MASON CITY – The Mercy Heart & Vascular Institute-Vein Center had a free PAD (peripheral artery disease) screening and awareness walk Saturday at East Park.
In Shelter #3, Ami Frohling, Monica Christensen and Heather Miller, from Mercy, were giving screenings, information and signing up people for the four-tenths of a mile walk, as well as giving our goody bags and healthy snacks.
“We are out here today to encourage people to get active and to follow a healthy lifestyle,” said Frohling.
The walk started at 9:00 am. By 9:20, twenty walkers had signed up and on their way around the park. “We hope to have 50 walkers by 11:00,” said Frohling.
PAD is a type of “hardening of the arteries.” It occurs when arteries in arms or legs become narrowed by plaque. Advanced cases increase the risk for gangrene and amputation. Patients with PAD are also at increased risk for other types of heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes.
The risk factors are people who smoke, have diabetes, a unhealthy cholesterol and lipid levels, have high blood pressure and advancing in age.
Treatments may include a lifestyle change, medications, surgery or balloon angioplasty. If left untreated, loss of limb, heart attack and stroke, or decrease in mobility due to pain, may occur.
The ladies were also providing information about varicose veins. They are enlarged, twisted veins that don’t move blood as effectively as they should.
For some people varicose veins may cause pain. In some cases serious complications, such as inflammation of the veins, skin ulcers, and blood clots can happen.
Varicose veins usually show up in the legs and feet, because standing and walking increases the pressure in those veins. They look like bulging, bluish cords beneath the surface of your skin. Spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but they are smaller and closer to the surface of your skin.
Varicose veins develop when your veins stretch and their valves, which stop blood from flowing backwards, don’t work anymore.
The risk factors for varicose veins are family history, advancing age, hormonal change, standing for long periods of time and being overweight.
Mercy Heart and Vascular Institute offers minimally invasive treatments for varicose veins in one convenient location. Mercy Heart and Vascular Institute – Vein Center is in the Forest Park Medical Building, located on Mercy’s East Campus, 1000 Fourth Street SW in Mason City. For more information you can call 641-428-8001.