Peripheral artery disease is a condition where the arteries become clogged with plaque. When this plaque builds up inside of the arteries it can make it difficult for blood to circulate. This condition typically reduces blood flow to the limbs, most commonly the legs. When a person has peripheral artery disease it can increase the risk of having a major cardiac event such as a stroke or heart attack. In addition, peripheral artery diseases increase the risk of needing amputation of one or both of the legs. Unfortunately, this disease is not well-known, despite the many risks that come with it. In fact, peripheral artery disease affects over twenty million people in the United States. One of the reasons that many people do not realize that they have this dangerous disease is because the symptoms can be difficult to spot. Here are 14 of the common signs of peripheral artery disease.
1. Leg Pain
One of the most common symptoms of peripheral artery disease is a pain in the legs. Of course, this symptom is easy to ignore and write off as there are many reasons a person might have pain in their legs. Perhaps you participated in a hard workout or went for a run. You might have just overexerted yourself. The excuses for why your legs might hurt are far and wide. However, a person suffering from peripheral artery disease will typically experience severe pain in their calves. The reason that this pain occurs is that the lower part of the legs is not getting enough blood. Peripheral artery disease blocks or slows down blood flow to the limbs. When the legs do not have enough blood, they can start to ache and hurt. If you are frequently experiencing pain in your legs, it could be a sign that you have peripheral artery disease.