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7 Facts About Arterial Disease

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19 Feb, 2024

Arterial disease remains a critical concern for many, affecting the limbs and also serving as a warning sign to broader cardiovascular issues. At National Vascular Associates, we help clients discover the right approach to vascular treatment so that a healthier future is within reach. Read more for valuable insights that can help you manage your vascular health.

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The Ripple Effect of PAD

Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD, often acts as a canary in the coal mine, signaling potential blockages beyond the limbs. Individuals diagnosed with PAD are likely to have atherosclerosis, which is a condition characterized by the narrowing and hardening of arteries in various parts of the body. Due to the systemic nature of arterial disease, a diagnosis of PAD warrants a comprehensive cardiovascular evaluation.

The Many Faces of Arterial Disease Symptoms

The manifestations of arterial disease are diverse, affecting individuals in a variety of ways. Symptoms can range from classic claudication, characterized by leg pain during exercise, to more subtle signs, such as non-healing wounds, changes in skin color, or decreased hair growth on the limbs. This variability in symptoms can often lead to misdiagnosis or underestimation of the disease's severity, making it important for both patients and healthcare providers to make vascular treatment and screenings a top priority.

Tobacco Use and Arterial Disease Risk

Smoking can seriously elevate the risk of developing arterial disease. The toxins in tobacco smoke contribute to the acceleration of atherosclerosis, worsening the narrowing and hardening of arteries. Therefore, there is an urgent need for smoking cessation interventions as part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent and manage PAD.

A Closer Look at Aging

Age is a non-negotiable risk factor for PAD, with individuals over the age of 50 facing a heightened risk. The cumulative effect of risk factors over time, including hypertension, high cholesterol, and smoking, plays a massive role in this increased susceptibility. Recognizing the impact of age on vascular health is essential for early detection and intervention.

Diabetes and PAD

Diabetes markedly increases the likelihood of developing Peripheral Arterial Disease. Consistently high blood sugar can often cause damage to nerves and blood vessels, leading to decreased blood flow, particularly in the lower limbs. Rigorous diabetes management and monitoring from a vascular doctor can help make patients aware of signs of PAD in diabetic patients.

Why PAD is Often Underdiagnosed

Peripheral Arterial Disease ranks among the top five most under-diagnosed conditions, serving as a stark reminder of the challenges in detecting and addressing this disease. Many individuals with PAD remain asymptomatic or attribute their symptoms to aging, leading to missed opportunities for early intervention. Raising awareness and advocating for regular vascular care screenings, especially among high-risk populations, is critical to bridging this gap.

Prevention Strategies to Improve Vascular Health

Prevention is still the most effective way to fight against arterial disease. Lifestyle modifications, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, smoking cessation, and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels, can reduce the risk of developing PAD. Early detection through screenings, particularly for those at high risk, is also crucial for preventing disease progression and complications.

Are You Looking for an Experienced Vascular Doctor Near You?

Have you been searching for a qualified vascular specialist in your area? At National Vascular Associates, we are dedicated to delivering the highest standard of vascular care to meet our patient's unique needs. Whether you're at risk, diagnosed with PAD, or simply seeking to improve your overall vascular health, we are here to support you. Contact our office for more information or to schedule an appointment with a vascular specialist.

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