Health Guide
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Intermittent claudication

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.

Wellness Recommendations:

Medical Care:

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.

Dietary Measures:

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.




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Last Updated: 9/15/2016

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