Narrowed Arteries Can Cause Peripheral Vascular Disease

When arteries that go to the arms and legs become narrowed, the result is a condition called peripheral vascular disease.
While not necessarily life-threatening, it can lead to gangrene and the loss of a limb-most often a leg-if untreated.

Watch for these symptoms:

Muscle fatigue, weakness, or pain in the buttocks or legs during exertion, usually in the calves while walking;
Cold feet (not the social malady);

Discolored skin, sores that won’t heal, and sudden, sharp pains in the legs or feet during rest.

If your doctor suspects you have narrowed arteries, he or she may recommend diet and lifestyle changes, and possibly drugs to reduce high cholesterol or to control high blood pressure.

Balloon angioplasty can sometimes open blocked arteries, or surgery can bypass them.