We know how important the heart is to overall health, but just as crucial are the arteries, that carry blood to every part of the body. When they get clogged up with plaque, there's a reduced blood flow, and Peripheral Arterial Disease, or P-A-D could develop. It affects the arms, legs, fingers and toes. Pain or numbness, or difficulty walking, could be signs of P-A-D.
Other possible symptoms include sores on the feet or legs, and erectile dysfunction. Smoking increases your risk of P-A-D, as does diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Don't ignore P-A-D – it shows that you might be at risk for a heart attack. And many people with P-A-D experience a gradual loss of mobility – when walking becomes too painful.
And yet walking is one of the best ways to fight P-A-D. Even a few walks a week can reduce leg pain, increase your strength, and raise your spirits.
Tell your doctor if you notice symptoms of P-A-D and discuss treatment options, which may include medication, surgery, and an exercise plan. For less pain, and greater independence, keep moving! Be CardioSmart!