I’ve been a nurse for more decades than most of this blog’s readers have been alive. I’ve seen a lot during those years of caring for patients. When I worked in surgery, I hated amputations. Those that weren’t the result of trauma were the result of peripheral arterial disease (PAD)—and many could have been prevented.
If you experience leg pain while walking that disappears when you rest, you may have PAD. Other symptoms of this serious condition include leg numbness or coldness, a weak or nonexistent pulse in your feet, and sores on your lower extremities that won’t heal.
However, many people who have PAD show no symptoms at all. Risk factors include older age, diabetes, obesity, smoking, and a family history of atherosclerosis. You can blame some of these risk factors on your parents (we blame them for everything, right?) but several can be controlled by you. If you use tobacco, choose to quit. If you are overweight, make healthier food choices. If you don’t exercise, get up and move.
And if you experience any of the symptoms or have any of the risk factors of PAD, please visit your health-care provider to take a simple, noninvasive test. While we are very proud of our products to treat PAD, we’d really prefer if you never needed a medical procedure in the first place.