Take steps to learn about PAD

Many types of health care providers diagnose and treat PAD. Whether you see a family physician, internist, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, the first step is to ask about your risk for PAD. Your provider will take a medical and family history, perform a physical exam, and conduct diagnostic tests. In addition, there are many types of specialists who take care of patients with PAD, including: vascular medicine specialists, vascular surgeons, cardiologists, podiatrists, and interventional radiologists.

Medical and Family History

Your health care provider is likely to spend some time reviewing:

  • Your medical history, including the presence of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other important factors
  • Your status as a current or former smoker
  • Your personal and family history of cardiovascular disease
  • Any symptoms you may be experiencing in your legs while sitting, standing, walking or climbing, or participating in other physical activities
  • Your current diet and medications
  • Your ABI test results. ABI measures the difference between your blood pressure at the arm and at the ankle. A difference in the two areas indicates restricted blood flow.