Tuesday, 29 August 2023 00:00

How Peripheral Artery Disease Can Affect the Feet

Peripheral artery disease, abbreviated PAD, also referred to as peripheral vascular disease, is a condition that arises from the reduced flow of blood to the body’s extremities, including the lower legs and feet. People with diabetes are more susceptible to developing PAD, as a result of weakened and damaged blood vessels from having high blood sugar. Blood clot formation within the vessels can also contribute to this condition. Conditions such as arthritis, which causes inflammation of the arteries, can further fuel peripheral artery disease. Other factors, such as smoking, hypertension, and obesity, increase the risk of developing PAD. Symptoms can include intermittent pain, coldness, numbness, and a bluish hue in the skin. In more advanced stages, wounds that resist healing, and areas of skin that blacken may develop due to the lack of adequate blood flow. In such cases, swift medical intervention is extremely important. If you suspect you may have peripheral artery disease that is affecting your lower extremities, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist, who is specifically trained to manage this condition.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Ramin Nadjafi, DPM from Advanced Podiatry Group. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.


Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.


While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.


Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Orlando, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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