Will PAD Go Away If I Quit Smoking?

Peripheral artery disease measuring for patient ankle-brachial index (ABI) test limb ischemia Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common condition that affects nearly 10% of the population. These numbers increase to approximately 20% of smokers. If untreated, PAD increases your risk of, Critical limb ischemia, heart attack, and stroke. But if you’re trying to quit smoking, you’re on the right track to good health.

Smoking and Vein Health

Many of us are well aware of the effects smoking has on the body. But, its impact on cardiovascular health goes overlooked. When you smoke, the chemicals can cause your blood vessels to narrow. When your blood vessels get constricted, the blood flow in your body is compromised.

Compromised blood flow can lead to several conditions, such as:

  • Stroke
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Coronary Heart Disease 
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
  • And Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Additional Risk Factors for PAD

There are other things in addition to smoking that can increase the risk of developing PAD. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol can all be byproducts of smoking. Having any of these conditions increases the likelihood of developing PAD.

How Quitting Smoking Helps PAD

Even when facing health problems, giving up smoking can be difficult. There are many benefits to giving up smoking. For instance, your blood pressure and heart rate stabilize 20 minutes after quitting. Also, studies show that your lung function shows signs of improvement after two weeks of quitting. After a year, your risk of a heart attack decreases by 50%. Also, giving up smoking may help slow down the progression of PAD.

Is PAD Reversible After I Quit?

Once you quit smoking, you may start noticing fewer symptoms of PAD. Your circulation, heart function, and lung health can all show signs of getting better.

However, reversing the effects of damage from smoking and PAD depends on several factors. Your age, general health, and severity of PAD make a difference in how well your body responds to treatment.

How is PAD Treated

One of the first steps in treating PAD is to quit smoking. Starting at this point can supplement other treatment strategies. Treatments for PAD include:

  • Blood thinners
  • A healthy diet
  • Cutting alcohol
  • Physical activity
  • Angioplasty
  • and Others

Early intervention is one of the best ways to work toward a good prognosis. With professional treatment, you can have a positive outlook and beyond your way to a healthy quality of life.

If you believe you show symptoms of PAD, talk to one of our providers. The Vascular Institute of Virginia proudly serves the Fairfax, Fredericksburg and Woodbridge areas. Call us today and schedule a consultation at (703)-763-5224.

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