What is it?
Intermittent claudication (klaw-di-KA-shun) is pain of your hip or leg, especially while walking. This pain usually goes away with rest.
Intermittent claudication is caused by poor circulation. There are many things that can affect your circulation. Atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries from fatty deposits) is one of the most common causes of intermittent claudication. Smoking can worsen circulation and also worsen intermittent claudication symptoms. Some medicines can worsen circulation, including birth control pills. Smoking and using the birth control pill together will increase the chances of causing circulation problems.
Signs and Symptoms:
A pain or ache in your leg muscles after walking a certain distance is common with intermittent claudication. If only one extremity is involved, it will be cooler to the touch and have a different color than the extremity with good circulation. The pulses may be weak and hard to find in the affected extremity. Because of poor circulation, wounds take longer to heal. Infections are more common if you have intermittent claudication. If untreated, intermittent claudication can get worse and cause gangrene. If a clot forms, intermittent claudication can very quickly become an emergency.
Your caregiver will examine you and compare the blood pressure in the affected limb with that of the unaffected limb. A test called a NIVA (non invasive vascular angiogram) or an angiogram may be done to learn about the blockage. You may need medicine or surgery to treat intermittent claudication.
Herbs and Supplements:
Before taking any herbs or supplements, ask your caregiver if it is OK. Talk to your caregiver about how much you should take. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the label. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to. The herbs and supplements listed may or may not help treat your condition.
Other ways of treating your symptoms : Other ways to treat your symptoms are available to you.
Talk to your caregiver if:
Seek Care Immediately If: You have the following symptoms which may mean that you have a blood clot in your leg, arm, or chest:
You have signs of a heart attack:
You have one or more of these signs of symptoms of a stroke . These signs and symptoms will happen suddenly.
This is an emergency. Call 911 or 0 (operator) for an ambulance to get to the nearest hospital. Do not drive yourself!
Care agreement: You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
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Last Updated: 2/4/2013
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