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What symptoms does peripheral vascular disease cause in the elderly?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of peripheral vascular disease, or PVD, in the elderly include pain, burning, fatigue and cramping in the feet and legs, reports Healthline. Initially the pain increases with activity and decreases with rest, but eventually the pain may also remain during rest. Reduced blood supply in the legs may cause additional symptoms, such as visible changes in the skin, reduced hair growth, ulcers and gangrene.

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Full Answer

When elderly people develop PVD, their arteries narrow and an insufficient supply of blood reaches their arms and legs, explains Healthline. Some people may have no symptoms or mild symptoms, while for others the symptoms may be debilitating. The elderly most often feel pain in the muscles of their thighs, hips and calves when they walk or climb stairs, points out WebMD. Pain while resting indicates a more serious condition that may require medical attention.

The elderly can often improve their symptoms or prevent them from getting worse with home remedies, such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, keeping their weight down and quitting smoking, advises WebMD. Those with diabetes should follow their physicians' guidelines to protect their feet and control their blood sugar. Patients with severe PVD may need angioplasty treatments to enlarge their arteries or stents to open the arteries. Medications may also aid blood flow and alleviate symptoms.

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