Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, affects more than 8 million Americans. Many people don't know they have it. But PAD is a very serious condition that has also been linked to heart attack and stroke.
If you have PAD, blood is not flowing well to your arms, legs, or kidneys and other vital organs. Lack of oxygen-rich blood can harm the nerves and tissues in these areas. That's why having artery disease in your legs can make it hard to walk. You might have painful cramping or numbness.
Not enough blood in the legs can also make infections more likely. In some cases when lack of blood goes on for a while, muscles and tissue can die and cause some people to need to have have surgery to remove their leg, also called an amputation.
The good news is treatments and lifestyle changes can help manage PAD. By treating it, you can also prevent related heart attack, stroke, surgery to remove a leg, and death. The more you know about managing PAD, the more empowered you will be to improve your health.
Use this condition center to learn more about PAD.