Narrator: Even though P.A.D. can interfere with your day-to-day activities, many people who experience symptoms don't talk to their doctor about it. They think the discomfort is just an unfortunate but natural part of getting older. But there are certain signs and symptoms you can look for that can be an indication that you have P.A.D., and they start in your legs.
Rita: When you're walking, it's like a vice goes on your leg and it cramps it like that and it closes down until you absolutely cannot walk.
Mike: Your muscles actually tighten up on you and you just get to the point where you can't walk at all.
Rita: And I would come in from a walk in the winter and I'd get in the shower and the bottom soles of my feet were snow white. It was like there wasn't any blood there.
Narrator: So if you notice cramping or even fatigue or heaviness in the muscles of your legs, that could be P.A.D., especially if it happens when you walk or climb the stairs and goes away when you stop and rest. Also look for pain in your legs or feet that disturbs your sleep or color changes in your feet like paleness or blueness. You can have P.A.D. without having any symptoms of all. There is a simple test your doctor can give you called an ABI. It compares the blood pressure readings in your ankles with the blood pressure in your arms to help determine whether you have P.A.D. If you do, your doctor will talk to you about your options for staying in circulation either with lifestyle changes, medication, or perhaps surgery. And after treatment, things may start looking up.