As you probably know, diabetes is a growing public health problem. Unfortunately, people with diabetes tend to develop additional related medical conditions. In fact, diabetes is one of the known causes of peripheral artery disease (PAD). PAD develops when your arteries become narrowed by the buildup of arterial plaque (atherosclerosis), reducing blood flow, particularly to the legs and feet. So, people with diabetes need to be extra careful to prevent PAD or to catch it very early.
Fortunately, advances in cardiovascular medicine in recent years have made it easier for doctors to detect PAD in its early stages. If you have diabetes or even just symptoms of PAD, a PAD specialists can use advanced diagnostic tools such as Doppler ultrasound to detect the disease and its stage of progression.
In mild cases of PAD, the narrowing of arteries is caused by a buildup of arterial plaque has not completely blocked blood flow. Early detection means that many cases can be treated with lifestyle changes and with medication.
This does not mean, however, that these mild cases of PAD are not still serious. They are. The plaque is still there, still impairing the normal flow of blood. This means that people with PAD are more at risk of developing other serious health problems.
PAD increases your risk of other cardiovascular problems
Peripheral arterial disease causes diminished blood flow through your arteries. However, the problems with your circulatory system don’t stop there. PAD affects your veins, heart, too, and increases your risk of:
- Atherosclerosis – more buildup of arterial plaque, leading to full blockage.
- Heart attack – in which diminished blood flow causes permanent damage to the heart muscle over time.
- Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) – interruptions to the blood flow to the brain.
PAD is most dangerous for patients who also have diabetes
People with diabetes have a much higher risk of developing atherosclerosis, which is caused by a buildup of plaque in the arteries. The combination of PAD and diabetes is particularly problematic. The plaque deposits most often block arteries to the legs and feet. This can lead to pain, especially when walking, and to other symptoms.
For example, PAD can lead to the development of corns, callouses, or open sores on the legs and feet that are slow to heal. If you have diabetes and notice such sores, you should not try to treat them yourself. Instead, you should see your doctor or podiatrist and follow their advice. If left untreated, these sores can fester and develop gangrene. Gangrene sometimes leads to amputation of the affected limb.
At CICC, we are experts in treating Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
We specialize in a non-surgical procedure called atherectomy. This procedure can remove the buildups of plaque and calcium that block your arteries. The procedure is so safe and painless that it can be performed in our offices. There is no need for hospitals or general anesthesia. Removing the blockages can help to remove the ongoing danger that PAD poses to your overall health.
To learn more about living with peripheral artery disease and diabetes, please call Comprehensive Interventional Care Centers at 888-377-7122 or visit us on line at www.ciccenters.com to find a specialist near you. We’d love to help you find out what you can do to reduce the impact of PAD on your overall health.