Peripheral arterial disease is a condition that causes reduced blood flow, which is particularly evident in the feet and lower limbs. In a broad sense, peripheral arterial disease is caused by a buildup of fatty deposits (plaques) along artery walls. Arteries are the blood vessels oxygenated blood travels through to deliver essential nutrients to tissue throughout the body. (Veins, on the other hand, are the blood vessels leading back to the heart.)
When plaques collect along arterial walls, it restricts how much blood can flow through them at any given time.
There are several factors that contribute to peripheral arterial disease, including diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol levels, family history, old age, and obesity. This condition can be dangerous – since it increases your risk of stroke, heart attacks, and neuropathy. Being aware of these causes is a good first step in taking measures to reduce your risk and recognizing the problem early. Many of the factors contributing to this condition can be managed with lifestyle changes.
Understanding the causes of peripheral arterial disease is important, but it is also important to see us at one of our five Florida offices when you recognize the effects of this condition in your lower limbs. Our doctors are expertly trained in conditions affecting your lower limbs, so call Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida at 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if you call from Lake County) for additional information or to request an appointment.