Millions of people suffer from Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), which results when the arteries don’t receive enough blood or oxygen due to blockage. While healthy arteries are unobstructed, the buildup of plaque – which is made up of cholesterol, calcium, and fibrous tissue – causes the arteries to become blocked and harden through a process called atherosclerosis. The arteries will become narrower and harder as more plaque accumulates. Eventually, this will lead to reduced blood flow to the leg arteries, resulting in the affected leg not getting enough oxygen. If you suspect that you may be suffering from PAD, then it is crucial that you get evaluated by your physician for proper diagnosis and treatment. If you are unsure, please read further for more information about the signs and symptoms to look for.
The first signs of peripheral artery disease that you will notice are pain, cramping, and or fatigue in the lower body after walking or other types of exercise. Initially, you will feel the pain intermittently in your thighs, legs, and buttocks. Without proper treatment, the pain will increase to the point that you will feel the pain even during times when you are not active. This is why it’s important to get evaluated as soon as possible if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, as the pain will only get worse without the proper treatment.
Another sign that your legs are not getting enough oxygen is the appearance of a discolored or bluish hue to the skin. This may be less noticeable than the pain, but if you should notice a significant difference in the coloration from one leg to the other, you should definitely get evaluated by your physician to properly diagnose the causes. Again, putting this off can result in the condition becoming much more serious, so please let your physician know if you notice anything unusual about the color of your legs.
Advanced Vascular Surgery is the leading PAD treatment specialist for patients in the Kalamazoo area. With more than 60 combined years of board-certified vascular surgeon experience and 22 combined years of board-certified mid-level provider experience, our team is sure to provide you with the best treatment options available for your Peripheral Artery Disease symptoms. Call us to schedule your initial appointment today!