We all deal with leg pain at some point or the other. However, if you have leg pain while walking, which eventually subsides as your rest, you should consider seeing a doctor at the earliest. This is one of the early signs of peripheral arterial disease, simply known as PAD. The condition is mostly felt in legs, but you can have pain in other parts of the body, as well. If treated in time, it is possible to prevent other risks, such as a heart attack.
Knowing the reason
Typically, peripheral arterial disease is associated with the development of plaque in the arteries. The plaque tends of be waxy and is mostly made up of fat. The buildup of plaque is quite slow, so most people don’t realize that they have signs of peripheral arterial disease. With time, the plaque will harden and narrow certain arteries. Just like water won’t drain from a clogged pipe, the same is the case with blood flow. The condition is also known to many as atherosclerosis or just PAD.
Symptoms at a glance
In most cases, there are no early symptoms of PAD. Patients generally complain of leg pain as and when they climb the stairs or take a walk. The pain is mostly concentrated around the calves, but some patients may have pain in thighs and feet, as well. One of the legs may feel colder than the other, and you may have lesser hair on the skin. Men, who have PAD and diabetes, may have a hard time getting an erection.
How to get it tested?
First things first, you should see a doctor at the earliest. A number of tests can detect PAD, but one of the best systems is Quantaflo. Do not delay in seeking medical care, because the condition can be treated, if one gets required treatment and attention in time. Anyone who is over 50 should get tested for PAD. Patients with obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol should also consider getting tests done.
Prevention, as they say, is better than cure. Try to keep your blood sugar in control if you have diabetes, and quit smoking at the earliest (if you are a smoker that is). Avoid foods that are high on saturated fat¸ and always aim to walk for at least 30 minutes each day. Reducing weight is also recommended for obese patients, especially those with extreme weight.