Peripheral Artery Disease also known as Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) is the narrowing or blockage of the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the arms and legs, restricting or stopping the blood flow.
Peripheral arteries deliver blood that contains oxygen, glucose and other essential nutrients from the heart to the arms and legs. Healthy peripheral arteries are unobstructed and smooth on the inside.
However, with age, an unhealthy diet, smoking, the development of diabetes or high blood pressure, plaque begins to accumulate on the inside of the artery walls.
Many people who have peripheral artery disease have mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all which makes it even harder to diagnose in its early stages. So, what are the symptoms of peripheral vascular disease to watch out for?
The most common symptom is something called Intermittent Claudication, which is muscle pain or cramping in your arms or legs while walking that goes away after a few minutes of being at rest. Even though pain and cramps are most often experienced in the calf, they could also be felt in the thigh or hip. The intensity of the pain can vary from mild to severe.
Some other symptoms of blocked arteries in legs include pain in the legs while lying down or at rest, leg numbness or weakness, a cold sensation in the lower legs or feet, a change in the color of the leg, sores on the toes, feet or leg that won’t heal, or a weak pulse in your legs or feet.