Symptoms

One of the classic symptoms of PAD is dull, cramping pain in the legs, hips, or buttocks that happens when you exercise. This pain stops when you rest — a symptom called intermittent claudication. Some people with PAD have pain even when they are not exercising.

Other symptoms of PAD include:

  • Numbness or tingling in the legs, feet, or toes
  • Changes in skin color (pale, bluish, or reddish coloration)
  • Cool skin (for example, in the legs, feet, arms, or hands)
  • Impotence
  • Infections/sores that do not heal

Symptoms usually appear in the part of the body that has blocked arteries. But people with PAD can also be symptom-free. So it is important to be aware of your risk. View our PAD risk checklist.

Questions to Ask Your Health Care Provider

If you believe you are at risk for PAD, discuss this concern with your health care provider. Find out if you should be tested for PAD and what you can do to lower your risk.

  • Does my medical history raise my risk for PAD?
  • Which screening tests or exams are right for me?
  • If I have PAD, what steps should I take to treat it?
  • Will PAD increase my risk for other conditions?
  • What is my blood sugar level? If it's too high or if I have diabetes, what should I do about it?
  • What is my blood pressure? Do I need to do anything to manage these numbers?
  • What are my cholesterol numbers? (These include total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides-a type of fat found in the blood and food.) Do I need to do anything about them?
  • What can I do to quit smoking?

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