Clogged arteries are most often caused due to the buildup of cholesterol-rich fatty deposits in arteries, called plaque. This waxy substance sticks to the arterial wall, making them harder and more narrow, a condition known as atherosclerosis.
If you are wondering about the warning signs of clogged arteries, we have come up with a brief description that will help you understand your symptoms better.
The arteries leading to the lower back are among the first ones to show the signs of blockage. Ten percent of all Americans experience advanced blockage in these arteries by the age of 20.
Common PAD Symptoms
Intermittent claudication or cramping leg pain is one of the most common PAD symptoms which is indicative of clogged arteries. The most common location of intermittent claudication is the calf, leading to pain in legs while walking. The pain occurs while climbing, exercising or walking, and goes away with rest. When the blockage is severe, the person experiences pain even at rest that usually occurs at night when lying down on their back.
Other symptoms of clogged arteries:
- Numbness of the legs or feet
- Tingling sensation in legs
- Poor wound healing in legs
- Feet turn pale when they are elevated
- Hair loss on top of the feet
- Painful ulcers in toes
Erectile dysfunction in men is also a warning sign of clogged arteries. When there is reduced blood flow to the penis, it results in sexual dysfunction.
PAD and Heart Diseases
When there is a blockage in heart arteries, the person will experience shortness of breath, chest pain and other signs of coronary artery disease (CAD) due to reduced blood supply. PAD and CAD are both associated with a single disease, called atherosclerosis. When the blockage occurs in the arteries leading to the brain, the person may get stroke due to reduced blood flow. PAD can also cause blockages in the arteries supplying blood to the kidneys, a condition known as renal artery disease or RAD. Severe baldness at the crown of the head has also been shown to indicate clogged arteries.
Risk factors of clogged arteries include:
- Eating a diet high in cholesterol, processed food and saturated and trans fats.
- Lack of exercise and sedentary lifestyle
- High blood pressure
- High blood sugar level
- Cigarette smoking
- Being an overweight older adult
Complications of PAD includes sores that do not heal, ulcers in feet, and tissue infection. In extreme cases when there is a complete blockage, tissue death may occur, resulting in gangrene. In rare cases, amputation or surgical removal of the leg may be necessary.
The simplest test for diagnosing PAD is to check the pulse in the feet. There should be two pulses that can be easily detected by a trained physician. Ankle-Brachial Index is the next step of PAD screening wherein the doctor will observe and compare the blood pressure of your arm and leg. If needed, imaging techniques such as an MRI or Doppler Ultrasound may be conducted.
At USA Vascular Centers, we provide treatment for clogged arteries in legs with the help of a non-surgical PAD treatment procedure known as angioplasty with balloon stenting. This outpatient PAD treatment has a fast recovery and there is hardly any blood loss.
Virtual Doctor Visits
At USA Vascular Centers we also offer online health consultations for PAD treatment due to current concerns with viral exposure. You can have your PAD symptoms evaluated by one of our specialists through a video call from your phone, or by accessing our specialized video calling app that runs on all mobiles, laptops, tablets and desktops. You don’t need to have any specialized hardware or software for these consultations.
Do you want lasting relief from painful symptoms of PAD? Contact us at 888-773-2193 to request an appointment. During your online doctor visits, you can discuss the warning signs of clogged arteries with one of our specialists. You can also schedule a consultation online.