Peripheral Vascular Disease

With Peripheral Vascular Disease, the blood vessels that carry blood to your lower body may become damaged from built up plaque along the vessel's inner walls. Blood flow to the lower leg becomes narrowed or blocked.

A pain cycle called intermittent claudication includes cramping during walking or climbing stairs, while the pain subsides during rest periods. This is a sign of peripheral vascular disease or clogging of blood vessels.

As the disease progresses, plaque continues to build up. This will block the blood from delivering oxygen to muscle tissue, causing cramping. Tissue begins to die when blocked vessels do not allow oxygen-rich blood to flow. Nightime muscle cramps and pains are common during this stage. Serious complications ingluding gangrene may result if peripheral vascular disease is left untreated.

A doctor may use sound waves to produce images of your blood vessels. Dye is injected into your blood vessels during an arteriogram to view your blood vessels in x-rays.

Peripheral Vascular Disease may be managed by:

  • Stopping Smoking
  • Controling Blood Sugar
  • Exercise
  • Eating Right
  • Medications or surgery