Smart ABI Testing

What is Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)?

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) is one aspect of your vascular health that is caused by atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in the walls of the peripheral arteries. This process narrows or blocks arteries in your extremities reducing blood flow. PAD increases a patient’s risk for coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, and lower limb tissue injuries. If untreated PAD can diminish a patient’s ability to participate in daily activities.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain in legs or feet at rest
  • Uncomfortable aching, fatigue, tingling, cramping or pain in your hip, thigh, buttocks, calves, or feet during walking and exercise
  • Pale, discolored or bluish feet at any time during the day
  • Cold feet or legs
  • Infection, skin wound, or ulcer that is slow to heal

It is reported that 75% of patients with PAD are asymptomatic.

smart abi 4pack

Smart ABI Testing

For front-line physicians to screen and diagnose patients who are at risk for PAD, Smart ABI, also known as ankle-brachial index testing, was created. The test is simple, painless, and in 5-minutes your doctor has a readable report to review with you that gives quantitative, color-coded graphic scores which indicate a Normal, Borderline, or Severe risk for PAD.

From there, the patient’s information is saved as baseline data. This enables tracking arterial trends for the patient with medical management and/or post-procedures. Testing results can then be forwarded to appropriate condition management teams such as your primary care physician, or cardiologist.

How is PAD Detected with Smart ABI?

Smart ABI is an extremely intelligent tool that is used to measure two very important factors involving your circulation. These factors are your blood pressure and ABI. 

Ankle-brachial indexing is the use of inflatable cuffs (much like those used for blood pressure monitoring) to take specialized readings through specific points of your arteries to monitor and measure blood pressure as your heart contracts and releases. These measurements are taken from your arm and ankle and then compared to get an overall view of your arterial health. ABI is the best way of checking for Peripheral Arterial Disease. Testing can even be done after activity to rule out activity-related problems due to PAD.

You may be at risk for PAD if you have a smoking history, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, are over 50, or have a family history of PAD.

large arm cuff

Can PAD Be Prevented?

PAD can be prevented or delayed with the right precautions. Addressing the following factors can help:

  • Diet- When you follow a healthy eating plan that is low in trans-fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium, this can help with PAD. It is also good to eat lots of vegetables, fruit, and low/non-dairy product.
  • Family history- If you are aware that someone else in your family has or had PAD, you need to tell your doctor.
  • Smoking- Regular smokers are four times as likely to develop PAD than lifetime non-smokers.

How is PAD Treated?

Here are some of the best treatments for PAD:

  • Stop smoking – Smoking tobacco can greatly increase your risk of PAD, stroke, and heart attack. When you quit smoking, you can slow the progression of PAD.
  • Regular physical activity – The most effective treatment for PAD is physical activity. In fact, doctors will often recommend a program of supervised training to reduce the effects of PAD. This can include simple walking regimens, a treadmill exercise program, or even just leg exercises.
  • Changes in diet – Many individuals dealing with PAD have elevated cholesterol levels. That is why changing your diet can make all the difference. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables while avoiding things such as saturated fat, trans-fat, and cholesterol.
  • Medication – Doctors may prescribe you medications such as antihypertensive drugs, as well as statins, in order to lower cholesterol levels. Speak to your doctor to determine which medication would be best for you.

The Bottom Line

Understanding and managing your vascular health can help lower risk factors for conditions like PAD, and in some cases, regular screening can catch problems before they spiral out of control. If you are interested in learning more or would like to schedule your Smart ABI test, feel free to get in touch with us here at Lakes Foot and Ankle today. We are happy to help you manage your health needs.

Give us a call today at (248) 360-3888, or contact our office online to request an appointment. 


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