Start the year right — know your risk for peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
People have PAD when the arteries in their legs become narrowed or clogged with fatty deposits or plaque. When leg arteries harden and become clogged, blood flow to the legs and feet decreases. Less blood reaches the muscles in the legs, which makes them hurt. This is like angina, which makes the heart muscle hurt.
PAD is often ignored since many people think the pain or aching in their legs is related to aging or arthritis. As a result, many people with PAD do not know they have it and do not get treatment. It is important to discuss any leg or thigh pain you may be having with your healthcare provider. If you have PAD, your risk of suffering a heart attack can be six times higher than normal, even if you don’t have leg symptoms. Finding and treating PAD early can help keep your legs healthy, lower your risk for heart attack or stroke, and save your life and limbs.
Take a moment to answer these PAD screening questions:
Are you under 50 years of age, have diabetes and at least one other cardiac risk factor—history of smoking, abnormal cholesterol or high blood pressure?
- Aged 50 years or older and have diabetes?
- Aged 50 years or older and a former or current smoker?
- Aged 65 years or older?
Do you have one or more PAD symptoms?
- Fatigue, heaviness, tiredness or cramping in your leg muscles (calf, thigh or buttocks) that occurs during activity, such as walking, and goes away when you stop and rest.
- Foot or toe pain at rest that often disturbs sleep
- Skin wound or ulcers on your feet that are slow to heal (or that do not heal for 8–12 weeks)
If you answered yes to any of these risk factors, you are encouraged you to attend a FREE PAD screening at Parrish Medical Center. The Ankle-Brachial Index (ABI) test takes 30–40 minutes, and you are only required to remove your shoes and socks. You will be screened by a cardiovascular healthcare professional.
Call Parrish Medical Center (PMC) at 268-6150 to make an appointment. FREE ABI testing for PAD is performed on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons at PMC, , 951 N. Washington Ave., Titusville, Fla.; and Friday afternoons at Parrish Health & Fitness Center, 2210 Cheney Highway, Titusville, Fla.
Don’t wait until it’s too late! It’s not just your legs — it’s your life!
Do you have good circulation in your legs? Are you at risk for PAD?
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