Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) in the legs or lower extremities is the narrowing or blockage of the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the legs. It is primarily caused by the buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries, which is called atherosclerosis. There are many risk factors, with aging, diabetes, and smoking being the most common. PAD is extremely common in older adults and affects more than 3 million in the US each year. Symptoms may include leg pain/cramping, loss of feeling/sensation, difficulty or painful steps when walking, cold feet and toes, and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). Seeking help for PAD can be done with a referral from your podiatrist to professional vascular specialists such as Kent Hootman, MD at Circulate Vascular Specialists located in Albuquerque.