September is Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Awareness Month: Here’s What You Need to Know

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September is peripheral artery disease (PAD) Awareness Month, and Shiloh Vein & Aesthetics Institute thought it would be helpful to draw some attention to the subject, as not many know the signs, symptoms, and risk factors.

PAD is an extremely underdiagnosed and undertreated disease that affects nearly 10 million Americans every year. Almost all patients who get diagnosed with PAD just assume the pain in their legs is another sign of aging and nothing to worry about, which is why the disease often goes untreated. If left untreated, PAD can progress to the death of healthy leg tissue (gangrene), which ultimately leads to leg amputation.

During Peripheral Artery Disease Awareness Month, it’s critical that vascular centers and facilities around the nation educate their patients so they can get the treatment they need sooner rather than later. Even if you think you are already well-educated on the subject, there’s always more to learn about this disease.

Let’s take a look at some of the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of PAD, as well as what preventative measures you can take.

Signs/Symptoms

As our vascular specialists previously stated, most patients suffering from PAD have no symptoms at all, or they mistake their symptoms as something else. If you’re over the age of 50 and notice any of the below symptoms, see your doctor immediately because it could be the early stages of PAD.

  • Cold toes or feet
  • Pain while walking
  • Dry, discolored skin
  • Wounds that will not heal
  • Leg pain at night
  • Numbness or burning sensations

Risk Factors

Americans over the age of 50 are most at risk for developing PAD with a one in 20 chance. Other risk factors include

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Advanced age
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity

We think it’s also important to note that vascular diseases, PAD included, now account for 80 percent of all amputations. If you have one of the above risk factors and are showing signs and symptoms of PAD, visit your doctor right away to get on a treatment program.

Preventative Measures

The best treatment for PAD is prevention. With just a few simple lifestyle changes you may be able to prevent PAD from every happening to you, or keeping it away for good if you’ve recently undergone PAD surgery. Shiloh Vein & Aesthetics Institute encourages all patients to discuss their specific situation with one of their specialists today.

What will you do this month to spread more awareness on peripheral artery disease? Our doctors want to know!