Do you have pain in your legs when you walk?
Does it go away when you rest?
Do you have sores on your feet that won't go away?
Do you have pain, numbness or tingling in your feet or toes?
Do you have discoloration in your feet or lower leg?
If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, chances are you have Peripheral Vascular Disease.
It's a restriction in circulation in usually the legs.
If you're a smoker, have high blood pressure or diabetes not only are you at risk for heart disease, you're also at a higher risk for Peripheral Vascular Disease.
Director of cardiovascular services Diane Paine says,
"We're seeing it more and more in an aging population because the same plaque buildup, the same lifestyle risk factors that have affected cardiac disease are also affecting the limbs and the circulation to the feet and legs."
The more plaque build-up in your arteries the more your blood flow is restricted and that can cause a trickle down effect of serious health problems.
"Restricted blood flow in the legs causing problems with mobility, problems with circulation in the feet, numbness and eventually sores, impact your ability to get around, your lifestyle and of course if you eventually end up with a loss of a limb and amputation that can extremely change your lifestyle," says Paine.
That's how serious this disease is.
But because it's a common problem many people think it's a natural part of aging.
It's not -- and needs to be taken care of immediately.
"It can be corrected in a cath lab quickly and easily."
"Once it goes beyond the ability to some intervention work inside the blood vessel then it's surgery... maybe doing a bypass.
If that doesn't work then you end up eventually losing a limb.
Gulf Coast Medical Center is one of 2 hospitals in the nation to receive the Joint Commission's gold seal of approval for Peripheral Vascular Disease programs.
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