Peripheral Arterial Disease

Symptoms of Peripheral Arterial Disease

Many people who have PAD have no apparent symptoms. If symptoms are present, they may include:

  • Pain, aching or numbness in the legs, especially when walking or climbing;
  • Aching or tingling/burning in the feet and toes when resting;
  • Erectile dysfunction, especially among men who also have diabetes.

If a patient reports these symptoms, a doctor should look for signs of diminished arterial blood flow to the legs:

  • Lower temperature in one leg than in the other;
  • Sores or wounds on the toes, feet or legs accompanied by slow or poor healing;
  • Pale skin on the toes, feet, or nail beds, especially when cold;
  • Poor nail growth on the toes;
  • Decreased hair on the legs or feet.

A doctor will also test pulses in the feet and legs and listen for sounds of blocked arteries in the lower body. If PAD is suspected, further tests will be conducted, including blood pressure readings in the arms, legs and feet, measuring oxygen levels in the tissues, and imaging.

More About Peripheral Arterial Disease

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