What Does Peripheral Arterial Disease Mean

What are the typical symptoms of peripheral arterial disease?

Symptoms

  • Painful cramping in one or both of your hips, thighs or calf muscles after certain activities, such as walking or climbing stairs.
  • Leg numbness or weakness.
  • Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side.
  • Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won't heal.
  • Is peripheral artery disease life threatening?

    While peripheral arterial disease is not life threatening, it can affect quality of life, and can be a red-flag warning of more serious conditions, including heart disease. If not properly managed, PAD can lead to heart attack or stroke. To learn more, go to our Frequently Asked Questions About PAD page.

    What is the most common cause of peripheral arterial disease?

    It is primarily caused by the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries, which is called atherosclerosis. PAD can happen in any blood vessel, but it is more common in the legs than the arms.

    What organs does Peripheral artery disease affect?

    PAD usually affects the arteries in the legs, but it also can affect the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys, and stomach. As with clogged arteries in the heart, PAD raises the risk of heart attack, stroke, and even death.

    What are the signs of clogged arteries in your legs?

    Claudication is a symptom of a narrowing or blockage of an artery. Typical symptoms of claudication include: Pain, a burning feeling, or a tired feeling in the legs and buttocks when you walk. Shiny, hairless, blotchy foot skin that may get sores.

    What is life expectancy with peripheral artery disease?

    Only half of all patients remained alive at the end of follow-up. The crude five-year death rate among patients diagnosed with peripheral arterial disease was 33.2% – a rate of 82.4 deaths per 1,000 patient years (Figure 1).

    Can peripheral arterial disease affect the brain?

    The most common disease of the arteries is atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque that could eventually obstruct blood flow to the muscles and organs. When it affects the arteries of the brain, this could lead to stroke.

    How do you sleep with peripheral artery disease?

    You may have pain in your legs or feet when you sleep. Raise the head of your bed 4 inches, or use pillows to prop your upper body higher than your legs. This may help more blood go to your feet, decreasing pain.

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