HealthCould your leg pain be a sign of clogged arteries? Unusual symptoms of atherosclerosis revealed

Could your leg pain be a sign of clogged arteries? Unusual symptoms of atherosclerosis revealed

Such pains can indicate problems with arteries.
Such pains can indicate problems with arteries.
Images source: © Getty Images | Anupong Thongchan / EyeEm

8:17 AM EST, January 11, 2024

Doctors have long been cautioning that inappropriate cholesterol levels circulating in the bloodstream can contribute to the progression of severe diseases that pose a threat to our lives. This mainly pertains too high concentration of the LDL fraction, casually known as "bad cholesterol," which triggers fat deposits to accrue in our arteries. This subsequently narrows their width, obstructing the blood flow.

An unsettled lipid balance could, over time, result in the manifestation of atherosclerotic changes, identified as one of the leading risk factors for a heart attack, ischemic heart disease, and stroke. Atherosclerosis, akin to other grave diseases, may remain silent or present vague symptoms for an extended period.

Less typical symptoms of this disease encompass: skin changes, neurological disorders, problems with erection in men, chronic exhaustion, stomach discomfort, and shortness of breath.

Additional symptoms signifying the aggregation of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries may include pain in the lower extremities. However, other factors may also instigate this pain; hence, it's vital to know when to promptly seek medical attention. Persisting calf cramps and muscle, foot, or thigh pains should rightfully alarm us.

Pain and discomfort that emerge and multiply during movement should never be overlooked. In the context of atherosclerosis, ischemic pain diminishes during rest. However, at an advanced stage of the disease, it can cause discomfort even at rest.

The symptoms above should warrant heightened vigilance among those who fall into a higher-risk group for peripheral artery disease. This includes people who disregard their diet, smoke cigarettes, consistently consume large amounts of alcohol, evade physical activity, and patients with high blood pressure, diabetes, and abdominal obesity.

Related content