Dams like the Granby Dam on the Colorado River create reservoirs by blocking up the water’s main exit point, trapping it in an area where it can’t escape downriver. Only a small amount of water is allowed through, which can dramatically lower the water level of the river below the dam. Your body can experience this effect, too, in how your blood flows. Blood vessels blocked up by PAD, or peripheral arterial disease, have their own “dam” in them that sharply limits the flow of blood to your limbs—usually the feet. This poor circulation creates a surprising number of unpleasant and even dangerous side effects.
Many people struggle with poor blood flow in the feet, particularly as they age. Most of them take it for granted. Symptoms don’t seem very serious, particularly at first, so many people don’t know why it’s actually dangerous for your lower limbs and even your body as a whole. The problem is that poor circulation limits the amount of oxygen and nutrients your feet are able to receive, which can cause a whole host of problems. In the case of PAD-related circulation issues, those problems can be quite serious.
Without sufficient oxygen and nutrients, muscles cramp in your feet and legs when you’re active. This can cause significant discomfort and make it hard for you to exercise. As PAD worsens, you might develop aching pain even when you aren’t active. Trouble with cold feet becomes common. Your toenails may grow more slowly, and you might lose hair on your legs.
Worse, however, is the increased risk for foot ulcers if your PAD deteriorates enough. Without sufficient oxygen and nutrients, your lower limb tissues are more prone to injuries and damage. Lack of blood flow means your immune system is impaired, too, so you aren’t able to heal the small problems before they worsen into ulcers. Left untreated, these could lead to amputations.
Don’t take your circulation for granted. If you’re prone to circulation issues, or you already know you have PAD, contact us at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle Center right away. We’ll help you begin treatments to manage the problem. Don’t wait until it’s too late to take care of your feet. Make an appointment today at our Wheat Ridge, Golden, Evergreen, or Granby location by calling (303) 423-2520.