Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a common medical condition in which a build-up of plaque due to atherosclerosis makes it difficult for blood to circulate through the arteries. PAD primarily affects the legs, but can also damage arteries in the kidneys, abdomen, feet, ankles, pelvis, hips, buttocks and even in your arms.
There are some things you can avoid to decrease your risk for developing PAD, as well as some things you can add to your diet and lifestyle, but it’s important to know these methods should not be used in place of treatment.
To decrease your risk of developing PAD:
Pay Attention to Your Diet
Since March is National Nutrition Month, it’s a great time to talk about the importance of making informed food choices with good health in mind. And while we may not like to hear it, the foods we eat do impact our health, both for the good and the not-so-good. Some dietary steps you can take to improve your vascular (and overall) health include:
- Reducing consumption of foods high in saturated fats or cholesterol
- Staying away from trans-fats
- Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils
- Limiting sodium
- Limiting alcohol
- Eating more whole grains and fiber
Pay Attention to Your Activity Level
Walking in intervals is a great way to promote good blood circulation. Try walking for 30 minutes each day and try to increase your walking distance before taking a break. While this type of training might be challenging, the goal is to improve your tolerance and decrease your risk factors for PAD, such as high blood pressure and/or cholesterol. Another good option is to work with a physical therapist in a walking program.
Consider Making Needed Lifestyle Changes
Quitting smoking, eating a heart-healthy diet and getting regular exercise can help lower your risk for PAD disease. Aerobic exercise (hello, cardio!) can burn your body fat, raise good HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure and sugar levels.
But if lifestyle changes are not enough, and you continue to experience PAD symptoms like pain and discomfort in your legs, or ulcers in your feet that do not easily heal, you should see a vascular expert.
PAD Treatments at Lam Vascular
If your PAD symptoms become lifestyle-limiting, we may recommend intervention. Lam Vascular & Associates offers laser atherectomy as well as balloon angioplasty and stenting. These procedures are minimally invasive and safely performed in The Lam Vascular Limb Salvage Center using state-of-the-art technology. This allows for a faster recovery and no overnight stay in most cases.
Dr. Russell Lam and his team of vascular experts are Dallas’ trusted resource for comprehensive vascular care, including all things relating to PAD. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, our PAD Resources Portal has everything you need to learn everything you need to know about this disease.
If you need us, we are here for you, with locations in Dallas, Rockwall, Arlington and Sunnyvale.