You can donate life to someone who needs it. That’s not as strange as it sounds—donating blood is donating life! Blood is vital to every part of your body, including your feet. When you don’t have enough, or it doesn’t flow well, your whole body is in trouble. January is Blood Donor Month—to thank people who give life and encourage others to donate. Of course, if you have peripheral arterial disease (PAD), you need as much of your own blood as you can get to keep your feet functioning. The good news is that there are things you can do at home to help.
Peripheral arterial disease is a problem with fat build-up in the blood vessels that lead to your limbs. Your feet are particularly vulnerable because they naturally have weak blood flow. Often this causes intermittent claudication, or an uncomfortable cramping and tingling in your muscles when you’re active. The worse the problem gets, the more painful it is. Taking care of the condition is important if you want to stay active and prevent worse complications.
Here are a few things you can do on your own:
Exercise – Exercise actually increases circulation. PAD can make activity uncomfortable, but if that keeps you from exercising, the condition will only get worse. Slowly start a foot-safe exercise program that you can do without much pain.
Eat Right – Eating lots of vegetables and healthy foods with low saturated fats can help limit the fatty build-up in your arteries.
Stop Smoking – Tobacco stiffens blood vessels and can make your circulation much worse. Quit smoking to allow your blood vessels to heal.
Use Good Foot Care Habits – When your circulation is poor, you risk foot health problems. Wash and moisturize your feet daily, trim your nails, and wear appropriate footwear to help protect your lower limbs from damage when they are vulnerable.
Issues from peripheral arterial disease may be your early signs that something is not right in your body, so don’t ignore the problem. Have your lower limbs checked out. Dr. Darren Silvester and the Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic staff will help you manage the discomfort and get help for the larger circulatory issue. We also offer in-house testing to see if you have PAD. Just contact our Pleasanton office for more information or an appointment. Call (830) 569-3338 or use the website to reach us.