Doctors spot the warning signs of peripheral artery disease

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Peripheral artery disease.

it’s a fairly common and treatable disease in the medical world.

However, its symptoms go often unrecognized or attributed to old age.

According to experts, the disease is quite common is especially for women over 50.

63-year-old Duson resident Judy Turner was suffering from leg pain, swollen toes, black and blue legs.

Turner said she knew she had a bigger problem after she realized she couldn’t walk her house.

“I just thought I bumped my toes or something fell on them. That’s what I told my husband but the pain kept getting harder and harder and then my toe started getting bigger and bigger,” Turner said.

Turner went straight to the Cardiovascular Institute of the South in Lafayette.

Cardiologist Dr. Ankur Lodha took ultrasounds of the two legs, found nothing, then decided to look in the stomach.

“The arteries that go to leg, they divide from the main artery of the heart in the belly. So even though it is in the belly the arteries really go down and supply the leg,” Dr. Lodha said.

Turner had a blood clot in the artery in her stomach. The artery was 99% blocked.

“It’s actually more in post-menopausal women in the corresponding age, therefore, they need more awareness,” Dr. Lodha said.

Turner underwent a peripheral angiogram and angioplasty.

“Right after the procedure the leg’s color turned completely normal,” Dr. Lodha said.

For Turner, it was a wake-up call, as heart problems run in her family.

“I lost a sister young with heart disease my dad died of a heart attack,” Turner said.

Now Turner is back to normal.

She’s able to walk.

She’s in a program to quit smoking, as part of her new outlook on life.

“Like is say, anybody that sees their foot start to look like that, don’t wait too long because they can amputate. They thought they were gonna have to amputate mine,” Turner said.

Doctors say for anyone experiencing leg pain, it’s important to get it checked out immediately.

Dr. Lodha says lifestyle is the number one preventable way to combat peripheral artery disease. He recommends people stop smoking, eat a healthier diet full of leafy greens and exercise at least 30 minutes a day.

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