Peripheral vascular disease (PVD), aka arteriosclerosis of the extremities, refers to all blood vessel narrowing in your body, with the exception of your heart’s. This disease is a result of plaque buildup on the walls of your peripheral arteries causing them to narrow. And in turn, reducing the supply of blood to your arms and legs.
When blood flow is reduced, or stopped, to your legs and feet, the reduction causes them to hurt, feel numb or cold. These vessel walls also become less elastic, impinging dilation for increased blood flow when required, such as during exercise.
Typical symptoms of peripheral vascular disease are:
- cold feet
- gait changes
- weak limb pulse
- extremity hair loss
- leg and/or foot numbness
- thigh, calf or foot muscle pain
- leg pain (claudication) ~ relieved by rest
Oftentimes you have the ability to stop, or even reverse, plaque buildup in your arteries with:
- dietary changes
- reducing high blood pressure
- lowering high cholesterol levels
You are at higher risk arteriosclerosis of the extremities if you have:
- kidney disease
- high blood pressure
- personal or family history of stroke
- personal or family history of coronary heart disease
Those with PVD also have an increased risk of:
Medications that may be required if you have this condition include:
Severe cases of peripheral vascular disease can result in nerve injury and tissue death. If this happens, amputation may be your lifesaving outcome. Surgery or other medical procedures are usually only performed in these types of severe cases.
Get moving and eating a body function supportive diet to keep your arteries unclogged and elastic!