Patient Comments: Peripheral Vascular Disease - Experience

Please describe your experience with peripheral vascular disease.

Comment from: Hughpuppied, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 14

I was diagnosed about 10 years ago but probably had it like 3 or so years before being diagnosed with it. I have peripheral vascular disease/peripheral artery disease (PVD/PAD). I got mine from smoking, which led to me having Buerger's Disease. It all started in my left big toe, my doctor thought it was just an ingrown toenail so he took some of the toenail off. That did not help the pain so he took the whole toe nail off after I tried to get in bed and ripped most of it off. It took 3 months after the worst pain I ever had that was in my toe to go away. Still they could not find out what was wrong, and they could not find a pulse in my feet, they did ultra sound, Allen test, x-rays, Doppler test and finally put dye in the vein near the groin. When I walked I did not have pain in the calf like most people who have PVD/PAD. Instead when I walked my feet hurt so bad, it was like someone was standing on my toes, while someone was stretching the muscle that runs the length of the bottom of your foot, and someone was hammering the sides of my feet. It felt like there were bunions and calluses, and it felt like my foot was sleeping. It would get so bad I could not walk for long before I had to sit down and rest. I had that for like 5 years, then it went away for like 5 years, then came back again. I heard with Buerger's disease that if you stop smoking as soon as you find out you have Buerger's Disease it might stop getting worse and reverse itself. I also heard that it will not get worse or better and also heard that it would only get worse. I finally stopped smoking this April after finding out 10 years ago. I hope I did not do more damage. So far I am lucky I did not have to have any operations on my feet nor did I need anything amputated. I do have Raynaud's syndrome/phenomenon which is worse when it is cold outside and that affects my Buerger's disease. I don't know how I could be so stupid to keep smoking, not getting more exercise and going out when it was cold outside. I must have someone watching over me to still have my feet and legs after being so stupid to not take better care of myself.

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Comment from: midav, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 05

I was a longtime smoker (45 years). I found I couldn't walk halfway down my block because of pain from peripheral vascular disease. I started with herbs with no luck and then tried propionyl-L-carnitine with great success. I now take a variety of supplements and get a lot of exercise from my physically demanding job as a construction worker. I work 10 hour days and walk a minimum of 10 miles each day with no pain.

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Comment from: epare, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 14

I have always been active and walked a few miles a day up to about 5 years ago when my ability to walk progressively decreased to the point where I could only walk about 50 feet before having to stop from pain in my calves. I was diagnosed with PAD (peripheral artery disease) and told I had 90 percent blockage of the left femoropopliteal artery with 80 percent blockage of the right. Because the main blockage was behind the left knee, I could not have a stent but was able to benefit from angioplasty. I was morbidly obese, type II diabetic, ex-smoker, and had too much cholesterol. I lost the weight down to a BMI of 25, got my cholesterol down to better-than-normal, and controlled my diabetes with exercise and diet. Claudication re-occurred last year and I had another angioplasty, this time in the right leg, still no stent. I am currently still experiencing mild claudication but am forcing myself to walk 6 miles per day carrying a pack. I still have a normal BMI, normal cholesterol, and normal blood sugar levels. I have not beat PAD but feel I can control it for a few years more.

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Peripheral Vascular Disease - Symptoms Question: What are your symptoms associated with peripheral vascular disease?
Peripheral Vascular Disease - Treatments Question: What forms of treatment, including lifestyle changes, have you tried for peripheral vascular disease?

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