There are several different types of arterial diseases — conditions that affect the blood vessels throughout your body. You may be more familiar with specific varieties like coronary artery disease, but it’s not just the blood vessels around your heart that can run into trouble.
You can also have problems with the arteries in your legs or, less commonly, your arms. When it’s severe, you’re diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Also called peripheral vascular disease, this condition develops when fatty plaque builds up in the blood vessels in your limbs, impeding blood flow.
Fortunately, we have a team of PAD specialists here at Vascular & Interventional Associates. Our expert providers offer personalized treatment plans to our patients throughout northern Kentucky and the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, right from our office in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.
In many cases, that means targeted PAD treatment — like medication or a stent — paired with lifestyle changes. Here are seven at-home changes that can make a big difference for someone with peripheral arterial disease.
Smoking heightens your risk for PAD, heart attack, and stroke. All told, if you want to avoid making your heart’s job more difficult, work to kick the habit.
Regular physical activity supports healthy blood flow throughout your vascular system, including the blood vessels in your extremities.
If exercise is painful for you, talk to our team. The issue could be that you aren’t getting sufficient blood flow to your limbs (usually, your legs). In that case, we can work with you to develop a supervised exercise program. This should help to improve your PAD symptoms and your overall quality of life.
Eating a heart-healthy diet
If you’re diagnosed with PAD, you should work to keep unhealthy cholesterol levels at a minimum. This helps to prevent the buildup of cholesterol (fatty plaque) in your blood vessels, affecting blood flow and making your heart work harder to circulate.
A healthy, whole-foods-based diet that’s rich in produce can go a long way here.
Being particularly aware of fat intake
Also pay attention to how much fat you consume. Specifically, steer clear of trans fats and saturated fats. Learn to read labels and look for hidden fats. Substitute unhealthy options for beneficial fats, in moderation — monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which come mainly from plant and fish sources.
Moderating alcohol intake
Drinking less can help keep your cholesterol levels in check and also help your overall health.
Doctors may prescribe aspirin — something you already have in your medicine cabinet — to help you moderate your PAD symptoms. Experts often recommend taking a daily aspirin to prevent clotting in your blood vessels. If we determine that’s a good option for you, we help you find the right dosage to take regularly.
Dropping excess weight
Shedding excess weight can help with your PAD symptoms while also boosting your overall wellness.
Making these lifestyle adjustments can help you improve blood flow even in your extremities. To get a personalized treatment plan for your peripheral arterial disease, call Vascular & Interventional Associates or request an appointment online today via this website.