Peripheral artery disease, also known as PAD, results in decreased blood flow in arms and legs due to artery obstruction. It prevents blood from transporting to the heart and the legs. It is primarily caused by atherosclerosis, the accumulation of fatty plaque in the arteries. PAD may occur in any blood artery; however, it is far more prevalent in the legs than in the arms.
Plenty of individuals with peripheral artery disease have minimal or no symptoms. Some people can experience leg soreness while walking or other symptoms that are easy to confuse with something else.
Typically, the discomfort is mainly in the calf. The severity of the pain varies from minor to severe. Extreme leg discomfort may make walking or engaging in other physical exercises difficult.
There may be other symptoms of peripheral artery disease, such as:
Lower leg or foot chilliness.
Leg tingling or weakness.
Absence or weakness of a pulse in the legs or feet.
Muscle spasms in the hips, thighs, or calves after particular movements, such as walking or climbing stairs.
Legs have several tones of pigmentation.
Toenails may grow slowly.
Non-healing sores on the legs or arms.
Arm pain, including hurting and cramping while crocheting, writing, or doing other manual chores.
Little to no hair growth on the legs.
If peripheral artery disease worsens, resting or lying down may cause discomfort. Legs dangling over the side of the bed or walking may provide temporary pain relief. PAD may even prevent the patient from sleeping.
Keep in mind that:
Many individuals confuse the symptoms of PAD with other conditions.
PAD is often misdiagnosed or even ignored by medical experts.
Individuals with peripheral artery disease are more susceptible to coronary artery disease, heart attack, and strokes.
PAD may lead to gangrene and amputation if left untreated.
An unhealthy lifestyle leads to this condition. A sedentary life mixed with bad habits like smoking causes poor blood flow and, therefore, artery obstruction.
PAD affects both men and women; however, women have higher rates of peripheral artery disease than males, despite having fewer cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and growing older increase the chance of getting PAD.
The following are some of the less prevalent causes of peripheral artery disease:
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