House Calls. Bringing healthcare to you

2013-11-27T05:00:00Z House Calls. Bringing healthcare to you Mason City Globe Gazette
November 27, 2013 5:00 am

QUESTION: What is Peripheral Artery Disease, and how can I prevent it?

ANSWER by: Molly Schaefer, CRT RCP, Hancock County Health System Respiratory Therapy Department/Cardiopulmonary, providing treatment and care at Hancock County Memorial Hospital.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a common circulatory problem where narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. This usually affects the legs, and when the legs are receiving enough blood flow to keep up with demand, leg pain occurs. PAD can be a sign of a more widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in your arteries which could mean blood flow to your heart and brain can also be affected.

Signs and symptoms of PAD include painful cramping in your hip, thigh, or calf muscle after activities such as walking or climbing stairs, leg numbness or weakness, coldness in your lower leg or foot, hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs, and/or no pulse or weak pulse in your legs or feet.

Diabetics and smokers have the greatest risk for PAD. Other risk factors include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and family history of PAD.

Screening for PAD can include a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI is a noninvasive way to check your risk of PAD by comparing your blood pressure measured at your ankle with your blood pressure measured at your arm. A low ABI number can indicate narrowing or blockage of the arteries in your legs, leading to circulatory problems, heart disease, or stoke. There may be other tests accompanied by this ABI.

To minimize your risk of developing PAD, keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control, and keep your diabetes in check. This can all be done through exercise and/or medications prescribed by your healthcare provider. If you smoke, the best thing you can do is quit. Discuss this with your healthcare provider, as well, if you are having troubles doing so. If you have any questions or concerns about PAD, discuss them with your doctor.

If you would like to submit a healthcare question, visit and select Contact Us at the bottom of the home page or call 641-843-5150.

As an integrated health system, Hancock County Memorial Hospital, Garner Rehabilitation Clinic and the Medical Clinics in Britt, Garner, Kanawha and Wesley, work together focusing on patients’ needs and delivering the right care at the right place at the right time.

Hancock County Memorial Hospital


Catherine Butler, MD

Lissa Holloway, PA-C

Kelly Lillie, ARNP

Garner Rehabilitation Clinic


HCHS Wellness Center


Dawn Heetland, MS, PT

Emily Holt, PT, DPT

Brenda Howke, MS, PT

Michael Mefferd, PT, DPT

Saturday Clinic, Nov. 30

Britt Medical Clinic

7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Britt Medical Clinic


John Brady, DO

Jamie Brantner, PA-C

Julie Larson, ARNP-FNP

Marcia Ring, PhD, ARNP

Jennifer Rosenmeyer, ARNP-FNP

Garner Medical Clinic


John Brady, DO

Marcia Ring, PhD, ARNP

Kendra Ulicki, ARNP

Monday, Thursday Clinics until 6 p.m.

Kanawha Medical Clinic


Jennifer Rosenmeyer, ARNP-FNP

Wesley Medical Clinic


Angela McGregor, DNP-ARNP

Copyright 2015 Mason City Globe Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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