What you should know about Peripheral Artery Disease

We all know that plaque can clog the arteries to your brain and heart and cause a stroke or heart attack.

Well, the arteries in your arms and legs can also get clogged which reduces blood flow to your limbs.  Peripheral Artery Disease or PAD is most common in the legs.

Symptoms: You may feel cramping, tightness, heaviness or pain in the leg. This usually in occurs in the calf muscles and often when walking.

Mayo Clinic Dr. Henna Kalsi says PAD typically occurs after age 60 or so. But it can show up earlier, especially if you have risk factors.

"The most important risk factors are high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking is a very important risk factor, cholesterol and family history," she said.

Peripheral Artery Disease is not deadly by itself, but it does indicate that you might have widespread accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries throughout your body. And that could increase your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

The good news: In many cases, PAD can be treated with exercise, a healthy diet and quitting tobacco.