LOVE YOUR LIMBS™

What to look for.

The LOVE YOUR LIMBS™ Campaign is about encouraging a sensible lifestyle and maintaining healthy limbs. But it’s also about recognizing symptoms of PAD and CLI, and educating yourself about effective treatment options. Remember, early stages of PAD may not show symptoms, but it’s very real. So it’s important to get regular examinations from your doctor, especially if you are age 50 or older.

Common Symptoms.

Burning or aching in feet and toes.

This happens while resting. Many diabetics mistake this for neuropathy, or nerve pain. If you are experiencing this pain you should talk to your doctor.

Painful leg cramping.

Especially during walking. This is not often a normal sign of aging. It’s called intermittent claudication and can be severe enough to deter walking and can be worse on stairs or going uphill.

Numbness, weakness, heaviness.

If you have these sensations, it can be an early warning sign.

Cooling of skin on legs or feet.

This is a patch of skin, or several patches or specific areas of the foot or leg, that feel cooler to the touch.

Diabetic foot.

Sores on feet in patients with Type 1 or 2 diabetes. Untreated sores can become infected, leaving a wound that is red, warm, and painful.

Loss of hair.

Loss of nourishing blood flow to your legs and feet may result in loss of hair in those areas.

Chronic sores.

Sores, or ulcers, are ruptures of the skin. PAD can be accompanied by pressure ulcers and diabetic ulcers.

Gangrene.

When limb tissues no longer receive adequate blood flow due to arterial blockage, gangrene (black dead tissue) can occur.

“Silent” PAD

You can have PAD without having symptoms - at least in the early stages. This is because your body creates small arteries that “re-route” blood around the affected vessel. But the body can only do so much. Unfortunately, untreated PAD puts you at high risk for a heart attack or stroke and you are more likely to die from coronary artery disease if you have PAD compared to those who don’t 3. So please, LOVE YOUR LIMBS™. If you believe you have any symptoms mentioned above, or have reached the age of 50, talk to your health professional about PAD.

Get informed. Get real help. Get healthy.

Unfortunately, PAD cannot be cured. Medical treatment and a healthy lifestyle can help improve blood flow and help keep the disease from getting worse. Taking action against PAD and CLI while these conditions are still manageable may help reduce leg pain and the risk of serious complications, including the risk of amputation, heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular disease. That’s great news for you and your loved ones.

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