Poor blood circulation in the legs and the feet can cause various health problems. The buildup of plaque causes the arteries to harden and narrow. This condition, which is called atherosclerosis, results in a reduction of blood flow to the legs and feet and is commonly referred to as poor circulation.
Proper blood flow throughout the body is an indispensable requisition for a healthy life. The right amount of blood flow is needed for various bodily functions like movement of the limbs, functioning of various organs, etc. Poor blood circulation is mostly found to occur in the extremities, especially the feet. Last month’s article discussed causes and symptoms of poor circulation and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). This month we will focus on treatment and prevention.
Your podiatric physician can do a simple test to determine if you have Poor blood circulation/PAD. The test is called an ABI, or ankle-brachial index. It compares the blood pressure in your ankles with the blood pressure in your arm. If your ABI is abnormal, your podiatric physician may order other tests to determine the extent of your PAD.
PAD can be treated with lifestyle changes, medicines, and surgical procedures if necessary. Medical treatment options include:
• programs to stop smoking
• blood pressure control
• lowering cholesterol
• managing high blood sugar (diabetes)
• medications to prevent clotting
• healthy diet and
• exercise programs
A variety of surgical treatment options are available depending on the location and severity of the artery blockage. Your podiatric physician can refer you to the appropriate specialist for these procedures. Poor circulation in feet is something that seems very minor, but should not be ignored if the problem persists. If the symptoms are severe and/or persistent, you must consult your doctor immediately. Take care to stay warm and avoid being immobile for longer periods of time. Proper and timely treatment can address this problem and prevent further complications.
When to Visit a Podiatrist
Do not ignore leg pain. It is important to discuss any leg or thigh pain that you are having with your podiatric physician since it could be a warning sign of a serious disease such as PAD.
Early detection of PAD can offer an opportunity to treat risk factors that can slow the progression of the disease and decrease the chance of heart attack and stroke.