MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Peripheral Arterial Disease is a narrowing of the arteries due to plaque build up.
The Peter White Library in Marquette held the first in a series called the Doctor Is In.
Today Dr. Yazan Khouri from the UP Health System presented the signs and symptoms of PAD.
"So basically peripheral artery disease is a disease of the peripheral vessels, and when you usually talk about that, these are the vessels outside the brain and outside the heart," Dr. Khouri said.
According to the New England Journal of medicine, over 200 million people worldwide are affected, of those, over 8 million in the U.S.
Signs of PAD can include an unusual lack of energy, discoloring in the limbs, sores and wounds on the feet that heal too slowly and pain or excessive "pins and needles" on the feet that worsens when your legs are elevated.
If these signs appear, be proactive, call your doctor.
"Some risk factors we cannot avoid such as age, such as family history, and those patients need to be more proactive in controlling other risk factors that we can control," Dr. Khouri said.
Medical procedures like stents and some blood thinning drugs exist to actively address a blockage.
But doctors say before it gets to that point, everyone should use preventive measures.
"Such as cholesterol levels, such increase your exercise activity weight, and these are all beneficial in the long term," Dr. Khouri said.
Doctors say eating a healthy diet, even going for a walk is a great start toward heart health, also, don't forget about your stress level.
According to doctors, there is no magic way of reducing stress but Dr. Khouri offers this advice.
"It's hard, everyone is different some people will turn to exercise as a way of stress relief and this is great tool in general, some people will have yoga and other activities that can decrease their stress level, you're in the u-p, outdoors fishing can play a big factor here," said Dr. Khouri.
On March 8th, Dr. Jennifer Haloskie comes to the library to discuss what is integrative medicine.