When having a physical exam, did you observe your doctor touch each ankle for a moment? Each foot has 2 pulses that a trained doctor can detect. The strength of these pulses is an indication of the quality of blood flow to your feet.
If the blood flow to your feet is inadequate, this may be a sign of peripheral arterial disease or PAD. PAD occurs when cholesterol and plaque build up in the arteries leading to your legs and feet, reducing the blood flow.
PAD has other symptoms too. You may have pain or even an uncomfortable feeling while walking. When this artery disease becomes severe, amputation may be necessary.
Your Feet Can Warn of Heart Disease
Peripheral arterial disease is found in the peripheral arteries that pump blood to your extremities and head. Often those who have PAD also have coronary arterial disease, or CAD. With CAD, the blood flow to the arteries leading to your heart is reduced, creating a very dangerous situation for your heart.
Simply put, your feet can act as an early warning of heart disease! The presence of both PAD and CAD may indicate a very serious heart disease risk.
At the Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. we have the capability to test for PAD right here in our office. We have the latest technology for these tests including leg and ankle cuffs that will evaluate a patient's circulatory status. If needed, we will share the results with a vascular specialist.
Learn More about Heart Disease during American Heart Month
We urge you to get heart-smart this month! February is American Heart Month as designated by the American Heart Association. It's the perfect time to review the warning signs of heart disease which may not always be the crushing chest pain often associated with a heart attack. For example, the early warning signs of heart disease for women may be quite different and can include shortness of breath or symptoms of indigestion, or even back or jaw pain.
Call your doctor or 911 immediately if you or a family member has any symptoms that may indicate heart disease or a heart attack.
Learn more about preventing heart disease and stroke from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including the importance of knowing your ABCS: Ask your doctor about taking an Aspirin every day; get treatment for high Blood pressure or Cholesterol; stop Smoking.
Contact Us for Any Type of Foot and Ankle Problem
Dr. James M. McKee, DPM, board certified podiatrist has extensive experience in treating all types of foot and ankle conditions and injuries. Please call us at 410-224-4448 to make an appointment at our office in Annapolis, MD. You can also request an appointment at the website. Don't suffer from foot pain - by calling us today you'll be taking the right steps to foot health!