Lifestyle Changes to Manage Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
- Quit smoking.
- Talk with your doctor about eating a more healthful diet.
- Make sure you know whether you have elevated cholesterol, and if you do, learn how to eat healthier foods to control this risk factor. Also, talk to your doctor about whether you should be taking a cholesterol-lowering medication.
- Exercise regularly. Under your doctor’s supervision, gradually increase your walking.
- Regularly examine your feet for injuries, ingrown toenails, or cuts.
- Care for any injuries of the feet meticulously with regular cleansing, antiseptic, and dressings.
- Avoid dry skin by using moisturizing creams.
- Wear shoes that breathe but do not expose the toes (as sandals do).
- Avoid shoe chafing.
- Use your bed sheets to make a "tent" or canopy around your feet. This will improve circulation while you sleep.
- See a podiatrist for toe or toenail problems, and tell him or her that you have PAD.
- Wounds that get infected
- Infections that don't heal
- Worsening claudication
- Sudden worsening of symptoms, particularly pain at rest
American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.americanheart.org/ . Accessed August 14, 2008.
Braunwald E, Fauci AS, eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine . 16th ed. McGraw-Hill Professional; 2004.
The Cleveland Clinic Foundation website. Available at: http://www.clevelandclinic.org/ .
Textbook of Clinical Neurology. 2nd ed. W.B. Saunders; 2003.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO
- Review Date: 09/2012 -
- Update Date: 00/92/2012 -
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