At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, we’re committed to helping our patients be proactive in the health of their feet. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is a condition that affects your cardiovascular and circulatory systems. Complications from this disease, however, can adversely affect your feet and legs.

What is PAD?

PAD refers to the narrowing and hardening of arteries due to the accumulation of fatty deposits called plaque. PAD reduces blood flow, causing poor circulation. Since this condition most often happens in the legs, the lower extremities of your body are at risk for medical problems that result from poor circulation. Blood is necessary for healing. When blood flow is restricted, it takes longer for cuts, wounds, and sores to heal, which can lead to infection and amputation. Even minor podiatric issues such as athlete’s foot or a blister can become serious threats. Deformities such as bunions and hammertoes that can result in skin irritation must be watched more closely.

In addition to podiatric issues, patients with PAD are at a higher risk for heart attacks and strokes.

Risk Factors

PAD currently affects between 8 and 12 million Americans. Your risk for this disease increases if you’re:

  • Over age 50
  • Have a family history of PAD, stroke, heart disease or heart attack
  • Smoke
  • Have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes
  • Lead a sedentary life

Although some of these risk factors cannot be changed, there is much you can do to decrease your chances of PAD, including:

  • Improve your eating habits. Reduce fats, sugars, and processed food in your diet, and increase the amount of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains you consume. This will help lower cholesterol and your risk for diabetes.
  • Get moving. Regular exercise will help prevent PAD and improve circulation.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Manage high blood pressure and diabetes appropriately per your physician’s instructions.

Take steps now to help your feet (and the rest of your body) stay healthy for years.

At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, our team of doctors treats various conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems, and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and dedicated staff, our 16 conveniently located offices provide individualized high-quality care for patients across Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Ocean, Passaic, and Union Counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne, NJ office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.