Leg discomfort could signal heart trouble

February 18, 2011 2:23:33 PM PST
An estimated 9 million Americans suffer from peripheral arterial disease or PAD, which affects your legs.

But it could also be a warning sign about potential heart trouble.

According to the Vascular Foundation, these people are at increased risk for heart attack and many don't even know they have PAD.

PAD occurs when the arteries in the legs become narrowed or clogged with fatty deposits.

Doctors say if you have blocked arteries in your legs, you're likely to have it elsewhere in your body.

Symptoms include fatigue, heaviness, tiredness or cramping in the calf, thigh or buttock muscles that occurs during activity.

Skin wound sore ulcers that are slow to heal and foot or toe pain at rest that often disturbs sleep.