Intermittent Claudication – Causes and Symptoms of Intermittent Claudication

Intermittent claudication is a condition in which the blood vessels of legs are affected. It happens especially during exercises and generates pain that is caused by little blood supply. The blood vessels of arms are also affected to a little extent. In this condition, firstly you notice some pain while performing exercises. But as the condition becomes worse, you will get pain even when you are at rest.

Intermittent claudication sometimes accompanies with other disease conditions and is a symptom of other disease conditions. It has serious complications but is treatable.

Causes of Intermittent Claudication
Intermittent claudication is mainly caused by peripheral artery disease i.e inadequate blood supply due to atherosclerosis condition. Atherosclerosis is a condition in which excess fats are build up that make the arteries narrow. Thus blood supply is limited and pain is felt as the muscles do not get enough oxygenated blood.

The risk factors that cause intermittent claudication are:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • High cholesterol build-up
  • High blood pressure
  • Family history of atherosclerosis
  • Cigarette smoking is also a factor

Symptoms of Intermittent Claudication
The signs and symptoms of intermittent claudication include:

  • Intermittent pain – The pain comes and goes while performing strenuous activities
  • Pain during exercising – Pain is felt in the calves, feet, hips, thighs or buttocks depending on the location of the damaged artery. The pain is also felt in the arms.
  • Discolored skin or ulcerations – In severe intermittent claudication, the fingers and toes turn bluish and are very cold to touch. Blisters are developed on the fingers, arms, toes, feet or lower legs.
  • Pain at rest – Pain is even felt in the legs when at rest like lying down or sitting.

Rare symptoms include:

  • Impotence in men
  • Weakness
  • Burning sensation or aching

Seek medical professional help immediately as soon as you experience pain in your legs and arms during exercises. A quick treatment is necessary or else the condition may decrease the quality of life.

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