Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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PAD (peripheral artery disease) Treatment

Treatment for peripheral vascular disease may include avoiding smoking, a low fat diet, a low cholesterol diet, weight loss, blood thinner medications, aspirin, thrombolytic medications, and surgery.

Specific treatment for peripheral vascular disease may include:

PAD (peripheral artery disease) Diet

Following a healthy diet is important to reduce the risk of new or worsening peripheral vascular disease.

General dietary recommendations for people with peripheral vascular disease:

  • Control calories:
    • Eat just enough calories to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Eat quality fats:
    • Use virgin olive oil and other unsaturated, low-cholesterol fats.
  • Eat the right amount of fats, carbohydrates and protein:
    • Limit your fat intake to 20 or 30 percent, but don't substitute simple carbohydrates for fat.
    • Less than 7% of the day's total calories from saturated fat.
    • Up to 10% of the day's total calories from polyunsaturated fat.
    • Up to 20% of the day's total calories from monounsaturated fat
  • Avoid fad diets:
    • Eat a well-rounded diet instead.
    • Eat small, frequent meals.
    • Avoid large and heavy meals.
  • Limit cholesterol in diet:
    • To less than 200 milligrams a day.
  • Limit iron intake:
  • Eat enough dietary fiber:
    • Whole grains are best.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Reduce salt in your diet
    • Optimal: no more than 2 grams per day.
  • Check with your doctor about supplementing your diet with B vitamins:

PAD (peripheral artery disease) Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of peripheral vascular disease.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need physical therapy?
  • Will I need occupational therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for complications of peripheral vascular disease?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

PAD (peripheral artery disease) Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat peripheral vascular disease:

Continue to PAD (peripheral artery disease) Home Care

Last Updated: Dec 22, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed PAD (peripheral artery disease) References
  1. Baumgartner I, Schainfeld R, Graziani L. Management of peripheral vascular disease. Annu Rev Med. 2005;56:249-72. [15660512]
  2. Burns DM. Epidemiology of smoking-induced cardiovascular disease. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2003 Jul-Aug;46(1):11-29. [12920698]
  3. Dillavou E, Kahn MB. Peripheral vascular disease. Diagnosing and treating the 3 most common peripheral vasculopathies. Geriatrics. 2003 Feb;58(2):37-42. [12596496]
  4. Fine JJ, Hall PA, Richardson JH. Predictive power of cardiovascular risk factors for detecting peripheral vascular disease. South Med J. 2004 Oct;97(10):951-4. [15558920]
  5. Standridge JB. Hypertension and atherosclerosis: clinical implications from the ALLHAT Trial. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2005 Mar;7(2):132-9. [15727729]
  6. Sukhija R, Yalamanchili K, Aronow WS, Kakar P, Babu S. Clinical characteristics, risk factors, and medical treatment of 561 patients with peripheral arterial disease followed in an academic vascular surgery clinic. Cardiol Rev. 2005 Mar-Apr;13(2):108-10. [15705262]
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