Summer is right around the corner, and for many Americans that means taking a vacation or two. For those Americans with peripheral artery disease traveling this summer could bring complications because of their health condition. Advanced Radiology advises patients talk to their physician and take extra steps to protect their health while on vacation this year.
Peripheral artery disease is a cardiovascular condition that causes narrowing of the arteries in the extremities. Symptoms of the condition include numbness and tingling in the legs, cramps and pain in the legs and calves, sores on the legs and feet that do not heal, and thickening of the skin on the feet.
The 411 on flying. It’s true that flying can cause complications for PAD patients. Complications stem from sitting for long periods- which can cause blood clots in PAD patients. PAD patients have reduced blood flow to their extremities already as a part of their condition, and sitting down for a long period of time further reduces blood flow. Blood carries vital oxygen to the extremities and tissues, and without it, tissues begin to die. Patients with peripheral artery disease are encouraged to get up and walk around when it is safe to do so on the plane.
High altitudes can also increase the symptoms of many medical conditions, so prepare for your symptoms to be potentially heightened when you’re high in the sky.