The accumulation of plague like substance in the arteries that carry blood to vital organs will cause peripheral artery disease (PAD). The excess of fat will get collected in the form of plague inside artery which then mixes with tissue fiber and calcium to block the arterial blood flow. This condition is called as atherosclerosis and when enough oxygenated blood is not supplied to head, heart and other organs it can affect the part seriously. PAD normally is found in the arteries of the legs but it can also affect arteries which supplies blood to head, kidneys and arms.
The prominent symptoms of PAD are leg pain while waking due to improper blood flow. Some of them would experience muscular pain and cramps or stiffening of legs while waking but it will soon disappear. In many cases, PAD is asymptomatic (no visible signs to diagnose). Others who experience symptoms will have numbness in legs, sores on feet, mild change in color of legs, hair loss, weakened pulse rate in legs and erectile dysfunction for men.
The major cause of PAD is atherosclerosis which is a condition of fat deposits or building of plague in arteries, stopping blood flow. Sometime, it can be caused due to inflammation of blood vessels and accidental injury to legs.
The disease can be controlled by quitting smoking and by making lifestyle changes. Medical treatment is given in the form of cholesterol lowering drugs and medicines for controlling high blood pressure. Diabetic patients and adults who are above 50 should monitor the changes and pain in legs to eliminate PAD. Bypass surgery and angioplasty is done on some patients to set right the illness of PAD. In rare case, thrombolytic surgery is done for removing blood clot in the artery.
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