Since our article last month regarding carotid arterial disease and stroke, at LA CVT we have taken care of multiple patients who presented with stroke, gangrene of the legs and ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms. These cases could have been prevented if patients had been screened for early detection. P.A.D., Peripheral Arterial Disease, occurs when arteries in the legs become narrowed or clogged with fatty deposits, or plaque. The buildup of plaque causes the arteries in the legs to harden and narrow, causing a reduction in blood flow to the legs and feet.
P.A.D. is serious. It affects many Americans over the age of 50. The hardened arteries found in people with P.A.D. are a sign that they are likely to have hardened and narrowed arteries to the heart and the brain. People with P.A.D. have a two-to-six times greater chance of death from a heart attack or a stroke.
Individuals 50 years or older have a naturally higher risk, but the risks increase even further if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, abnormal blood cholesterol levels, heart disease, heart attack or stroke, family history of heart disease, are of African American ethnicity or if you smoke or have smoked.
The most common signs of P.A.D. include one or more of these problems: cramps, tiredness or pain in legs, thighs or buttocks that occurs when you walk but goes away at rest; foot or toe pain at rest that often disturbs your sleep; and/or skin wounds or ulcers on your feet or toes that are slow to heal or do not heal.
Here are a few life-saving steps to help prevent and control P.A.D.:
- Quit Smoking!
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower LDL (bad) cholesterol
- Manage blood glucose
- Talk to physician about taking antiplatelet medicines
- Healthy diet
- LA CVT encourages Juice Plus to achieve daily fruit and vegetable intake
- Daily water intake, 8, 8oz servings of water daily in place of soda and juices
- Daily moderate exercise
- Take the LA CVT challenge to get to 10,000 steps daily
At LA CVT, we are working hard to heal Cenla, one heart beat at a time. Taking your health care one step further, we encourage our community to join forces with LA CVT’s Get Fit America program with a city wide challenge to get screened Cenla! Make your appointment at LA CVT today by calling (318) 442-0106.