PAD Awareness Month
What is Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)?
PAD is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs, most often due to atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque). September is PAD awareness month, where we aim to raise awareness of the connection between PAD, diabetes and the importance of early vascular care. Timely diagnosis of PAD can prevent serious consequences like heart attack, stroke. gangrene, ulcerations or even amputation.
Signs and Symptoms can include:
- Painful cramping in one or both of your hips, thighs or calf muscles after certain activities, such as walking or climbing stairs
- Leg numbness or weakness
- Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side
- Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won’t heal
- A change in the color of your legs
- Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs
- Slower growth of your toenails
- Shiny skin on your legs
- No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs and feet
- Delayed wound healing
- Pain when using your arms, such as aching and cramping when knitting, writing or doing other manual tasks
- If peripheral artery disease progresses, pain may even occur when you’re at rest or when you are lying down.
Note: Patients with PAD have, among other things, an increased risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. A doctor should therefore always be consulted if PAD is suspected.
Arteries are narrowed by buildup of plaque in the walls. The blood flow is partially restricted. The patient does not feel leg pain or other symptoms,
Arteries are clogged. The flow of oxygen-rich blood is heavily restricted, leading to possible heart attack, stroke, gangrene, amputation and ulcerations.
Contributing risk factors to the development of PAD:
- Physical Inactivity
- Increasing age, especially after age 65
- A family history of peripheral artery disease, heart disease or stroke
How does the doctor determine PAD?
First, the physician may ask questions about medical history and the existing symptoms. They then may examine the pulses on the leg and foot , while also examining the skin and will rule out other causes for existing complaints – for example, an orthopedic misalignment or damage to the nerves.
In addition, your Ankle-Brachial Index can be measured by your physician. It is quick, non-invasive, painless and simple. The results will provide your physician with information about the condition of your arteries. You will receive on-time treatment and avoid serious complications.
Therapy for PAD
There is no cure for PAD. Discuss with your doctor which treatment options are best for your stage of the disease. For example, drugs such as blood circulation-enhancing agents or operations to restore better flow (placement of a stent, bypass surgery) are possible. In addition, ask what you can do to prevent the vascular calcification from progressing.
The basic therapy for venous diseases is medical compression therapy in combination with exercise. However, caution is advised in compression therapy for venous disorders if the affected person is also affected by PAD and/or diabetes: Circulatory disorders as well as reduced pressure and pain sensation make therapy with medical compression stockings more difficult.
Compression therapy should nevertheless be continued. When used consistently, medical compression stockings help prevent or improve vein-related complaints such as pain, swelling or heaviness: Vein patients with PAD and/or diabetes therefore have special requirements for medical compression stockings.
Safe vein therapy for mild to moderate PAD and Diabetes
The mediven® angio is the only medical compression stocking whose safety in use in patients with chronic venous disease and accompanying mild-to-moderate PAD and/or diabetes mellitus has been scientifically investigated and confirmed in a clinical study. The study proved that no skin lesions (for example pressure points, constrictions) occurred and that the blood flow in the smallest vessels (i.e., microcirculation including oxygen saturation) remained stable under the compression. 1
1 Rother U et al. Safety of medical compression stockings in patients with diabetes mellitus or peripheral arterial disease. BMJ Open Diab Res Care 2020; 8: e001316.
* Intended use