Can you reverse PAD, and what do you need to know about this condition? Well, PAD, or peripheral arterial disease, develops when the arteries in your arms or legs harden, reducing blood flow.
Now, left untreated, PAD becomes progressively worse, and can't completely be reversed. Still, with effective interventions, we can relieve symptoms; slow disease progression; and prevent further cardiac complications.
Certain lifestyle choices and underlying conditions can increase your risk for peripheral arterial disease. These include:
There are four distinct PAD stages, each characterized by a distinct set of symptoms. While it can be difficult to diagnose PAD in the early stages, it's important to do so in order to prevent dangerous disease progression.
Initially, you may notice muscle fatigue or leg cramps that develop when you're physically active. (Called claudication.) They resolve with rest, and return with renewed activity. Next, you may develop ischemic rest pain, or pain in your toes or the top of your foot that develops when you lie flat but improves if you walk or allow your feet to dangle.
Without intervention, you may develop ulcers, or open wounds that don't heal after six or more weeks. From there, you are at risk for gangrene, or the death of your skin tissue.
If you wish to reverse PAD symptoms, you will also need to address the underlying causes of the disease. Try to get regular exercise, and get your cholesterol and blood pressure levels into a healthy range. (Either with lifestyle changes or medication.) Keep your diabetes under control, and quit smoking if you haven't already. In some cases, this will be enough to resolve your PAD symptoms and reduce your risk for heart attack or stroke. But in other cases, you will need to seek more permanent treatment options.
At Texas Endovascular, our interventional radiologists in Houston and Dallas treat PAD with minimally invasive interventions using state-of-the-art equipment. As a result, you can find relief from peripheral arterial disease without having to stay overnight in the hospital.
The treatment we recommend will depend on the severity of your disease when you come in for a consultation. Options include:
Each one can be performed without open surgery, so you will likely be able to go home on the same day as your treatment. And, following your treatment, you should experience improved blood flow and reduced symptom burden.
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