Peripheral Arterial Disease: What You Need To Know
Underestimated and often neglected, Peripheral Arterial Disease has been called a ‘Cinderella’ disease, yet it affects more than 200 million people worldwide. Early detection is key to lessen the severe impact that Peripheral Arterial Disease can have on your physical and mental wellbeing.
In Australia, PAD affects almost one in every five Australians. Approximately 50 per cent of people with PAD show no symptoms, leading to under-diagnosis and under-treatment. While PAD is not immediately life threatening, someone with PAD is up to six times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
Useful facts about PAD
Just as hard water builds up in your home water pipes, reducing their flow, so your arteries can become narrowed or obstructed through build-up of fatty deposits, and later, blood clots. In Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), the arteries in the legs are affected, depriving your limbs of blood and its life-sustaining oxygen and nutrients.
Most commonly, PAD has no symptoms and so is underdiagnosed, perhaps because we may not walk far or fast enough to induce symptoms – or because smaller arteries may have enlarged to help carry blood around the blockage.
An aching or burning cramp-like pain in the legs, induced by exercise and relieved by rest, is the most common symptom and is known as intermittent claudication. Consult your doctor if you have these signs of poor circulation.
Just as your eyes are ‘the windows to your soul’, your legs can shine a light on your heart health. Damage to vessels in your legs could be a sign that arteries elsewhere in the body are also blocked. Heart attacks and strokes are both diseases of the blood vessels and they are up to six times more likely in people with PAD.
Revitive Circulation Booster is a registered medical device that provides electrical stimulation to the calf muscles through a footplate, causing them to contract. Researchers from Imperial College London demonstrated in a clinical study that Revitive, when used daily for six weeks as an adjunct to supervised exercise, increased the distance that people with PAD could walk on a treadmill before leg pain presented.
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