PVD is a slow and progressive circulation disorder involving diseases in any of the blood vessels outside of the heart, the lymph vessels – arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels. Organs supplied by these vessels, such as the brain, heart and legs may not receive adequate blood flow for ordinary function.
However, the legs and feet are the most commonly affected.
Up to half of the people diagnosed with PVD are symptom free. For those experiencing symptoms, most common and first symptom is intermittent leg discomfort described as cramping that occurs with exercise and is relieved by rest. During rest, the muscles need less blood flow, so the pain disappears. It may occur in one or both legs depending on the location of the blocked or narrowed artery.
Other symptoms of PVD may include:
- Decreased skin temperature
- Diminished pulses in the legs and feet
- Hair loss on the legs
- Numbness, weakness, or heaviness in muscles
- Reddish coloring of the extremities
Some risk factors for peripheral vascular disease include factors that can be changed or treated with lifestyle changes, such as controlling your blood pressure or increasing physical activity. Unfortunately, risk factors like age and family history of heart disease and hypertension cannot be changed.
It is important to take steps to prevent PVD. A prevention plan may also be used to prevent or lessen the progress of PVD once you are diagnosed. If you would like to consult a physician, call Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s 718-206-7001 for diagnosis and treatment.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.