The peripheral arteries in your leg deliver oxygen-rich blood away from your heart to your legs and arms. Peripheral arteries can build up plaque causing arteries to become stiff and narrow. Obstructions and blockages can occur; this is known as peripheral arterial disease (PAD). If left untreated peripheral arterial disease can cause leg pain, aching, difficulty walking, rest pain, and non-healing sores and infections. In severe cases it can cause loss of limbs. PAD can also be associated with stroke and heart attacks. Podiatrists regularly screen for signs of arterial disease and often work closely with vascular surgeons to manage this problem. Risk factors for PAD include age, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, lack of exercise and high cholesterol. PAD affected millions of Americans. If you have any of these symptoms please consult your physician or podiatrist.
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