How Artery Disease Affects Your Feet


A buildup of fatty deposits in your arteries causes them to narrow and that narrowing decreases blood circulation. Radiation exposure or injury may cause some of the symptoms of peripheral artery disease (PAD), but the primary cause of complications is a poor diet and lack of exercise that increases plaque in your arteries. PAD has many of the same indications as diabetic neuropathy, and the two often go together.

Some of the main signs and symptoms of peripheral artery disease include the following:

1)    Claudication—This is cramping caused by low blood flow in your calf, hip and thigh muscles following activities like climbing stairs and walking

2)    Neuropathy—Numbness or weakness in the legs and feet may be evident

3)    Temperature fluctuations—Your feet get cold more easily and warm more slowly

4)    Wounds heal slowly

5)    Nails and hair grow more slowly

6)    A weaker pulse in your legs and feet

Since the complications of P.A.D. can be life and limb threatening, and since stroke, heart attack and limb amputations may be necessary, make sure you are getting the proper treatment. Avoid smoking, treat your high blood pressure and high cholesterol and lose weight.

If diagnosed with P.A.D., be sure to have regular evaluations with your foot doctor. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, Gregory Cook, DPM, and Huy L. Nguyen, DPM provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.