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Spotting The Signs: Symptoms Of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

Symptoms of peripheral artery disease

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Peripheral Arterial Disease?

Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is a condition that reduces blood flow to your limbs because of narrowed arteries in your legs or arms. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that about 12 to 14% of people suffer from peripheral artery disease. Knowing the symptoms of peripheral artery disease will make it easy to diagnose and get proper treatment in the early stages.

When fatty deposits, often called plaque, accumulate in the arteries of your limbs, it will narrow the arteries. Due to that, the blood flow will be reduced which can lead to discomfort, tingling sensation, and pain in your legs and arms. If not treated early, peripheral artery disease can lead to severe health consequences like stroke, heart attack, etc.

Asymptomatic, claudication, critical limb ischemia, and acute limb ischemia are the four different stages of peripheral artery disease. The symptoms of peripheral artery disease will become relatively severe with each stage. Asymptomatic is considered the first stage, while acute limb ischemia is the last and most severe stage of peripheral artery disease.

Some of the common causes of peripheral artery disease are:

  • Atherosclerosis (accumulation of fatty deposits)
  • Age
  • Family history
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Arm or leg injuries or wounds
  • Inflammation of blood vessels
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Changes in ligaments or muscles

Wondering what are the symptoms of peripheral artery disease? Vein doctors state that nearly 50% of people suffering from peripheral artery disease do not exhibit any signs and symptoms of peripheral artery disease, which is why they often reach severe stages of PAD. Here are some of the possible symptoms of peripheral artery disease.

The Typical Symptoms Of Peripheral Artery Disease

1. Pain In Legs

One of the earliest and the most common symptom of peripheral arterial disease is pain and discomfort in your legs. Regardless of whether you are sitting, standing, or sleeping, people with PAD experience leg pain often. Depending on your condition, the pain or discomfort in your legs may last a few minutes or a long time.

2. Leg Numbness

If you have peripheral artery disease, you may often feel that your legs are numb or weak. This weakness or numbness of your legs is due to the build-up of plaque and reduced blood flow. In addition, you may have a tingling sensation or get the feeling of standing on pins and needles.

3. Cramps

People with peripheral artery disease will often suffer from cramps, especially during nighttime. It is important to note that you may experience cramps in either or both of your legs. Cramps in hips, calves, buttocks, and thighs are also common.

4. Coldness In Your Legs

Coldness in your legs or feet is one of the common symptoms of peripheral artery disease. Due to insufficient blood flow in your limbs, you are likely to experience coldness in your lower legs frequently.

5. Non-healing Skin Sores

The accumulation of fatty deposits and lack of blood flow can cause non-healing skin sores or ulcers on your skin. The wounds or skin sores often arise on your legs, feet, and toes. In the majority of the cases, they do not heal or heal relatively slowly.

Signs and symptoms of PAD

6. Skin Infections

The non-healing wounds can often become infected if they are not treated for a considerable period of time. As a result, you are likely to suffer from different types of soft tissue infections and skin infections.

7. Skin Color Changes

If you are in severe stages of peripheral artery disease, the color of the skin on your legs will change. The skin may become reddish, blue, or discolored. In some cases, your legs, especially lower legs, might become extremely pale.

8. Weak Pulse

If you are suffering from peripheral artery disease, the blood flow in your legs will decrease severely. Insufficient blood flow will weaken your leg pulse and also often cause loss of pulse.

9. Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction is also one of the signs and symptoms of peripheral artery disease where the male can not erect or keep the erection only for a short amount of time. However, it is important to note that not all people with peripheral artery disease will experience this symptom.

10. Slow Hair Growth

If you have peripheral artery disease, another possible symptom is slower hair growth. Also, the body hair on your legs will grow very slowly or fall off if your PAD condition is relatively severe. In addition to that, the growth of toenails will also be reduced in people with peripheral artery disease.

Summary: Signs And Symptoms Of Peripheral Arterial Disease

To conclude, peripheral artery disease reduces blood flow due to accumulated fatty substances, which causes pain in your legs. Discomfort, coldness, numbness, skin color changes, and non-healing wounds are some of the common signs and symptoms of peripheral artery disease. If you experience one or more of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is best to consult a vein doctor to get the proper peripheral artery disease treatment.

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Fatima Shaik MD


Fatima Shaik is a board certified internist and cardiologist. She specializes in general cardiology and heart rhythm disorders. She cares for patients at Advanced Medical Group in Jersey City and North Bergen. She also performs procedures at Jersey City Medical Center.

She completed her undergraduate education at NYU and received her MD degree for SUNY Downstate Medical Center. She completed her residency training at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center and her cardiology fellowship at New York Presbyterian Queens. She went on for advanced training in electrophysiology at Cooper Hospital in Camden, NJ.
She is trained in device implantation, SVT and atrial fibrillation ablations as well as watchman implantations.
She is fluent in English and Hindi.
She is currently accepting new patients.

