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What is peripheral artery disease?
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a condition that affects the arteries that bring blood to the legs. PAD can cause muscle pain that gets worse with activity and better with rest. Some describe this as an aching or cramping. This is called “claudication.”
Normally, blood flows easily through arteries to all parts of the body. But sometimes, fatty clumps called “plaques” build up inside the arteries. Plaques can cause arteries to become narrow or blocked. This prevents blood from flowing normally.
You are at risk of PAD if you:
● Have ever smoked
● Have diabetes
● Have high cholesterol
● Have high blood pressure
● Have a family history of artery disease
What are the symptoms of PAD?
PAD often causes pain in the lower leg. The pain usually gets worse with walking or other exercise and gets better with rest. PAD can also cause pain in the buttocks, thighs, or sometimes in the feet.
How can I help treat my PAD?
● Stop smoking
● Get your diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol under control.
● Walk. Providers recommend that people with PAD walk every day. Ask your provider how best to begin a walking program.
● Sometimes PAD needs to be treated with a procedure or surgery. Ask your provider which is best for you.