Peripheral artery disease (PAD), is a very serious condition that has also been linked to heart attack and stroke if it's not treated. PAD affects 8 million Americans and many don't know that they have it.
In PAD patients, blood flow to the arms, legs, kidneys and other vital organs can be restricted and without enough oxygen-rich blood, nerves and tissues in these areas can be injured. That's why, if you have PAD in your legs, it can make walking very difficult and might have painful cramping or numbness. The lack of blood in the legs can also make infections more likely. In extreme cases when lack of blood flow has been prolonged, muscles and tissue can die and cause some people to need to have their leg amputated, or surgically removed.
There are a number of treatments and lifestyle changes that can help manage PAD. By treating it, related heart attack, stroke, leg amputations and death can also be prevented. The more informed and equipped you are to manage PAD, the better you'll feel.