We all know smoking is dangerous for your lungs and heart, but did you know that smoking can also be dangerous for your feet? Sometimes a doctor can simply look at a patient’s feet and tell if they smoke. A smoker’s skin usually tends to be thinner and reddish in color. Your feet are furthest from your heart, they don’t receive as much blood circulation as other parts of the body. Not to mention, if you smoke, your body is not working to its full potential.
So what is this disease that affects your feet? It is called peripheral arterial disease or also known as P.A.D. P.A.D is a disease that occurs when cholesterol and plaque build up in the arteries of the lower extremities causing a decrease in blood flow to the legs and feet. Symptoms include pain in the legs while walking or lying down and poor healing of leg sores or ulcers.
This is why it is so important to monitor your feet and see a podiatrist if you are a smoker. At our office we will perform a noninvasive procedure called a vascular studies test to assess the blood flow in your arteries and veins. If you are a smoker, you are much more likely to develop P.A.D and you are at a higher risk of developing this disease at a younger age.
So who should have a Vascular Study Test done besides smokers? Diabetics are at a high risk and people who are 50 years or older with high blood pressure or high cholesterol are also at a high risk. This test generally lasts between 30-45 minutes during which blood pressure and pulse are taken 10 times to ensure accuracy. You will receive your results in approximately 2 weeks.
If you are concerned about your health and your body, take steps to finally quit smoking. Try to exercise and find stress-reducing activities to help you quit smoking. Start a healthy new you and a healthy new lifestyle this new year!