Don’t Ignore the Signs. Early Detection Can Make a Difference in PAD.

Early Detection

Don’t Ignore the Signs. Early Detection Can Make a Difference in PAD.

As you get older, you might assume that some of the aches and pains you’re experiencing are just a normal part of aging.

Maybe you have frequent discomfort in your legs and feet, and you figure it’s just poor circulation. But poor circulation can be an actual disease — a serious condition called peripheral artery disease (PAD).

PAD can occur when blood flow in your legs and feet is restricted by narrowed arteries due to plaque (e.g., calcium) build-up. PAD is a serious disease — left untreated, it can lead to amputation.9

Of course, your body will change the older you get. But you shouldn’t dismiss things like pain while walking or one foot being colder than the other as a normal part of aging.

One in 20 Americans over the age of 50 has PAD,50 and many people living with the disease don’t show any symptoms. You can learn more about the symptoms of PAD and the risk factors on the other pages of this website.

Only a doctor can diagnose you with PAD, and it’s important to talk to a health care professional about how you feel. A simple screening test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI) can help a doctor determine if you’re at risk.

There is good news: If you do have PAD, early detection and treatment could help stop the disease from getting worse. Many treatment options are available. They could reduce pain, improve walking ability and enhance your quality of life.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend diet changes, exercise and/or medications. If that is unsuccessful, your doctor may also recommend a minimally invasive treatment or procedure.51

More good news: Treatment options for PAD are constantly advancing, and today’s techniques are different than they were just five years ago.51 So don’t wait to call your doctor to talk about PAD. Early detection is important.

If you want to see a PAD specialist, use our Find a Doctor tool to locate one near you.