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Could I have peripheral artery disease?
Millions of people in the U.S. are affected by peripheral arterial disease (PAD), which occurs when fat and cholesterol build up in the arteries or the blood vessels, making blood flow to the extremities difficult. The main symptom of PAD in the leg—the most commonly affected area—is a tight or squeezing pain in the calf, foot, thigh or buttock that occurs during physical activity. As the condition gets worse, leg pain may occur after only minimal activity or even when at rest. Other symptoms may include numbness, tingling or weakness in the legs. Left untreated, amputation could become necessary.
Some mild forms of PAD can be controlled with lifestyle changes or cholesterol-lowering medications. More severe cases might require minimally invasive procedures like angioplasty or the SilverHawk™ Plaque Excision System. Surgical procedures—like stenting and bypass surgery—can also relieve symptoms.
If you think you might have PAD, see your doctor and request an ankle brachial index, a test that can measure the blood pressure in your ankle and aid in the diagnosis of PAD.
Click here to learn more about PAD and to take a PAD quiz.