About Peripheral Arterial Disease
Peripheral Arterial Disease occurs when not enough blood is able to reach the organs and extremities, such as the legs, arms, head, kidneys and stomach. As a result of this, affected body parts do not receive enough oxygen, resulting in pain and discomfort.
Signs and Symptoms
- Pain, numbness, aching, or heaviness in the leg muscles.
- Weak or absent pulses in the legs or feet.
- Sores or wounds on the toes, feet, or legs that heal slowly, poorly, or not at all.
- A pale or bluish colour to the skin.
- A lower temperature in one leg compared to the other leg.
- Poor nail growth on the toes and decreased hair growth on the legs.
- Erectile dysfunction, especially among men who have diabetes.
What causes Peripheral Arterial disease?
The disease may start when certain factors damage the inner layers of the arteries. These factors include smoking, age, high amounts of certain fats and cholesterol in the blood, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, high amounts of sugar in the blood due to insulin resistance or diabetes.
It is thought that there is also a strong genetic predisposition to developing peripheral arterial disease and a family history of high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, heart disease and stroke will also predisposition towards the development of this condition.