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What you can do right now to fight Peripheral Artery Disease

What you can do right now to fight Peripheral Artery Disease
Posted at 1:12 PM, Dec 10, 2018

How often do you think about your arteries? Odds are it’s not often, but the serious health risks that come with peripheral artery disease might make you think again.

In basic terms, peripheral artery disease causes your blood vessels to narrow over time. “Those vessels are responsible for delivering oxygen-rich blood to your vital organs and limbs,” said Dr. Paul J. Corcoran, Vascular Surgeon at McLaren Greater Lansing. “In some cases, the restriction of that blood flow can cause heart attacks, strokes, difficulty walking, and even limb loss.”

You could be at risk from peripheral artery disease because of lifestyle choices, but some patients can inherit the disease from their genetics. “Smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes are the biggest factors,” said Dr. Corcoran. “The number one way to cut your risk of peripheral artery disease is to quit smoking, and controlling risk factors. That alone will help patients improve symptoms and slow the progression of the disease.”

Early detection is the key to managing peripheral artery disease before it ends in health emergencies. “Your first step is to talk to your doctor to determine if you need to see a specialist,” said Dr. Corcoran. “Most of the time with medical management and rehabilitation we can help people avoid surgical procedures, but there are many options for patients who do need surgery.”

Surgical options include procedures that are minimally invasive. “Technology and science have brought us a long way in addressing these problems. We can treat narrowed arteries with stents and balloons, or offer a bypass,” said Dr. Corcoran. “Most importantly, don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about it.”

To find a doctor, or to find out more about how you can lower your risk for peripheral artery disease, visit today!