In many situations, the problem originates in your leg. However, your body’s systems are intricately linked. Pain in your leg might indicate a more serious health concern.
Your leg pain might be caused by peripheral artery disease (PAD) if you’re at risk of heart disease. PAD, like CAD, has a variety of causes and warning signs.
This post will examine how your heart health and leg discomfort are connected. Continue reading to find out how to recognize whether your leg discomfort is a symptom of a more serious cardiac illness.
How can leg pain be caused by heart conditions?
The circulation system of your body sends blood to the most critical regions in large amounts. The brain, heart, and kidneys are among them. To return blood from your legs and feet to your heart, your body must fight gravity. Because of this, blood flow may affect your legs and feet.
Here are some of the ways heart conditions can cause leg pain:
- Congestive heart failure: If your circulation is insufficient, you may experience significant calf swelling as a result of poor blood flow.
- Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a condition in which a blood clot forms in one of your veins. It can be an indication of heart illness, and it’s something you shouldn’t ignore.
- PAD: Blood flow is reduced if your blood vessels constrict or plaque buildup occurs. Your tissues are deprived of oxygen, causing discomfort.
The most common PAD symptom is limb weakness. The other two symptoms, however, are less prevalent and often go unacknowledged.
PAD is a narrowing of the arteries in your arms and legs that impairs blood flow. PAD most often affects the legs and feet, although it can occur anywhere.
Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is the underlying cause of CAD and PAD. That’s when your arteries get clogged due to plaque accumulation. As a result, PAD can raise your chance of suffering from a heart attack or stroke.
Not everyone who has PAD develops severe CAD. PAD, on the other hand, is a risk factor that may be an indication for you and your doctor to examine your heart health. According to a 2019 study, around 46 to 68 percent of people with PAD also have CAD.
The following habits might help you avoid PAD:
- Make sure you get at least 30 minutes of daily exercise, such as walking or cycling.
- It’s vital to avoid using tobacco. Tobacco products raise your risk of PAD considerably.
- Check your blood pressure on a regular basis. If it’s excessively high, see your doctor about drugs to help you control it.
- Reduce your cholesterol intake by eating a balanced diet that is low in cholesterol. High-fat foods should be avoided, and lean meats should be consumed instead.
It’s not always wise to assume that aching in your leg is caused by a heart condition. It’s still better not to ignore limb discomfort, regardless.
If your leg discomfort continues (and especially if it gets Worse with activity), see a doctor about possible reasons. A physician may conduct tests to see whether restricted blood circulation is the source of the problem.
The presence of a PAD can be an indication of impending cardiac or stroke death. Getting an early diagnosis from a doctor and implementing healthy lifestyle changes might help prevent worse outcomes.