What is peripheral arterial disease?

Peripheral arterial disease is a condition in which blood flow moving away from your heart and towards your extremities is limited by narrowing arteries, leading to inadequate circulation in those areas. The most commonly affected area is the legs, which can lead to leg pain, leg numbness, and trouble walking.

What causes peripheral arterial disease?

Peripheral arterial disease is most commonly caused by a condition called atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when the arteries that carry blood throughout your body become stiffened due to a buildup of fatty plaque or calcium. These buildups block adequate blood flow from reaching your extremities.

Peripheral arterial disease can also be caused by injuries to your limbs, blood vessel inflammation, or anatomical malformations.

How is peripheral arterial disease treated?

Preventative treatment for peripheral arterial disease includes maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle, avoiding smoking, exercising regularly, and lowering your cholesterol levels and blood pressure if they are high.

Dr. Jain diagnoses peripheral arterial disease by using an ankle-brachial index or a leg ultrasound to compare blood pressure and blood flow between extremities. Once diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease treatment plans can be developed and implemented to help manage the disease and alleviate symptoms.