Peripheral vascular disease (PVD), also known as peripheral arterial disease, has the potential to be a serious life-threatening condition if left unaddressed. The severity of PVD is also dependent on contributing risk factors such as a history of smoking and diabetes. The podiatry centers of Village Podiatry offer in-office testing of PVD to protect patients from complications.
The Basics of PVD
PVD is a condition in which the body suffers from poor circulation due to a hardening of the arteries. PVD takes time to progress as a result of plaque buildup in the affected arteries and usually does not exhibit any signs until later in life. Eventually, a piece of plaque will break off from the artery wall and cause a complete blockage of blood, making sufferers more susceptible to heart attack and stroke. This results in severe damage to the tissue in the affected area.
PVD Risk Factors
The highest risk factor for PVD is smoking. People who smoke increase their risk of all types of heart disease. Another factor is diabetes. Diabetics are known to have problems with circulation, which increases the odds of developing PVD. A person’s risk of PVD increases with age and a family history of heart disease. People with high blood pressure also have a greater risk of PVD.
Visiting a podiatrist regularly is a good way to keep ahead of developing PVD. Your foot doctor can easily check for any advanced warning signs of the disease. Outside of the podiatry office, you should watch for signs of PVD in the legs. If you have severe pain in your legs when walking that dissipates when coming to rest, you should visit your podiatrist for advice. Patients with more severe symptoms may experience a burning sensation in the feet and toes even when at rest and at night.