What Atherosclerosis Can Do To Your Feet

Millions of Americans are diagnosed each year with atherosclerosis. It means that the arteries have become narrowed due to the build-up of plaque. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fats, and other substances normally found in the blood. Plaque hardens over time. In fact, another name for atherosclerosis is “hardening of the arteries.”

You may be familiar with the terms “hardening of the arteries” and “atherosclerosis” as they relate to heart disease. But having blocked arteries to the heart is only part of the atherosclerosis story. Expert podiatrists Dr. Heidi M. Christie and Dr. Chanda L. Day-Houts of Montgomery Foot Care Specialists want you to know that hardening of the arteries can also put your feet at risk.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)

PAD is what we call hardening of the many arteries that supply blood to your lower limbs. When the buildup of plaque prevents proper blood flow to your legs and feet, you might feel

  • leg pain when walking
  • numbness anywhere in your feet
  • tiredness or heaviness when walking or climbing
  • aching or cramps anywhere in your lower limbs

Other symptoms of PAD include

  • discoloration of the skin (pale or blue)
  • cold feet or toes
  • wounds anywhere on your feet that aren’t healing well – or aren’t healing at all
  • weak or absent pulses in your feet

Who’s at risk?

PAD is most common in people who smoke, who are over 50, have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, who have diabetes – or some combination of these risk factors.

Get evaluated if you have symptoms

If you have even one of the symptoms of peripheral arterial disease, make an appointment with one of our expert podiatrists. It’s very difficult for a layperson to determine if they’re suffering from PAD. Leg pain could signal any number of problems. Cold toes may mean you’ve got Raynaud’s syndrome. Numbness could be a nerve issue. No foot pulse could mean you’re just not adept at finding it!

Get to the bottom of your symptoms by having Dr. Christie or Dr. Day-Houts perform a full evaluation for PAD at our state-of-the-art podiatry office in Montgomery, AL. Call us at (334) 396-3668 or make an appointment online.