Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) |  Dr Sara Kayat

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) | Dr Sara Kayat

I often hear people talk
about their circulation, saying it’s poor because they
get numb toes in the winter, or pins and needles if they’ve
been sat down for too long. But, that’s not usually a
sign of anything serious or pathological. But there are groups of
people, who, over many years, through fatty deposits in
their arteries or damage to their arteries, start to
develop a poor circulation, also known as peripheral artery
disease or PAD for short. Now, in most cases, people
with PAD don’t even get any symptoms, but as the
condition progresses, it can lead to aches and
pains, pins and needles, in your legs. That’s often only alleviated
when you stop walking or you rest. Now, what puts you at
risk of developing PAD? The number one cause is smoking. Other causes can be a sedentary
lifestyle, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure. So the main way of treating
PAD is to actually manage these kind of risk factors. So, becoming active and physically
active, if you previously were quite sedentary, losing
weight if you were overweight, having that healthy
diet, stopping smoking. If you do have diabetes, high
cholesterol or high blood pressure that needs to be
managed through medication, then taking those medications regularly. There are even medications
that can help improve the circulation and
improve the blood flow. If PAD is left untreated,
it can become critical, and in those cases it can
mean that the blood supply to the legs get completely cut off. Some people even need things
like amputations as a result, so it can be serious. The other thing to think
about, is whatever’s happening to the arteries in your
legs may also be happening to other arteries that are
very important, like those to the heart or to the
brain, and that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. So ultimately, it’s important
to look after yourself in terms of your lifestyle. Do everything you can to
be as healthy as you can, to avoid things like this happening.

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