Why Heart Doctors Care So Much About Your Legs

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It can be frustrating when a leg cramp interrupts a strenuous workout or a good night’s sleep. There are lots of triggers for this fleeting-but-painful occasional occurrence: long periods of exercise, dehydration, and reactions to certain medications or even mineral depletion are among them. Adjusting to the possible causes can help such cramps resolve on their own.

Peripheral artery disease signs and symptoms include:

  • Painful cramping in one or both of your hips, thighs or calf muscles after certain activities, such as walking or climbing stairs (claudication)
  • Leg numbness or weakness
  • Coldness in your lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side
  • Sores on your toes, feet or legs that won't heal
  • A change in the color of your legs
  • Hair loss or slower hair growth on your feet and legs
  • Slower growth of your toenails
  • Shiny skin on your legs
  • No pulse or a weak pulse in your legs or feet
  • Erectile dysfunction in men

When to see a doctor:

If you have leg pain, numbness or other symptoms, don't dismiss them as a normal part of aging. Call your doctor and make an appointment.

KYW’s Rasa Kaye talks with Deborah’s Dr. Ice about structural heart disease, interventional cardiology and how he and his team diagnose and treat the blood vessel blockages that lead to peripheral artery disease.