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What Is Peripheral Artery Disease?

  • Category: Blog
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  • Written By: Kirby Medical Center

Understanding Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

More than 6.5 million American adults over the age of 40 are living with peripheral artery disease (PAD). With such high numbers, it’s important for affected persons to understand their health conditions to help prevent more extensive health issues in the future.

In light of National Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness Month, the health experts at Kirby Medical Center are here to shed some light on this form of cardiovascular disease.

What is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is an artery disease that is brought on by atherosclerosis—which is the narrowing of the arteries that carry blood away from the heart and to the rest of the body. This is caused by fatty plaque buildup within the arterial walls.

When left unaddressed, this affects your body’s ability to deliver oxygenated blood and nutrients to the rest of the body, especially the legs and feet. The plaque buildup can also become brittle and break off, causing blood clots to develop, further narrowing or even completely obstructing blood flow in the affected arteries.

Signs & Symptoms of

Many people living with peripheral artery disease mistake their symptoms for other, less serious ailments and ignore them. In some instances, PAD can even go undiagnosed by medical professionals for the same reason.

Having some of the following symptoms may mean that you have peripheral artery disease:

  • Pain or numbness affects the leg muscles.
  • Weak or no pulse in the legs or feet.
  • Sores or cuts that heal slowly or not at all on the legs or feet.
  • Poor toenail growth.
  • Skin with a bluish color.
  • One leg feels colder than the other.
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED).

Contact Kirby Medical Center

At Kirby Medical Center, we are dedicated to helping our community learn how to stay healthy and safe. If you are concerned about your health risks and the types of vaccines that are right for you, contact Kirby Medical Center at 217-762-2115 to learn more about how we can assist with all your healthcare needs.