AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

When it comes to heart health, there are many things to keep track of and consider. If you and your doctor are concerned about you potentially having Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), you may want to undergo testing – specifically, a test to measure your ankle-brachial index.

The goal of undergoing a PAD test is to gauge your resting heart rate, as measured through a cuff that is attached to your ankle. These results can then be compared to the measurements taken when you begin a brief exercise routine. This type of data is a huge indication of whether or not you are suffering from PAD.

artery 6 Peripheral Artery Disease Danger Signs

Here are six common signs that you may be at risk for complications associated with PAD:

1. Swelling of the extremities

If you notice some swelling or tenderness in your feet, this could be a sign that you have early symptoms of PAD. This may be hard to decide, since sometimes you just have swollen feet. However, if this becomes a persistent condition, it’s time to consult a medical professional.

2. Leg pain while walking

If you feel a tingling or painful sensation while you are walking around, this may be another warning that you are in danger of having PAD. Oftentimes, PAD will cause blood to pool in the capillaries in your feet. This will prevent proper blood flow through the area and cause some considerable pain.

3. Discoloration of the skin

If the skin begins to turn a reddish color or maybe even deep purple in your legs or feet, this may be a sign that you have blood pooling into your extremities that isn’t being brought back to your heart. If things have reached this stage, it is essential that you seek help immediately. A doctor can perform an ankle brachial index to confirm that you have PAD and begin treatment immediately.

4. Numbness while resting your legs

Should you be experiencing a numb feeling in your legs while you are sitting or lying down, PAD could be causing pressure to build in your feet, which you sense through your nerves as a tingling feeling. This could be an early sign, so watch out if it becomes more persistent over time.

5. Ankle brachial index of 0.9 or lower

The ankle-brachial index (ABI) is the clearest sign that you have developed some form of PAD. This will allow you to begin preparations to treat the disease, so try not to worry about these results. Basically, your doctor will take a measurement of your blood pressure at your ankle and compare it to the blood pressure at your arm (brachial artery). If the index is below 0.9 then you are at risk for PAD.

6. Cramping or spasms in your feet

This could be one of the bigger signs of PAD. While occasionally having cramping or spasms in your feet could be due to any number of things and might be nothing to worry about, having them consistently and painfully is a big indication that something is wrong.

While only a medical professional can tell you if you have PAD or not, these are the red flags to keep an eye out for during the time you are monitoring your situation. If you feel you are at any type of risk for PAD, and show one or more of the symptoms above, it’s time to call your doctor and make sure you catch any trouble before it causes life-long negative effects.

About Author : Molly Dickens, an RN that has seen many people come through that had no idea what risk they run for various diseases and health conditions.
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