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Painful Cramping in Legs During Exercise

A muscle cramp is a sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more muscles in the body. While muscle cramps are generally harmless, they could be a symptom of peripheral artery disease.

Narrowing of the arteries that deliver blood to your legs can produce cramp-like pain in your legs and feet while exercising. Because the most frequently affected artery in intermittent claudication is the popliteal artery, symptoms are most common in the calf muscles. This pain or discomfort goes away once the activity is stopped and during rest. Many people do not report this problem to their health care providers because they think it is a natural part of aging or due to some other cause.

Coldness in the Lower Legs or Feet

On a wintry day, one can experience cold or numb feet regularly. This is completely normal and should not be taken seriously.

On the other hand, there are times when cold, pale, or bluish feet have nothing to do with the temperature outside and everything to do with poor blood circulation. When your blood is flowing at the optimal speed, it helps to keep your body temperature at a healthy and comfortable level.

If your circulation is poor, the temperature levels in the body are less stable. Weak blood circulation causes chilly feelings, usually in areas with a lot of nerve endings like the hands and feet.

Slower Growth of Toenails

When arteries become partly or completely blocked with plaque, the flow of blood is restricted, which interferes with the delivery of oxygen and nutrients that your muscles and organs need to work properly.

As the delivery of the nutrient-filled blood to the lower extremities decreases, toenails become delicate and brittle and are slow to grow.

Leg Numbness

Peripheral artery disease can cause uncomfortable numbness in the legs.

The restricted blood flow brought on by PAD can harm your body in a variety of ways, including damaging your nerves, which transmit messages between your brain and the rest of your body.

Sores on Toes, Feet, or Legs

Blood flow is critical for healing. Since PAD causes poor blood circulation to the lower legs and feet, simple foot deformities or conditions do not heal and become more significant concerns.

Seemingly small problems, such as cuts, blisters or sores, can result in serious complications. When the blockage is quite severe, or the sores and infections on the feet are untreated, the foot tissue may die due to gangrene. Gangrene is a very serious condition where the loss of blood supply leads to tissue death, which can lead to amputation. People with diabetes are especially at risk.

Slower Hair Growth on Your Feet and Lower Legs

As we age, hair loss is often a normal and expected part of life.

Hormonal changes and genetic influences also lead to hair loss. However, when hair loss is specific to a certain part of the body, like the legs, it is likely due to poor blood circulation. Hair loss occurs because the impaired blood supply is not able to provide optimal nutrients for hair growth.

No Pulse or a Weak Pulse in Legs and Feet

The answers to peripheral artery disease can be found in your feet.

A trained physician should detect two pulses in each foot. A test can be performed to determine whether the blood flow to your feet is normal.

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