Q: What is PVD?
A: PVD stands for Peripheral Vascular Disease Most commonly occurs in your arteries so it’s often called Peripheral Arterial Disease or PAD. PAD is a term used to describe anything that causes your peripheral arteries to narrow and often affects arteries going to the legs, stomach, arms, and head. The legs are most commonly affected. PAD is quite similar to coronary artery disease (CAD) except CAD affects the arteries of your Heart.
Q: How does it affect me?
A: Short term it can mean a lack of blood to your muscles and tissues, most often in your legs.
Q: What are my symptoms?
A: Many have Hip, leg or calf pain, leg cramping, or even restless legs at night. Pain most often occurs with activity that tends to improve with rest. But this isn’t always the case.
Q: Do I always have Symptoms?
A: No, symptoms are not always there. This is exactly why it’s important to get screened for PVD.
Q: Who is most at risk?
A: Patients diagnosed with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or family history of high cholesterol, age 50 years or older or those who have a poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, drug use, and alcohol abuse.
Q: What if I can’t afford this?
A: We are currently applying for grant proposals specifically for PVD funding of the underserved and uninsured in Kern County.
Q: What medical options do we provide?
What can I do to lower my risk?
Certain risk factors for PAD cannot be changed such as our age, family history of PAD, or history of cardiovascular disease or stroke.
Here is the good news:
According to the American Heart Association: There are still many things you can do:
Cigarette smoking – You can stop smoking. Smoking is a major risk factor for PAD. Smokers may have four times the risk of PAD than nonsmokers. Our guide to quitting smoking can help you.
Diabetes mellitus – You can manage diabetes and blood sugar levels. Having diabetes puts you at greater risk of developing PAD as well as other cardiovascular diseases. Learn more about the risks and how to manage diabetes.
High blood pressure – You can manage your blood pressure. It’s sometimes called “the silent killer” because it often has no symptoms. Work with your healthcare professionals to monitor and control your blood pressure.
Obesity – You can reduce your weight. People with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 or higher are more likely to develop heart disease and stroke even if they have no other risk factors. Calculate your BMI and learn healthy ways to manage your weight.
Physical inactivity – You can get moving. Physical activity increases the distance that people with PAD can walk without pain and also helps decrease the risk of heart attack or stroke. Supervised exercise programs are one of the treatments for PAD patients.
High blood cholesterol – You can manage your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol contributes to the build-up of plaque in the arteries, which can significantly reduce the blood’s flow. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. Managing your cholesterol levels is essential to prevent or treat PAD.