Like many cardiovascular conditions, a heart-healthy lifestyle is significant to peripheral artery disease prevention. Follow these heart-healthy best practices to manage the risk factors you can control and know your risk.
Take the coronary artery disease health evaluator to determine where you stand and talk to your physician about how you can improve the results.
Taking action to control your risk factors can help prevent or delay PAD and its complications. Know your family history of health problems related to PAD. If you or someone in your family has the disease, be sure to tell your doctor. Controlling risk factors includes the following:
The lifestyle changes described above can reduce your risk of developing PAD. These changes also can help prevent and control conditions that can be associated with PAD, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and stroke.
If you have peripheral artery disease, you're more likely to also have coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and transient ischemic attack ("mini-stroke"). However, you can take steps to treat and control PAD and lower your risk for these other conditions.
If you have PAD, you may feel pain in your calf or thigh muscles after walking. Try to take a break and allow the pain to ease before walking again. Over time, this may increase the distance that you can walk without pain.
Talk with your doctor about taking part in a supervised exercise program. This type of program has been shown to reduce PAD symptoms.
Check your feet and toes regularly for sores or possible infections. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well. Maintain good foot hygiene and have professional medical treatment for corns, bunions, or calluses.
See your doctor for checkups as they advise. If you have PAD without symptoms, you still should see your doctor regularly. Take all medicines as your doctor prescribes.
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano provides a comprehensive range of outpatient cardiology diagnostic, treatment, and management services through Outpatient Services offering multidisciplinary clinic-based solutions when you need outpatient cardiology evaluation, treatment, diagnostic imaging services, educational consults, and more for complex and/or chronic vascular and heart conditions.
Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Health Care System's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor Scott & White The Heart Hospital – Plano or Baylor Health Care System.