Natural and Home Remidies for Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

This is a condition in which plaque build-up in the arteries affects the flow of blood in your legs. Circulation is impaired.

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A doctor may find a weak pulse below a narrowed area of an artery or a difference of blood pressure in arms and legs. He or she can use a variety of tests to diagnose the disease, including ultrasound and angiography. If you have this disease, you are at far greater risk for a heart attack or stroke. If you smoke, have diabetes , high cholesterol or high blood pressure, the risk goes up even more.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? Some or all of these may be present:

  • Pain in any part of the legs
  • Limited mobility
  • Varicose veins
  • Leg or foot sores that won’t heal
  • Paleness or discoloration of the legs
  • Cold legs

PREVALENCE

The disease affects 12% to 20% of Americans over age 65.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

If a patient cannot, or will not, change an unhealthy lifestyle, a doctor may prescribe medications. Lifestyle changes are something you can do right now on your own. Angioplasty and surgery are options.

SELF TREATMENT

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent nutrition plan.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING:

  • Bone Broth
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables for the flavonoids
  • Garlic
  • Onion

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

  • Smoking, which constricts and damages arteries. Quitting is one of the most important thing you can do.
  • Alcohol
  • Processed sugars
  • Medications that contain pseudoephedrine which constricts blood vessels.

HERBS AND SPICES

Herbs can be powerful medications and if you are under a doctor’s care, suffering from a serious condition, and/or on allopathic medications, consult a physician about your home treatment options.

  • Horse chestnut seed extract for reduction of symptoms
  • Padma Basic, a Tibetan supplement

ESSENTIAL OILS

The following oils may help improve circulation. They can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil, or added to a hot bath.

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

If you take natural blood thinners, take one kind at a time…after consulting your doctor (especially if you are on medications).

  • Garlic as a blood thinner
  • Gingko biloba as a blood thinner, if indicated
  • Grape seed extract
  • Hesperidin to strengthen capillaries and veins and reduce leg discomfort. Many drugs interact with hesperidin.
  • Inositol nicotinate
  • L-Carnitine to improve circulation
  • Omega 3 as a blood thinner, but may have other benefits
  • Policosanol to lower cholesterol, if needed
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

HYDRATION

Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ ounce to 1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial is undisputed. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can without making yourself feel worse. Be sensible. With PAD, your doctor may suggest supervised exercise, for safety.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to stay mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Manage your blood pressure and keep it in a healthy range.
  • Eat a diet, like the Zone Diet, that will keep your blood sugar in a safe range.
  • Raise the head of your bed by 4-6 inches to lessen leg pain.
  • Avoid cold temperatures.
  • Keep cholesterol under control.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

CAUTIONS

  • Take special care of your feet, as poor circulation can slow or prevent healing and increase the risk of infection.

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome diet
  • Regular exercise
  • No smoking
  • Minimal stress

 

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