The signs of Peripheral Artery Disease vary from each person based on age, weight and lifestyle choices, and there is only about a 50% chance that you will experience noticeable symptoms. These symptoms are almost always caused by a reduction in blood flow to your leg muscles, and this can vary based on which artery is affected and to what extent your blood flow is restricted.
The most common symptom of PAD is pain in one or both calves, thighs, or hips. Intermittent pain usually occurs while walking or climbing stairs, and this is because the need for oxygen rich blood increases during these activities and other exercises. This pain is called Claudication.
Leg cramps can be fairly common, but cramps that start with exercise and subside when you rest is most likely due to claudication. When the blood vessels in your legs are completely blocked, you might even experience pain at night or in your sleep. It usually is a dull, cramping pain. It may also feel like a heaviness, tightness, or tiredness in the muscles of the legs.
Other signs and symptoms of PAD include:
Numbness or tingling, and weakness in your legs
Burning or aching pain in your feet or toes
Dull pain in your buttocks
One or both legs or feet feel cold or change color
Impotence or the inability to maintain an erection
Lingering sores on your leg or foot, or loss of hair
Because the signs of PAD can be easily overlooked, or excused as tiredness or fatigue, it is important that you’re mindful of experiencing more than one of the symptoms at the same time or a collection of symptoms over time.
Peripheral Artery Disease can be effectively treated when diagnosed early and properly. Make your appointment at Vascular Interventional Partners today if you’re feeling at risk, or to put your mind at ease.