September is the national Peripheral Arterial Disease Awareness Month. Around our clinics in Frederick and Urbana, MD we have tried to let our patients and communities know the seriousness of the disease. However, Dr. Yanes, Dr. Steinberg, Dr. Ho and our staff are only a handful of people and get reach out to the masses. What better way to wrap up the awareness month by addressing our blog community and hopefully a copious amount of individuals searching for more information over the disease.
PAD occurs when blood flow is restricted into the legs and feet. It occurs due to narrowing of the arteries and is a very serious condition. It is often called “The Silent Killer” because people often don't know they have PAD until severe conditions occur, such as heart attack and/or stroke occurs. Many patients don’t report any symptoms or disturbances related to PAD. In fact, only about a ¼ of the patients report having cramping in their legs. The cramping is due to the lack of oxygen and blood flow reaching the legs.
John Madden, an all-time great NFL coach and Monday Night commentator, is a public speaker for PAD. After his wife developed the disease, John Madden was surprised by how unaware he and the public were about the disease. He has made it a goal to make the public aware of this potential silent killer.
At Frederick Foot and Ankle Specialists we can run diagnostics tests to determine if you have any claudication (blocking of vessels) in your lower extremities. We can provide you with excellent education and proper management if you do have PAD. Remember, PAD is known as ‘the silent killer’ but only because patients are not aware what to look for in their health.
PAD risk is increased in smokers, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetics. Proper diet, regular exercise and possible prescribed antiplatelet medication (discuss this with our doctors) can prevent and control PAD.