Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) can be a difficult condition to live with as it affects blood flow to the extremities and organs. This illness should never be left untreated as it could lead to life-threatening complications like stroke, amputation, kidney disease and heart attack.
While there isn’t currently a cure for PAD, the symptoms from the disease can be managed with lifestyle changes or even minimally-invasive procedures. Making these changes can help slow the progression of the disease and its symptoms. Here’s five ways:
#1: Exercise Regularly
No need to start off by running a marathon… Walking is a perfectly good exercise to reduce the development of PAD symptoms. In fact, studies have found that the severity of PAD symptoms is less when patients engage in regular physical activity. Remember, consistency is key!
#2: Stop Smoking
Smoking is terrible for one’s health for numerous reasons, but it’s especially troublesome for patients with PAD. When it comes to this disease, smoking increases the risk of complications and death as it constricts the arteries. Upon diagnosis, patients should work with their physician to develop a plan that helps them quit smoking as soon as possible.
#3: Eat Healthy
A healthy diet is always recommended as it helps with health issues like diabetes and high cholesterol. With PAD, many patients have underlying conditions that are positively affected by a healthier meal plan. Many physicians suggest the Mediterranean diet as it reduces the consumption of dairy and red meat which may contribute to arterial plaque.
#4: Be Mindful of Alcohol Consumption
Excessive drinking can affect the heart and its ability to pump blood throughout the body. PAD already causes narrowed vessels. Mixed with cardiomyopathy, PAD symptoms may be worsened. The best course of action is to entirely cut out or limit the amount of alcohol consumed.
#5: Take Care of the Feet
PAD is worsened by diabetes and can worsen diabetic peripheral neuropathy. To prevent ulcers or amputation, it’s important to follow proper foot care like:
Treating infections immediately
Washing feet regularly and thoroughly
Inspecting for injuries
Visiting the doctor promptly when something won’t heal
Before making any changes to your lifestyle, please consult with a physician. Vascular Associates of South Alabama is the leading provider of vascular care in South Alabama. We welcome the opportunity to treat you.
FAX: (251) 410-8273