Peripheral artery disease, also known as peripheral arterial disease, is a common circulatory disease that reduces blood flow to the limbs by narrowing arteries. If you suffer from the peripheral arterial disease (PAD), your arms or legs do not receive enough blood to sustain the demand. It mainly affects the legs. You may experience symptoms such as pain while walking. In most cases, peripheral artery disease is usually a sign of fatty deposits in the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. If you live in El Paso and suffer from peripheral arterial disease, you may treat the condition by exercising, eating a healthy diet, and quitting tobacco. If your state does not improve, you may need treatment from a specialist who can diagnose and treat peripheral arterial disease in El Paso.
Symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease
Although most people with the disease show no symptoms, you may experience claudication; leg pain while walking. Common signs of claudication include cramping or muscle pain in the legs and arms that come from an activity like walking, but it fades away after resting for a few minutes. The location of the pain varies from one patient to another depending on the narrowed or clogged artery location. Most patients experience calf pain.
The severity of claudication varies from minor discomfort to severe pain. If you experience severe claudication, you may have trouble walking or doing other activities.
Other common symptoms of the peripheral arterial disease include:
- Painful cramping in one or both thighs, hips, or calf muscles after activities such as walking
- Numbness or weakness in your legs
- Coldness in the lower leg or foot
- Sore toes, legs, or feet that do not heal
- Changed skin color affecting your legs
- The slow hair growth or loss of hair on the legs and feet
- The slow growth of toenails
- Shiny skin on the legs
- Weak or no pulse in the legs or feet
- Erectile dysfunction for men
- Pain when using the arms
If the condition advances, it may cause pain even while resting. Sometimes, you may experience severe pain that can disrupt sleep, but you can temporarily relieve the discomfort by moving around or hanging your legs on the edge of the bed.
If you experience numbness, leg pain, or other symptoms, you should see a doctor. You may also need screening if you are older than 65 with a history of smoking and diabetes, or under 50 with diabetes and other risk factors for peripheral arterial disease.
Atherosclerosis is the primary cause of peripheral arterial disease. Atherosclerosis causes the buildup of fat deposits on your artery walls, reducing blood flow. While it primarily affects the heart, it can also spread to other arteries around your body. The peripheral arterial disease comes about when atherosclerosis spreads to the arteries in your limbs. While it rarely happens, you can also suffer from peripheral artery disease due to inflammation of blood vessels, injuries affecting your limbs, radiation exposure, and unusual anatomy of the limb tissues or ligaments.
In summary, peripheral arterial disease is a circulatory disease that narrows the arteries reducing blood flow to the limbs. While most patients do not show any symptoms, you may have leg pain while walking. It is mainly caused by atherosclerosis.
The Subtle Cues in Our Environment that Encourage Healthier Living
The choices we make each day regarding our diet, activity and lifestyle habits ultimately determine our health and wellbeing. Nonetheless, the surroundings we inhabit also actively influence those decisions, whether we realize it or not. Our built environment contains many subtle cues that either promote or impede healthy behaviors. With thoughtful awareness, we can leverage and shape these cues to nudge ourselves toward more positive choices.
Architectural Cues for Active Living
Urban design and infrastructure elements play a major role in our activity levels. Visible, accessible staircases encourage climbing over passive elevator use. Features like centrally located, attractive stairwells bathed in natural light make stairs hard to ignore. Artwork beautifies the ascent while music enlivens acoustics. Placing stairwells near prominent gathering areas also maximizes exposure and use. Conversely, hidden dreary stairwells discourage climbing. Building layouts should make stairways the default for short trips. Thoughtful design embeds activity into daily routines.
Outside, continuous sidewalks and protected bike lanes provide clear cues that active transit is safe and expected. Ample parking signals driving is preferable. Traffic calming measures like speed humps and narrowed lanes imprint mental cautions for vehicles to accommodate bikes and pedestrians. Sidewalk street furniture and plantings buffer walkers from traffic. Crosswalks, pedestrian signals, and refuge islands imprint rights of way. Complete Streets redesign allocates fair space for diverse safe use. Our infrastructure surroundings can literally pave the path for active living.
