Peripheral Artery Disease & Vascular Health
More than 8 million people over the age of 40 in the United States are affected by vascular disease. The vascular system, also known as the circulatory system, is composed of different types of blood vessels that transport essential oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. Your arteries carry oxygenated blood away from the heart for delivery to your organs and limbs: your veins return this blood to the heart for reoxygenation.
When you have a vascular disease like peripheral artery disease (PAD), it means certain parts of your body, such as your legs, don’t receive enough blood and oxygen. This can cause painful or uncomfortable symptoms, impact mobility, and place you at risk for dangerous health conditions.
Below, we discuss the importance of peripheral vascular circulation and offer recommendations on how to improve vascular health.
How Are Vascular Health and PAD Related?
Peripheral artery disease is a type of vascular disease that most often develops when plaque begins to build up in the arteries, causing them to narrow. The narrowing of the arteries due to plaque is called atherosclerosis. PAD is progressive and if left untreated can completely block blood circulation when arteries become so narrowed they close. Most commonly, the legs are affected.
Although symptoms are not always experienced in the early stages, Peripheral Artery Disease can lead to issues like leg pain, cramping, and weakness. These symptoms can worsen, affecting your ability to walk or climb stairs. PAD can also place you at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and limb amputation.
PAD is considered a serious health condition that requires prompt medical evaluation and treatment. If you are concerned about your vascular health, please contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Can You Improve Your Vascular Health?
We want you to know that a vascular specialist can work with you one-on-one to develop a treatment plan and improve your quality of life. If you are experiencing PAD symptoms like leg pain and cramping when you move around, we recommend visiting a medical professional for evaluation.
We also want to assure you that effective PAD treatment exists that can reduce painful symptoms, improve mobility, and reduce your risks for heart attack, stroke, and amputation. Depending on your situation, treatment may involve lifestyle modifications, medications, and/or a special procedure to improve blood flow.
What Is Good For Vascular Health?
A healthy lifestyle is good for vascular health. To alleviate painful vascular symptoms and reduce your risks of developing additional health issues, follow our recommendations below.
How To Improve Vascular Health:
- Maintain a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI): Being obese or overweight is a risk factor for developing PAD. If you're having a hard time losing excess weight, we recommend asking your doctor for resources.
- Eat a well-rounded diet: A poor diet can impact your arteries and veins. Avoid or limit sodium, sugar, and saturated fats, while eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein.
- Exercise regularly: Inactivity is another risk factor for vascular disease. To get your blood flowing, exercise five days a week for at least 30 minutes.
- Quit smoking: It is probably no surprise that smoking is bad for your blood vessels, along with your overall health. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor.
- Manage related health conditions: Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels can negatively affect your circulatory system. Controlling these factors can benefit your vascular health.
We understand that making lifestyle changes can be challenging. If you need additional support, talk to your doctor about potential resources like smoking cessation programs, supervised exercise sessions, and medical weight loss clinics.
If I Improve My Vascular Health, Can I Reverse the Effects of PAD?
We believe that improving poor vascular circulation can reverse the effects of PAD. Your vascular health may benefit from lifestyle modifications and medications that promote better circulation. Sometimes, a minimally invasive treatment is necessary to address more advanced arterial blockages.
For the best health outcomes, be sure to consult with a vascular specialist early on and follow their treatment recommendations.
Schedule a Consultation at USA Vascular Today
At USA Vascular Centers, our experts care about your vascular health and quality of life. There is no need to suffer from leg pain and difficulty walking any longer. We specialize in performing non-surgical office-based treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease and other vascular conditions.
When you are ready to learn more, you can schedule an appointment online at one of dozens of clinic locations across the country. For your convenience, we also offer telemedicine consultations. No matter where we meet, we look forward to helping you take back control of your vascular health.