Sioux Falls, SD
High blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and kidney failure are just a few of the health risks that vascular disease can lead to.
But by setting up a screening appointment with your doctor you can find out whether you have circulation issues, and what steps need to be taken to either treat or prevent it.
Stacy Weller is just three years short of turning 50. Because of her age, and a family history of vascular disease, she decided it was time to set up a vascular screening.
"It's pretty simple and it only takes about 15 to 20 minutes, so I would suggest it. What does it hurt? Our lives are so important, and I have three grandkids now so I want to make sure I'm healthy and everything is good," Weller said.
A vascular screening is a non-invasive process that checks to make sure your blood vessels are circulating your blood efficiently.
"We basically take blood pressure measurements in your arms and also in your ankles and see if there's a difference in the blood pressure and if there is, there's a sign that you could have problems with the blood flow going down to your legs," Dr. Angelo Santos said.
Santos says a lot of people confuse the symptoms of vascular disease with old age, such as cramping or discomfort when walking.
"You need to find out if there's a blood vessel problem causing this, and if you can do a screening it's a simple test," Santos said.
While anyone can be a candidate for the disease, Santos says there are some people who are at a higher risk.
While people approaching the age of 50 should be screened... Smokers, diabetics, and people with high blood pressure should be screened even sooner.
Weller is among those who has certain conditions that put her at a higher risk for the disease.
"I do have a history of hypertension, and high cholesterol and being a little bit overweight and so I do have some high risk factors," Weller said.
Santos says that while there's not a lot of information about the disease process yet, blockages can occur in just about any blood vessel.
"So for those people that have problems with walking and not necessarily joints but get tired, have cold legs, have sores, these are the people we're trying to reach out to," Santos said.
If you can spare just 20 minutes out of your day, you can stay a few steps ahead of the disease just by getting screened.
Doctors recommend having a vascular screening done every three to five years, unless you're at a high risk.
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