Left untreated, PAD can lead to amputation
Early detection is key
If you’re wondering whether you might have peripheral artery disease (PAD), don’t delay in talking with your health care professional. Many people living with PAD don’t show any symptoms. They might not be aware the disease is progressing. Others might have early symptoms, like pain while walking or cold feet. But, instead of talking with a health care professional, they dismiss these changes as a normal part of getting older or the result of another condition, such as an existing heart condition. Those early symptoms could be a sign of PAD, which is treatable.
What can you do?
Fortunately, there’s a simple test that a doctor can perform in the office to help determine if you or a loved one have PAD. This noninvasive test can determine your ankle-brachial index (ABI), one of the best ways to tell if you have PAD, and if so how severe it is.23 The test compares the blood pressure in your ankle to that in your arm. If the pressure is lower in your ankle than in your arm, it’s possible you have PAD. When requesting this test, insist that your doctor take your ABI and not just take your ankle pulse alone to determine the strength of blood flow to your feet. Early detection is important. Having an ABI test and getting appropriate treatment could help stop the disease from getting worse – possibly saving a toe or leg from amputation.17
Talk to Your Doctor
Only a health care professional can diagnose you with PAD. Our Risk Factor Quiz can help guide the conversation about your treatment options.
Take the Risk Factor Quiz
Click below to take the interactive Risk Factor Quiz. You can print your answers out and take them with you to a doctor to help guide your conversation about PAD.