Do you have leg pain or cramps during normal activities like walking or climbing stairs? This could be a sign of peripheral artery disease. Luckily, PAD can be treated if diagnosed early and properly. Therefore, it is a great idea to know the warning signs and risk factors so that you know when you should talk with your doctor.
Are You at Risk For PAD?
Risk factors are anything that may increase a person’s chance of developing a disease. Some common factors are stress, activity, diet, family history, or lifestyle choices. Take note of the following risk factors so that you have a better understanding if you are at risk for Peripheral Artery Disease.
Inherent PAD Risk Factors
The inherent risk factors for PAD include some pre-existing conditions and demographic factors, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Age over 65
- Wounds or ulcers on the legs or feet
- Feet cold to the touch
- History of stent or heart attack
- Family history of heart disease
Treatable Conditions and Contributors
If none of those risk factors apply then you should also consider these treatable conditions:
- Smoking or the Use of Tobacco Products
- Coronary Artery Disease
- High Blood Sugar
- High Cholesterol
- Lack of Exercise or Physical Activity
Those who smoke or have diabetes have the highest risk of complications from PAD because these risk factors also cause impaired blood flow.
If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms of PAD and have any of the risk factors then you should ask your doctor if they think that it might be PAD. However, it would also be a good idea to have your doctor check if you are experiencing some of the risk factors without any symptoms. Around 50% of people with PAD do not experience any noticeable symptoms. Unfortunately, it can lead to problems if left untreated.