Causes of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a dangerous medical condition that affects more than six million people in the United States. It is the narrowing of arteries responsible for delivering blood to the extremities, most notably the legs and feet. PAD is caused by atherosclerosis, a condition where fatty deposits build up and restrict blood flow in the arteries.
Atherosclerosis plays a pivotal role in PAD progression. As plaque accumulates within the arteries, it restricts blood flow to the peripheral regions (lower extremities) of the body. The diminished blood supply causes leg pain, cramping, weakness, and impaired wound healing.
Several risk factors contribute to the development of atherosclerosis and, subsequently, PAD.
- Smoking: People who smoke are at an elevated risk, as smoking damages the lining of the arteries and accelerates the buildup of plaque.
- High LDL Cholesterol: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is a major factor in the onset of PAD. When LDL cholesterol levels are high, it can lead to the formation of plaque on the arterial walls. This plaque consists of cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances.
- Diabetes: Elevated blood sugar levels associated with diabetes can weaken blood vessels and promote plaque formation.
- Obesity: Several studies have revealed a strong link between obesity and the increased incidence of PAD. A high body mass index places a more significant burden on the cardiovascular system, leading to the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries.
- High Blood Pressure: Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can strain the arteries, leading to their narrowing and reduced blood flow.
Rare causes of PAD can include injuries to the legs or arms, as well as radiation exposure. While these causes are not as common as other risk factors like smoking, diabetes, or hypertension, they can still contribute to the development of PAD.
Peripheral Artery Disease Complications
Complications from PAD can be severe and life-threatening.
- Edema: Edema is fluid buildup in the tissues that results in swelling. Edema can cause discomfort and pain, and it often occurs in the legs and feet of people with PAD.
- Stroke and Heart Attack: When the arteries become severely narrowed or blocked, it can lead to compromised blood flow to the heart or brain, resulting in life-threatening events.
- Leg Ulcers: The reduced blood flow to the legs and feet can cause wounds or sores that are slow to heal. If neglected, these ulcers can become infected and may lead to tissue death.
Texas Endovascular: Delivering Compassionate Vascular Care to Houston and Dallas Communities
At Texas Endovascular, we understand the importance of early detection and offer state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging technologies to accurately diagnose PAD. These advanced imaging techniques enable our medical professionals to assess the severity of the disease, identify any blockages or narrowing in the arteries, and develop a personalized treatment plan.
Our team employs cutting-edge treatment approaches that can radically lower the risk of developing serious complications associated with PAD. We are committed to providing personalized treatment options tailored to your specific needs, ensuring the best possible outcome for your health.
Don't let PAD go undiagnosed and untreated. Contact Texas Endovascular todayContact Texas Endovascular todayContact Texas Endovascular today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward reducing your risk of serious complications.