Return to Index
Lifestyle Changes to Manage Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
- Manage your high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. Talk with your doctor about what treatments may work best for you.
- Talk with your doctor about how you can quit smoking.
- Talk with a dietitian about eating a balanced and healthy diet.
- Exercise regularly. Under your doctor’s supervision, gradually increase your walking. This helps improve blood flow and reduces the risk of infection.
- Regularly examine your feet for injuries, ingrown toenails, or cuts
- Care for any injuries of the feet meticulously with regular cleansing and dressings
- Avoid dry skin by using moisturizing creams
- Wear shoes that breathe but do not expose the toes, such as sandals
- Avoid shoe chafing
- See a podiatrist for toe or toenail problems, and tell him or her that you have PAD
- Wounds that get infected
- Wounds that don't heal
- Worsening claudication
- Sudden worsening of symptoms, particularly pain at rest
Living with peripheral arterial disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pad/livingwith.html . Updated April 1, 2011. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) of lower extremities. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated August 3, 2013. Accessed August 8, 2013.
Prevention and treatment of PAD. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/PeripheralArteryDisease/Prevention-and-Treatment-of-PAD%5FUCM%5F301308%5FArticle.jsp . Updated November 20, 2012. Accessed August 8, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 08/2013
- Update Date: 05/11/2013