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10 Things You Should Know About Peripheral Artery Disease

By Andrew Alpin, 6 November 2022

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4 PAD is pretty common

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Dr. Ian Del Conde-Pozzi, a cardiologist and vascular medicine specialist at Baptist Health’s Miami Cardiac & Vascular Institute, says that peripheral arterial disease is very common around the world, especially in older people and those who have had diabetes or smoked in the past. A good way to help prevent PAD is to live a healthy life.

PAD is pretty common

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5 What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease?

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Pain, aches, tiredness, burning, or discomfort in the muscles of your feet, calves, or thighs are the most common signs of PAD. Most of the time, these symptoms appear when you walk or work out and go away after a few minutes of rest.

At first, you may only notice these signs when you walk uphill, faster, or farther. Slowly, these symptoms start to happen faster and less often when you exercise. When you are at rest, your legs or feet may feel numb. The legs may also feel cool to the touch, and your skin may look pale. However, the symptoms of severe PAD include:

  • Nighttime pain and cramps
  • ImpotenceDark and blue-looking skin
  • Sores that don’t heal
  • Pain or tingling in the feet or toes can be so bad that even the weight of clothes or bed sheets hurts.
  • When you raise your legs, the pain worsens, but when you hang your legs over the side of the bed, the pain goes away.

What are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease

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6 Leg symptoms caused by PAD

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PAD usually affects the legs and feet. Patients with PAD often feel tired, sore, crampy, or uncomfortable in their legs, especially when walking or working out. Leg symptoms are usually the first sign of peripheral artery disease that is getting worse. Most people with severe PAD have problems with their legs when they walk, like tiredness or pain. Leg pain is less common in and of itself. However, if walking hurts your legs, you should get checked for PAD.

Leg symptoms caused by PAD

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7 Check the pulse in your ankle

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A careful but simple physical exam can often rule out significant PAD. For example, if your ankles have strong pulses, you are unlikely to have a serious PAD case. This is important to know so that your doctor can check your pulse.

Check the pulse in your ankle

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