Treatment for Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease results when the arteries that transport blood between the heart and the legs and feet are narrowed or blocked. There are various causes for this, and treatment for peripheral artery disease can vary depending on underlying and contributing conditions. In most cases, treatment for peripheral artery disease focuses on managing the underlying conditions that contribute to the narrowing of the arteries and on managing the symptoms of PAD, as well as on preventing the arteries from narrowing further and on various interventions to re-open narrowed arteries. There are drug therapies, as well as surgical and minimally invasive options to treat peripheral artery disease, as well as lifestyle changes and alternative therapies that can help manage the symptoms and the underlying condition.

Drug Treatment

Doctors may prescribe medication to treat underlying conditions, reduce symptoms and help prevent further narrowing of the arteries. Some of the medications used include:

* Aspirin: Aspirin discourages platelets from congealing and forming plaques on the inside of your arteries.

* Plavix: Plavix (clopidogrel) is an anti-platelet medication that discourages the formation of plaques and blood clots in your arteries.

* Blood pressure medication: High blood pressure is a risk factor for peripheral artery disease. Your doctor may prescribe medications that help control your blood pressure.

* Cholesterol lowering medicines: High cholesterol clogs arteries and contributes to atherosclerosis and peripheral artery disease. If you have high cholesterol, your doctor will prescribe medications to help reduce your cholesterol levels.

* Cilostazol: Your doctor may prescribe medications like cilostazol or pentoxifyline that can help improve the distance you can walk without pain by reducing the amount of muscles require during exertion.

Surgical Treatment

In most cases, medical treatment for peripheral artery disease prevents the heart condition from worsening. Occasionally, doctors will prescribe surgery or minimally invasive procedures like angioplasty or stent placement.

Angioplasty: Angioplasty is not actually considered surgery. Doctors make a small incision through which they can insert a catheter into the blocked or occluded artery. They then insert a tiny balloon into the artery and inflate it to open the artery.

Stent placement: If the artery does not stay open after angioplasty, doctors may insert a tiny wire mesh cylinder into the artery to hold it open after the procedure. In some cases, doctors may use a special device or give medication through the artery to dissolve blood clots.

Arterial bypass: In cases where a long part of the artery is blocked and you are having severe symptoms, doctors may take a vein from another part of your body and use it to bypass the closed artery and reroute the blood flow to your leg.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

Lifestyle changes are among the most effective treatments for peripheral artery disease. The changes your doctor recommends include increasing physical activity, changes in your diet and avoiding tobacco.

Exercise: simple walking regimens as little as three times a week can reduce the symptoms of peripheral artery disease in as little as four weeks.

Diet: A heart healthy diet promotes cholesterol reduction and helps keep your blood pressure low, which can reduce the risks associated with peripheral artery disease.

Smoking cessation: Smoking is a major risk factor for PAD. If you quit smoking, you will greatly reduce the risks of peripheral artery disease.

Alternative Therapies

Some alternative medical professionals recommend gingko biloba supplements to help relieve leg pain when walking. It can, however, cause bleeding problems if it is taken in high doses, and it may interact with other medications your doctor prescribes for you.

Stem Cell Therapy for Peripheral Artery Disease

New treatment options, particularly adult stem cell therapy for peripheral artery disease, have the potential to regenerate damaged tissues and show particular promise in treating peripheral artery disease. There are ongoing clinical trials into the use of adult stem cell therapy as a treatment for peripheral artery disease. Cellular regeneration may be the best way to treat diseases and disorders where cell damage leads to symptoms and further damage.

If you are a possible stem cell patient, learn more to get a stem cell cure. Many terrific options exist for better health.

If you're a medical doctor and would like to learn and incorporate various stem cell treatments into your medical practice, please continue to learn more to get the proper stem cell medical training as many advancements are now being made weekly.