Reema Parikh, DPT

Physical Therapist

Reema Parikh received two bachelor’s degrees from Long Island University and Touro College, and graduated as a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Touro College in 2013. In her early years as a DPT, she received an award for excellence in research and taught a course for the national physical therapy licensing board exam. Dr. Parikh has a passion for helping patients on their health journey; she is experienced in all ages and care of patients, ranging from pediatric care to geriatric care. She has hosted live and virtual workouts for varying levels of physical activity, incorporating mobility and strength segments. Dr. Parikh has furthered her education by receiving certifications in many aspects of physical therapy and holistic care including Nutritional PT, Restorative Yoga, Pilates, and Reiki.

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Maria Avila, NP

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Aishwarya Parab, PT

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Dr. Prajakta Avhad is double board-certified in Pain Management and Anesthesiology. Dr. Avhad received her M.B.B.S. from MIMER, India, and completed her Surgical internship and Anesthesia residency at Brookdale University Hospital in Brooklyn, New York during which she interned at Memorial Sloan Kettering, St. Luke’s Roosevelt, and Staten Island Hospital.

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Dr. Avhad is a diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology and a member of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.

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Dr. Avhad and her family reside in New Jersey. She is an avid gardener active with her kids, dog, and garden if not tending to her broad and exotic orchid collection.

Radhika Patel PA-C

Radhika Patel, PA-C

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About Patel
Graduating summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a BA in Biological Sciences and minor in Spanish, Radhika Patel obtained experiences in outpatient medicine as well as in emergency medical services prior to pursuing a career as a physician assistant. She graduated from the Rutgers University Physician Assistant program with a Master of Science after training in cardiology, internal medicine, and urgent care, among many other fields at various hospitals and private practices throughout the state of New Jersey. She is a proud member of the team at Advanced Garden State Cardiology and looks forward to meeting with patients each day in our Jersey City office.

Enrique D Chappilliquen Lucio, PA-C

Enrique Chappilliquen, PA-C

Physician Assistant located in Union City, NJ & Jersey City, NJ

About Dr. Chappilliquen
Graduated from Mercy College Physician Assistant Program with a Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Enrique has extensive experience in the medical field for more than 6 years.

He has clinical experience and training in internal medicine, cardiology, general and vascular surgery, hematology, oncology, and emergency medicine. He joined Dr. Richard’s practice in October of 2016. Since then, he has been a dedicated medical provider working in the Union City office and the Hematology/Oncology office in Jersey City as well.

As a Hispanic, he proudly serves his community with passion and devotion. Being able to communicate fluently with his patients allows him the opportunity to provide excellent medical care to the Hispanic community in Union City and Jersey City. Also, sharing the same language, culture, and values as his patients allows him to connect at a personal level with his patients. Enrique continues to develop his knowledge and skills constantly to continue satisfying the needs of his patients.

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Christopher Samaniego, DPM

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Christopher Samaniego, DPM, is originally from Freehold, New Jersey. He attended college at Messiah College, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Biology. He earned his podiatric medical degree from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, PA and completed his surgical residency training at Detroit Medical Center in Detroit, MI. 

Dr. Samaniego provides comprehensive foot and ankle care at Advanced Medical Group in Jersey City, Union City, and West New York. His specialized surgical training includes

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Samaniego is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the American Podiatric Medical Association. He keeps up to date on the latest surgical techniques and available technology in foot and ankle care.

Prior to joining Advanced Medical Group, Samaniego studied public healthcare in Zambia and assisted in providing care to the local community. He has also presented research at the annual meeting of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. Samaniego achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout through the Boy Scouts of America and volunteered with Troop 454 for scouts with special needs and the Freehold Public Library. In his free time, Samaniego volunteers with his local church community service and youth programs.

Samaniego resides in Jersey City, NJ and maintains his health by cycling and interval training several times a week. He explains, “Healthy doctors inspire healthy patients. I follow the same advice I give my patients, and I read constantly to become a better physician every day. I encourage my patients to ask questions and learn about the cause of their symptoms. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Dr. Merwin Richard, MD. A cardiologist

Merwin Richard, MD

Cardiologist located in Jersey City, NJ & Union City, NJ

As an established board-certified internist and cardiologist, Merwin Richard, MD, has a reputation for helping patients with the most complex of health conditions. He cares for patients at Advanced Medical Group in West New York, Jersey City, and Union City, New Jersey.

Richard began his undergraduate education in medicine at Stanley Medical College in India. He earned his doctor of medicine degree from Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University before relocating to New York City.

After completing both his internship and internal medicine residency through the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Richard went through advanced fellowship training. He completed a cardiovascular fellowship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, then went on to finish a second fellowship in interventional cardiology through Mount Sinai School of Medicine (now Icahn).


Throughout his career, Richard has stayed involved in numerous research projects and previously served as a professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University). Richard went on to become the director of the first cardiac catheterization and interventional laboratory in Jersey City and has extensive training in vein treatments.

To ensure he continues staying up to date with the latest research and techniques, Richard maintains his board memberships. He’s board certified through the American Board of Internal Medicine in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology.

Being fluent in English,  Spanish, and Tamil gives Richard the opportunity to communicate with patients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Richard is currently accepting new patients.