Like us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
review us on google
Tuesday, 23 April 2024 00:00

Symptoms and Causes of Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is a common condition characterized by a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries, resulting in restricted blood flow to the muscles in the lower legs and feet. A particular symptom of PAD is called intermittent claudication, which is a pain, cramp, or sense of fatigue in the leg muscles when you walk or exercise. Other symptoms are hair loss on the legs and feet, numbness or weakness, and slow-growing toenails. Leg ulcers, skin color changes, and shiny skin are other signs. PAD is primarily caused by atherosclerosis, where fatty deposits accumulate within arterial walls, narrowing the vessels. Contributing factors to peripheral artery disease include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and aging. Seeking help from a podiatrist is essential for an accurate diagnosis through physical examination and tests like the ankle brachial pressure index, or ABPI. Treatment involves lifestyle modifications, such as regular exercise, smoking cessation, and maintaining a healthy diet. In severe cases, surgical intervention may be needed to improve blood flow and alleviate symptoms. For help in determining whether you have peripheral artery disease that is affecting your foot health, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist.

Peripheral artery disease can pose a serious risk to your health. It can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack. If you have symptoms of peripheral artery disease, consult with Sam Sanandaji, DPM from Foot and Ankle Care Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality foot and ankle treatment.

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is when arteries are constricted due to plaque (fatty deposits) build-up. This results in less blood flow to the legs and other extremities. The main cause of PAD is atherosclerosis, in which plaque builds up in the arteries.


Symptoms of PAD include:

  • Claudication (leg pain from walking)
  • Numbness in legs
  • Decrease in growth of leg hair and toenails
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Sores and wounds on legs and feet that won’t heal
  • Coldness in one leg

It is important to note that a majority of individuals never show any symptoms of PAD.


While PAD occurs in the legs and arteries, Podiatrists can diagnose PAD. Podiatrists utilize a test called an ankle-brachial index (ABI). An ABI test compares blood pressure in your arm to you ankle to see if any abnormality occurs. Ultrasound and imaging devices may also be used.


Fortunately, lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, managing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and quitting smoking, can all treat PAD. Medications that prevent clots from occurring can be prescribed. Finally, in some cases, surgery may be recommended.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Beverly Hills, CA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

Read more about Peripheral Artery Disease
scroll to top