Peripheral Artery Disease, or “PAD”, is a condition that often goes undiagnosed by healthcare professionals and can lead to a heart attack or stroke, or an amputation.

With peripheral artery disease, the peripheral arteries (blood vessels outside the heart) may experience the build-up of fat and cholesterol deposits, called plaque, on the inside walls due to atherosclerosis (or hardening of the arteries). Over time, this build-up narrows the artery, causing less blood to flow. You should consult with a physician if you experience any of the following symptoms:

— Painful leg cramping after such activities as walking or climbing stairs
— Leg numbness or weakness
— Coldness in your lower leg or foot
— Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won’t heal
— A change in the color of your legs

People who smoke or have diabetes have the greatest risk of developing “PAD” due to reduced blood flow. Obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a family history of “PAD” are also risk factors. Most people with the condition are over the age of 50.

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– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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