How to Manage Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral Artery Disease

About 8.5 million people under the age of 40 have peripheral artery disease (PAD). This condition develops as vessels in the lower extremities begin to narrow. These vessels are responsible for carrying blood from the heart to the legs. 

People with PAD are at a higher risk of developing coronary artery or cerebrovascular disease. Either disease could cause a stroke or heart attack.

Instead of letting your risk rise, keep these tips in mind. By learning how to manage your peripheral artery disease, you can protect your heart and extend your lifespan.

Keep reading to discover your options for reversing peripheral artery disease naturally today!

Medications

Your doctor might prescribe medications to help keep your peripheral artery disease symptoms at bay. The goal in taking these medications is to reduce the chance of blood clots in your blood vessels. It’s also important to try and improve blood flow even as your vessels begin to narrow. 

Treatment could help reduce your blood pressure and cholesterol. Managing these levels could prevent your PAD from progressing.

Most people develop PAD when plaque or fatty deposits accumulate against the artery walls. This process causes inflammation throughout your arteries. Inflammation can reduce blood flow, which can damage tissue.

If left untreated, you might have to amputate a limb. 

Medication like statin might help reduce your cholesterol and lower your inflammation. Statins could also help improve your artery health, which could reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack.

Your doctor might choose a medication designed to reduce your blood pressure, too. These medications can include:

  • Diuretics
  • Beta-blockers
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Angiotensin II recetpor blockers

A medication designed to prevent blood clots might help as well. Your doctor might suggest a blood thinner or daily aspirin.

If you’re already on medications for another condition, make sure to discuss your treatment plan with your doctor. For example, patients with diabetes need to maintain their blood sugar levels. 

Pay attention to your peripheral artery disease symptoms, too. Are you experiencing pain? Your doctor might choose medications that can reduce pain by encouraging blood flow. 

Make sure to review the potential side effects of each medication with your doctor. 

Supervised Exercise

Exercise is an important component of peripheral artery disease treatment. 

Remaining active could help you feel better. Each time you work out, you’re improving your cholesterol levels and reducing the amount of plaque in your arteries. Regular exercise can also help stabilize your blood pressure.

Meanwhile, increasing your blood flow and circulation can also ease your peripheral artery disease symptoms.

Your doctor might suggest you exercise under a healthcare professional’s eye. You might want to ask about working with a physical therapist or finding a rehabilitation center. A claudication exercise rehabilitation program might help, too.

You can work with a professional to develop a routine that includes the best exercise for peripheral artery disease. These exercises can include:

  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Moving your legs and arms
  • Walking on a treadmill

Try to work yourself up to 150 minutes of physical activity every week. Your healthcare professional can help you slowly work up to this goal. 

Don’t overexert yourself too quickly. You don’t want to unintentionally hurt yourself.

Lifestyle Changes

There are risk factors that can make your PAD worse, including:

  • A history of heart disease or diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking

The prevalence of PAD increases as you grow older. About 30 to 40% of patients present with claudication symptoms. The number of vascular risk factors you exhibit can increase your risk as well. 

To ease your peripheral artery disease symptoms, you might want to make a few lifestyle changes.

Each time you smoke, your blood vessels will constrict even more. This process can increase your blood pressure. Your risk of heart attack and stroke increase as well. 

Once you quit smoking, it can restore your blood flow and circulation. It can also help reduce the progression of your disease. Quitting smoking can improve your overall health.

Look for ways that can curb your cravings, including patches, nicotine gum, or sprays. There are medications that could help, too. 

It also helps to adjust your diet. A healthy diet can slow the progression of PAD.

Are you eating foods that are high in sodium and fat? These foods could boost your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The plaque in your arteries might rise.

Try to eat healthy foods like:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish like salmon)
  • Lean proteins
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Whole-wheat rains
  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy

Otherwise, avoid foods that can impact your cholesterol, such as fried or junk foods. These can include refined carbs, processed meats, and chips.

Foot Care

People who have PAD and diabetes are at higher risk of poor healing. You might develop sores and injuries on your legs and feet without realizing it. Your reduced blood circulation can make it difficult for you to heal from these injuries.

Make sure to wash your feet daily. Then, dry and moisturize your skin to prevent cracks. Leaving these cracks unattended could cause an infection.

Avoid moisturizing between your toes, which can cause fungal growth.

You should also:

  • Check for injuries daily
  • Wear well-fitting shoes and thick socks
  • Treat fungal infections promptly
  • Trim your nails
  • Visit a doctor for calluses, corns, and bunion treatment

If you notice a sore or injury, visit a doctor right away. 

Surgery Options

In extreme cases, your doctor might suggest you undergo surgery.

Angioplasty is one option. This procedure involves threading a small, hollow catheter through one of your blood vessels. Then, a small balloon is inflated to reopen your artery.

Angioplasty can help flatten the blockage and increase blood flow to your artery.

Your doctor might also suggest bypass surgery. This surgery involves using a vessel from another part of your body. The vessel helps increase your blood flow by bypassing the narrowed artery.

Asking yourself, “what is the best treatment for peripheral artery disease?” This guide can help you explore your options further. 

Your Options for Peripheral Artery Disease: Taking Care of Your Heart Health

Your peripheral artery disease symptoms don’t have to control your life. Instead, keep these tips for managing your condition in mind. With these techniques, you can ease your symptoms and improve your quality of life. 

Looking for more helpful guides? Explore the Health and Fitness section of the blog today!

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