Vascular disease has a scary way of sneaking up on you. What many people don’t know about their vascular health is that the signs and symptoms of vascular disease usually don’t present in the early stages. When they do surface, they’re often put off as a nuisance than a warning sign to something more sinister. We want to share with you five symptoms of vascular disease most people put off, so you can be proactive about your vascular health.
1. Aching Legs
Leg pain and aches may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but they are actually a symptom of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). PAD is known by most people as clogging or hardening of the arteries, caused by an excessively fatty diet and a sedentary lifestyle. If you notice intermittent pain in your calf muscles, you may want to talk to Dr. David West about the possibility of vascular disease.
2. Leg Heaviness
If your legs feel heavy, almost as if they’re full of water, you’re not alone. This condition is very common in patients who come to us with underlying vascular disease. Leg heaviness is often caused by poor circulation, which adds pressure to the legs causing the sensation of being weighed down. A good way to see if leg heaviness is caused by vein disease is to see if your legs experience a decrease in heaviness after lying down for a prolonged period of time, like after you sleep. If your legs decrease in weight the next morning, you may want to be checked for a vascular condition.
3. Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome is feeling uncomfortable with sensations they feel in the legs, including cramps, tingling, burning, pain, aching, pins and needles, or throbbing. Patients with these sensations often reposition their legs to ease their discomfort, characterizing their “restless” legs. This condition, affecting more than one out of every 10 people, is most common in women and most-problematic for middle-aged people and the elderly.
4. Pelvic Pain
When we think of vascular health, we often think of the major arteries near the heart. We don’t often think about the other major arteries that affect areas of the body including our thighs and buttocks. Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) is characterized by a constant heavy, aching feeling around the buttocks and pelvis in women. Many women mistake PCS for menstrual symptoms and don’t realize the severity of their pelvic pain until it’s too late.
5. Skin Discoloration
Skin discoloration may be the most alarming symptom on this list to our patients. When our patients start to see their skin turn red, brown or even black, they are automatically alarmed by the cosmetic issue it causes. What they don’t realize is the cosmetic issue is caused by an underlying physiological issue that can have a serious impact on their overall health. If you start to see skin discoloration, especially in conjunction with any of the symptoms above, it’s best to visit your specialist for a full check and possible diagnosis.
If you’re experiencing one or more of the symptoms above, contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. David West today. He’ll make sure to evaluate your symptoms and provide you with a course of action to be your symptoms treated.