Chippewa Falls (WQOW)- It may be something you’ve never heard of before – peripheral artery disease.
September is its awareness month, and medical professionals said many people have no idea they have it, so they want you to know what to look for.
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, affects as many as 12 million Americans, and affects one in eight Americans over the age of 60.
Health officials wore one white sock over their pant leg, which is the symbol for the disease to help bring awareness.
Peripheral arteries are mostly found in legs, and when there’s a plaque build up and oxygen can’t get to your arms and legs, that’s when people have problems.
When it’s not treated it can lead to amputation, heart attack and even a stroke, so it’s important to know the symptoms.
“A lot of people will get pain in their legs upon exercise sometimes at night,” said Denise McNeely the wound care director at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital. “Forty percent of people won’t feel pain and so other symptoms are temperature differences in your legs, wounds that won’t heal and at the wound center we see a lot of those type of folks and also no hair growth on one leg.”
McNeely said this is not checked at your yearly physical, so if you feel any of those symptoms, talk to your doctor.