Ask the Doc: A Blocked Artery

Ask the Doc: A Blocked Artery

© 2006 Wellness Clubs of

For the past three years Iíve experienced pain in my left leg when walking for any distance. My doctor recently sent me to a vascular specialist who found a blockage in one of the arteries. He has recommended an angioplasty to correct the problem. Is there anything else I should consider? J.D.

Dear J. D.

The most important fact to consider is that an angioplasty, which is sometimes referred to as a balloon procedure, will only deal with the blockage in that specific artery. The same is true of a bypass operation, which is done in cases that are not amenable to angioplasty.

If you have blockage in one artery that is severe enough to cause leg pain after walking a certain distance, you almost certainly have narrowed areas in other arteries throughout your body. Unaddressed, those blockages could lead to a stroke, heart attack, or other circulatory event.

I shall never forget a man who was found to have a partial blockage of one of his coronary (heart) arteries. Since the blockage was not at a critical stage and was not causing any symptoms I recommended that he address the problem through diet, activity, and nutritional supplementation. He opted, however, to undergo a bypass operation since it was covered by his health insurance while the supplements were not.

The bypass improved blood flow in his coronary artery, but it did nothing to improve the condition of other blood vessels. A year after his bypass he suffered a stroke due to a blockage in one of the arteries responsible for supplying blood to his brain.

In addition to correcting the blockage that is causing your leg pain, I strongly encourage you to begin a program designed to support your entire circulatory system.

  • Eat a diet that is low in saturated fat, refined sugars, and processed foods.
  • Get your body moving for at least 30 minutes daily.
  • Stop Smoking.
  • Take a comprehensive nutritional supplement specifically formulated to support circulatory health.
  • Check your homocysteine level and, if elevated, add DMG (dimethylglycine) 400 to 2400 mg. daily as necessary to lower it to 7.2 or less.
These steps should help assure that blockages do not develop or progress in other arteries. It would be tragic to have the circulation to your leg restored only to suffer a heart attack or stoke a short time later. ĖDr. Dale
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