your feet. If something doesn’t seem right, contact the office of Dr. Joel Segalman, Dr. Stephen Lazaroff, and Dr. Brittany Ciaramello at Performance Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC in New Haven County and Fairfield to schedule an appointment. You can reach our Waterbury office at (203) 755-0489 or our Newtown office at (203) 270-6724.