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glossary:peripheral_arterial_disease [2012/10/16 14:40] (current)
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 +Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is an ongoing condition that results from narrowing of the arteries that supply oxygen-rich [[blood]] to the legs, abdomen, pelvis, arms, or neck. The most common cause of this disease is the buildup of excess [[cholesterol]],​ calcium, and other substances (plaque) on the inside of arteries, particularly those that feed the legs.
 +In peripheral arterial disease, the arteries harden and narrow (atherosclerosis),​ reducing blood flow to other parts of the body. As a leg artery narrows, the leg muscles do not get enough blood, especially during increased activity. When the muscle is in a resting state, the blood supply may be adequate.
 +The main symptom of peripheral arterial disease in the leg is a tight or squeezing [[pain]] in the calf, foot, thigh, or buttock that occurs during exercise (such as walking up a hill or a flight of stairs, running, or simply walking a few steps). This pain is called intermittent claudication. It usually happens after a certain amount of exercise and is relieved by rest. As the condition gets worse, leg pain may occur after only minimal activity or even when at rest.
 +Other signs of peripheral arterial disease in the legs include:
 +Decreased leg strength and function and poor balance when standing. ​
 +Cold and numb feet or toes. 
 +Sores that are slow to heal.
 +The first goal of treatment for peripheral arterial disease is to identify and change lifestyle factors, such as smoking, a high-fat diet, and lack of exercise, that may be causing the disease. Treatment may include cholesterol-lowering medicine and other medicines to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. Surgery may be needed if blood flow is significantly decreased to some areas. ​
glossary/peripheral_arterial_disease.txt ยท Last modified: 2012/10/16 14:40 (external edit)