Should you be tested for Peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) Test

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when the blood vessels carrying your blood from your heart to your extremities have narrowed or are blocked by plaque. PAD is a growing health problem throughout the United States and according to the Center for Disease Control nearly 75% of those who have PAD have not been diagnosed. 

Some factors that can increase your risk of being diagnosed with PAD include smoking, hypertension, and diabetes. However, if you have not been diagnosed with any of these conditions but have noticed hair loss on your legs, smooth shiny skin on your legs, or have had pain in your buttock, hip, calf, or thigh while walking it is important to be tested for PAD. 

Being tested for PAD is easy and painless and at Family Practice Pa, we are able to do the testing in the office. There is a test called Ankle-Brachial-Index (ABI) which is non-invasive and does not hurt. The way this test is administered is by taking the blood pressure in your ankle and comparing that to the blood pressure in your arm. We may actually administer the test to you twice – once prior to walking on a treadmill and again after. But it really is as easy and painless as getting your blood pressure taken. 

If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, atherosclerosis, or if you smoke it is important to be tested for PAD at your next visit.  Also, PAD is a discriminator of age! If you are over 60 years old, even if you do not have any symptoms or have been diagnosed with any of the complicating factors, please ask us about having the ABI at your next scheduled appointment. 

If you don’t have an appointment scheduled, now is the best time to do so. Call us today to schedule a wellness appointment. Let us know that you would like to have an ABI done at the time you come in. Letting us know in advance is the best way to make sure we schedule enough time for you to get this done.  

Remember, you and Family Practice Pa are a healthcare team and it is vital that you play your part and make your appointments! 

If you have questions, please give us a call at 409-655-2770 or schedule your appointment using our online scheduler.


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