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Peripheral Artery Disease Specialist

Gus Armenakis, MD -  - Primary Care Physician

Gus Armenakis, MD

Primary Care Physician & Internal Medicine Physician located in Tamarac, FL

Around one in 20 Americans over the age of 50 have peripheral artery disease, a vascular health problem that increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you have cramping in your hips, thighs or calves, or numbness in your legs, make an appointment with Gus Armenakis, MD, at his practice in Tamarac, Florida. Dr. Armenakis is a board-certified primary care physician who diagnoses and treats peripheral artery disease to protect your health. Call Dr. Armenakis or schedule a consultation online today.

Peripheral Artery Disease

What is peripheral artery disease?

Your peripheral arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart through the rest of your body. Peripheral artery disease develops when your peripheral arteries become clogged, and the space available for your blood flow narrows. 

Peripheral artery disease usually develops in the legs, but can also occur in your arms, head, or abdomen. Wherever peripheral artery disease occurs, your muscles and tissues don’t receive all the nutrient-rich blood they need for optimal functionality. 

As a result, peripheral artery disease can cause symptoms, including:

  • Claudication — painful cramping in your legs or hips after physical activity
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Your feet or lower legs could be cool to touch
  • Sores that don’t heal
  • Slow or absent hair growth on your lower legs
  • Slow toenail growth
  • The skin on your lower legs looks shiny or changes color
  • Weak pulse in ankles

As the disease progresses, you may have cramping and muscle fatigue all the time, or it could be worse when you lie down. When left untreated, peripheral artery disease increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, and critical limb ischemia — a leading cause of amputation.

What causes peripheral artery disease?

Peripheral artery disease develops when plaque builds up on the insides of your arteries — a condition known as atherosclerosis. This is often due to having high cholesterol levels as well as other risk factors such as smoking, obesity, and diabetes. Your risk of peripheral artery disease is also higher if you have a family history of the condition. 

How is peripheral artery disease diagnosed?

Dr. Armenakis often identifies signs of peripheral artery disease during a routine physical exam. For example, he might notice a whooshing sound in your arteries or a weak pulse in your leg or ankle. 

If he suspects peripheral artery disease, he orders additional tests such as an ankle-brachial index to compare the blood pressure in your ankle with the blood pressure in your arm, or an ultrasound to identify narrowed arteries. He also orders blood tests to measure your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. 

How is peripheral artery disease treated?

Dr. Armenakis creates personalized treatment plans designed to address your condition and its causes. For example, he can help you quit smoking or make other lifestyle modifications to improve your cardiovascular and overall health. He can also prescribe medication to help you control your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and diabetes.

If necessary, Dr. Armenakis can refer you to a cardiologist or vascular health specialist for advanced testing and treatments. He collaborates with your specialist to ensure you receive consistent continuity of care. 

Call Dr. Armenakis or make an appointment online today if you’re concerned about peripheral artery disease.