The arteries around your heart are your coronary arteries and the ones in your neck that supply blood to your brain are your carotid arteries. The others are your peripheral arteries, which can be affected by peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Most often, PAD affects the arteries that go to your legs and feet, but it can affect others as well.
At Beach Wellness MD, Dr. Ali Golshan is an expert in diagnosing and treating vascular conditions, including PAD. If you have any of the risk factors we describe below or you’ve noticed symptoms, contact us so we can help you identify lifestyle changes and treatments that can help you control your symptoms and slow or prevent worsening of the disease.
PAD occurs when a fatty substance called plaque builds up on the walls of your arteries. Over time, the plaque causes your arteries to become stiff and narrow, which makes it more difficult for the blood to flow through them.
This stiffness and narrowing of your arteries is called atherosclerosis, which can lead to other serious health problems. For example, if you have PAD, you may also have plaque buildup in your coronary arteries and a far higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Symptoms of PAD don’t often develop until there is severe blockage of your arteries. In fact, 50% of people with PAD don’t have any symptoms. The most common symptom is leg pain, also called claudication, when walking. You may feel an intense pain in your calf when you walk, severe enough that you have to stop. Other symptoms include:
- Ulcers on your toes or feet
- Cold limbs
- A change of color in your legs