Left untreated, PAD can lead to amputation
Aches and pains might not be part of getting older
You might think some of your aches and pains are just age catching up to you. And while you may be getting older, that doesn’t mean you should ignore what your body is trying to tell you — it could be more than a simple ache.
“Older” is a relative term, and in the case of risk factors for peripheral artery diseasePeripheral artery disease (PAD) is a disease in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your head, organs, and limbs. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, fibrous tissue, and other substances in the blood. (PADPeripheral Artery Disease, a potentially life threatening disease where plaque, like calcium, builds up along blood vessel walls, narrowing the arteries and reducing blood flow to the legs and feet.), it may be younger than you think. For example, one in 20 Americans over the age of 50 has PAD.8
As you get older, you’re also more likely to have calcium deposits building up inside your arteriesArteries are blood vessels that carry blood to your heart and other parts of your body.. This is called calcification.
The more calcification you have in your arteries, the more progressive your PAD can be. As the calcium builds in your arteries and continues to limit blood flow to your feet and legs, you could develop critical limb ischemiaAlso potentially known as CLI, the most severe and deadly form of peripheral artery disease. (CLI) — the worst form of PAD.5 The obstructed blood flow to your feet and legs is so considerable and widespread if you have CLI that you might be at significant risk for amputationTo surgically remove all or part of a limb (leg, foot or toe).
Things can get worse from there — CLI has been linked to putting a patient’s life at risk. Getting the calcium levels checked in the arteries in your legs can help determine your risk level for amputation.9
Discuss your risk level and treatment options with your health care provider. If you don’t have one, you can use our Find a Doctor tool to locate a PAD specialist near you.
Learn more about PAD and schedule a time to talk with your doctor, or use our Find a Doctor tool to locate a PAD specialist near you.
THE GOOD NEWS: There are many TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR PAD. So don’t wait. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor now.
Talk to Your Doctor
Only a health care professional can diagnose you with PAD. Our Symptom Quiz can help guide the conversation about your treatment options.
Take the Symptom Quiz
Click below to take the interactive Symptom Quiz. You can print your answers out and take them with you to a doctor to help guide your conversation about PAD.