PAD is a progressive condition. Symptoms may not appear until the condition has significantly progressed and complications appear. Over time, PAD may lead to:
Intermittent claudication is the most common symptom of PAD. Claudication is pain that occurs in the thigh, hip, calf, or foot while walking, using stairs, or exercising. The discomfort may consist of cramping, limping, or a feeling of heaviness, weakness, or fatigue. Symptoms of claudication usually begin after walking a certain distance, such as a block or two, and end after resting for the same length each time.
Other possible symptoms of PAD may include:
Plaque Blocking an Artery
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In people that have symptoms, PAD may cause:
PAD can lead to severe complications, such as:
Hills AJ, Shalhoub J, et al. Peripheral arterial disease. Br J Hosp Med (Lond). 2009;70(10):560-565.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) of lower extremities. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 13, 2014. Accessed June 23, 2014.
Symptoms and diagnosis of PAD. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/PeripheralArteryDisease/Symptoms-and-Diagnosis-of-PAD_UCM_301306_Article.jsp. Updated August 16, 2012. Accessed June 23, 2014.
What are the signs and symptoms of peripheral arterial disease? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pad/signs.html. Updated June 2, 2014. Accessed June 23, 2014.
Last reviewed May 2015 by Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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