Did you know your feet could be giving you clues regarding the health of your heart? Your feet are located in the lowest part of your body and if your heart has weakened your feet could be letting you know! Let`s discuss what these signs are and what they could mean.
One of the more serious conditions your feet could be communicating to you is PAD or Peripheral Arterial Disease. According to the American Heart Association PAD is a condition when plaque restricts or blocks blood flow to the arterial arteries, reducing blood flow. Without proper circulation organs and tissues that require adequate blood flow could be damaged. If left untreated PAD could be a precursor to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis occurs when fatty deposits buildup in arteries causing vascular inflammation and blood clots. Both conditions increase the risk for a stroke or heart attack.
If you experience these symptoms you may be at risk for PAD
- Leg pain while walking or exercising
- Cramping in legs and feet
- Hair loss
- Weakened plus with our without discoloration
The good news is there are simple tests that can be done to diagnose PAD.
Ankle-brachial index (ABI) is one of the most popular tests used to diagnose PAD. This non-invasive test involves using blood pressure cuffs to compare the blood pressure of the arm to the blood pressure of the ankle. Watch our recent #TalarTuesday episode that focuses on Padnet from our trusted Talar vendor partner, Biomedix. Watch HERE!
An angiography is a contrasting imaging exam that detects blockages in arteries.
Similar to angiography, an ultrasound uses sound waves to create images that can also detect artery blockages.
Typically, PAD can be managed by making simple lifestyle changes. Eating a well balanced diet, regular exercising, and avoiding tobacco use are all great ways to manage PAD and prevent PAD, especially if you have a family history of heart disease.
PAD can be life threatening so it is important to visit a Podiatric Physician to receive the proper diagnosis and begin a treatment plan