Office and Home Cues
Subtle factors within buildings also affect activity and diet. Kitchen placement, for instance, affects our choices. Research shows open concept kitchens integrated into living areas encourage more healthful cooking and family meals than closed off kitchens. Islands and open shelving provide visual snack cues that can either prompt cravings or showcase fruits, nuts, and other healthy grabs. Kitchens sited near entries or offices also maximize visibility and food prep use rather than distant basement kitchens.
At offices, centrally located shared spaces like break rooms, cafes and snack nooks encourage communal meals, informal gatherings and refueling walks to retrieve snacks. Providing showers, bike racks and lockers signals active commuting is valued. Standing and treadmill desks prompt movement during sedentary work, while choice architecture guides selections from communal food areas. Simple environmental adjustments nudge better decisions.
Nutritional Cues at Markets and Restaurants
Eateries and markets harbor cues that stimulate cravings along with willpower depletion. Certain lighting, music, and décor stimulate overindulgence. Cues that unconsciously hurry patrons undermine reasoned decisions. Scented air surrounding baked goods stalls awakens salivation and desire. Strategic menu design also sways choices. Listing unhealthy items first or at eye level suppresses willpower. Descriptive names romanticize less healthy options. Menu formatting can also highlight nutritious dishes and portion guidance. Markets use product placement for maximizing impulse grabs. Though subtle, environmental exposures across stores and eateries significantly sway our eating choices.
Cues for Hydration and Rest
Proper hydration and sleep are imperative for our wellbeing but are easily overlooked when immersed in urban settings and schedules. Environmental design can combat these gaps through strategic cues. Plentiful public water fountains provide visual refreshment reminders throughout cities, while placing restrooms near fountains links the hydration notion. Cafes position chilled water dispensers up front for thirst-quenching without calories. Homes and offices forget hydration less with decorative pitchers and glasses on tables. Lighting design is key for sleep cues. Dimming lights in workplaces and warm home lighting provide visual preparation for rest. Cool-toned blue hues stimulate and signal awakening. Our surroundings can cue us to drink and sleep wisely.
Signage and Sensory Cues
Explicit signs offer direct visual cues to healthier behaviors – such as a no smoking sign that prompts at entrances. Staircases could feature plaques tallying burned calories. Cafeterias may display encouragements to take smaller portions or try vegetable sides. Signs foster mindfulness and restraint at choice points. Sensory cues also guide behaviors. Smells eliciting happiness or calm can de-stress environments. Soothing natural sounds and music relax tense settings. Harsh lighting and noise stimulate frenetic energy and impulsiveness. Pleasant sensory experiences invite more mindful, deliberate choices. Uplifting cues infuse healthy messaging into spaces.
Art and Nature Cues for Wellbeing
Artwork carrying uplifting themes or depicting healthy activities, fruits and vegetables, serene nature and joyful gatherings infuses visual positivity into surroundings. Murals and wall graphics remind us what truly matters for wellbeing. Images are digestible in passing, sinking into the subconscious. Vibrant, thriving plants and greenery provide natural visual relief and comfort that lower stress. Decor mimicking natural materials brings warmer textures. Spatial flow mimicking nature’s curves calms minds. Natural light and windows boost mentality and sleep cycle regulation. Thoughtful touches of art and nature foster mental balance, positivity, and healthy choices.
Our everyday surroundings contain many subtle influences on our diet, activity, sleep, and lifestyle, either promoting or hindering health. But heightened awareness of these cues allows us to consciously reshape environments for encouraging wiser choices. Simple changes to architecture, office layouts, signage, lighting, art, and nature contact encourage movement, nutrition, and wellbeing. Our minds absorb ambient cues, so design wisely. When supportive healthy cues surround us, positive habits become a little easier, more inviting, and purposeful. Think about cues you could shift for better living. Small nudges in public spaces and our homes can guide us all toward healthier, more thoughtful lives.
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