You can have PAD without experiencing any symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Symptoms of a clogged artery will become more severe over time. Many symptoms of PAD are often ignored or dismissed as part of the aging process—but they’re very real and critical to address.

PAD symptoms can differ depending on the severity of your condition. If you believe you have any symptoms mentioned below, or have reached the age of 50, talk to your physician about PAD.

Early Symptoms

Painful leg cramping

This may not be a normal sign of aging. It’s called intermittent claudication, a condition in which cramping pain in the leg is induced by exercise, and can be severe enough to feel discouraged when walking, climbing stairs, or going uphill.

Numbness, weakness, heaviness

These can be early warning signs of PAD, although often mistaken for diabetic nerve pain, or other conditions.

Resting leg pain

Pain in your legs or feet may occur during the day or at night while resting, and may be relieved by dangling your legs over the edge of a bed.

Progressed Symptoms

Cold feet or toes

This can be one or several patches of skin, specifically on the feet or legs that feel cooler to the touch and do not warm up.

Dry and discolored skin

When blood flow is restricted, parts of your skin could appear to be drier than normal, more red, or an unusual color.

Burning sensations or aching of feet and toes

While this can be caused by nerve pain in diabetics, it can also be the result of restricted blood flow from PAD.

Advanced Symptoms

Hair loss

Reduced blood flow could result in hair loss or slowed hair growth on your feet and legs.

Chronic sores

PAD can be associated with sores, or ulcers, that recur often or do not heal.


When limb tissues no longer receive adequate blood flow due to arterial blockage, gangrene, or dead black tissue, can occur. If untreated, gangrene may lead to amputation.

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