If you have an irregular heartbeat (called an arrhythmia), your doctor might suggest a treatment called cardioversion to help get your heart back into a normal rhythm.
If your heart beats too fast or unevenly, it can be dangerous. Your heart may not be pumping enough blood to meet your body's needs. An irregular heartbeat also can lead to a stroke or a heart attack.
It's important to do what you can to improve your health and possibly reverse the buildup of plaque in your
arteries. When you have PAD, you have a high risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Making healthy changes and following your treatment plan can reduce this risk.
Healthy changes you can make
If you smoke,
quit. Quitting is the best thing you can do when you have peripheral arterial disease
(PAD). Medicines and counseling can help you quit for good.
Get regular exercise (if your doctor says it's safe). Try walking, swimming, or biking for at least 30 minutes on most, if not all, days of the week. Your doctor might recommend a supervised exercise program if you have intermittent claudication.
A cardiac rehab program can help you make lifestyle changes. In cardiac rehab, a team of
health professionals provides education and support to help you make new,
See Living With PAD for more ideas about changes you can make and about support to help you make them.
You may need medicines to help lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. These include medicine to prevent blood clots, improve cholesterol, or lower blood pressure. You might take a medicine that can help ease pain while you are walking.
Procedures and surgery
peripheral arterial disease gets worse
despite treatment. People who have severe PAD or who are at risk
for losing a limb may need bypass surgery or other procedures (such as
angioplasty) to restore proper blood flow to the legs.
In this article
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
January 27, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this