What Is Peripheral Vascular Disease?
Peripheral artery disease is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. When you develop peripheral artery disease (PAD), your extremities — usually your legs — don't receive enough blood flow to keep up with demand. This causes symptoms, most notably leg pain when walking (intermittent claudication).
What are the symptoms?
Painful cramping in your hip, thigh or calf muscles after activity, such as walking or climbing stairs (intermittent claudication), coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other leg, sores on your toes, feet or legs that won't heal, A change in the color of your legs, No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet.
When to see a doctor
If you have leg pain, numbness or other symptoms, don't dismiss them as a normal part of aging. Call your doctor and make an appointment.
Even if you don't have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, you may need to be screened if you are: Over age 70, Over age 50 and have a history of diabetes or smoking, Under age 50 but have diabetes and other peripheral artery disease risk factors: (Smoking, Diabetes, Obesity, High blood pressure, High cholesterol, A family history of peripheral artery disease, heart disease or stroke).
People who smoke or have diabetes have the greatest risk of developing peripheral artery disease due to reduced blood flow.
How do we diagnose it?
• Physical exam
• Ankle-biracial index (ABI). This is a common test used to diagnose PAD
• Angiography. By injecting a dye (contrast material) into your blood vessels, this test allows your doctor to view blood flow through your arteries as it happens.
How do we treat it?
Treating hypertension and Diabetes, Medications (Aspirin and Plavix), and by opening the blockage with a balloon or a stint.
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow to the body. During atrial fibrillation, the heart's two upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of coordination with the two lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. Atrial fibrillation symptoms include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness.
What are the symptoms?
Palpitations, which are sensations of a racing, uncomfortable, irregular heartbeat or a flopping in your chest, Decreased blood pressure, Weakness, Lightheadedness, Confusion, Shortness of breath, or Chest pain.
What Causes it?
Abnormalities or damage to the heart's structure are the most common cause of atrial fibrillation. Possible causes of atrial fibrillation include: High blood pressure, heart attacks, abnormal heart valves, heart defects you're born with (congenital), An overactive thyroid gland or other metabolic imbalance, Exposure to stimulants such as medications, caffeine or tobacco, and to alcohol. It can also be caused emphysema or other lung diseases, previous heart surgery, viral infections, stress due to pneumonia, surgery or other illnesses, or sleep apnea.
What are the Complications?
Stroke, heart failure
How to treat it?
The treatment option best for you will depend on how long you've had atrial fibrillation, how bothersome your symptoms are and the underlying cause of your atrial fibrillation. Generally, the goals of treating atrial fibrillation are to:
• Reset the rhythm or control the rate with medication.
• Prevent blood clots
Most people who have atrial fibrillation or who are undergoing certain treatments for atrial fibrillation are at especially high risk of blood clots that can lead to stroke. The risk is even higher if other heart disease is present along with atrial fibrillation. Your doctor may prescribe blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants).
Get treatment today