Peripheral artery disease (PAD)—Symptoms and Treatment Options

What is peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the narrowing of peripheral arteries, which results in reduced blood flow to the limbs. PAD can also be a sign of atherosclerosis, a widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries. Although some people may not experience any symptoms with this disease, others can experience debilitating pain.

Symptoms of peripheral artery disease

  • Painful cramping in hip, thigh, or calf muscles after walking or climbing stairs
  • Numbness or weakness in legs
  • Sores on feet or legs that won’t heal
  • Change in color of legs
  • Hair loss on feet and legs
  • Slower toenail growth
  • Weak pulse in legs or feet

Treatment options for peripheral artery disease

The treatment for peripheral artery disease has two main goals—to manage symptoms and stop the progression of the disease throughout the body.

  • Quit smoking
  • Supervised exercise program
  • Healthier diet
  • Cholesterol-lowering medication
  • High blood pressure medication
  • Angioplasty
  • Bypass surgery
  • Thrombolytic therapy

IASIS Healthcare Utah is offering a $30 leg screening for peripheral artery disease. In order to identify possible blood flow issues, your legs will be screened using an ankle-brachial index to compare blood pressure readings in the ankles. Visit MyHeartScan.com for more information.