I'm 37, (66", 170 lbs), mother of 5 and have never had any health problems. Over the past few months, at different times during the day my feet become discolored, usually a dusky reddish purple, and my toes feel swollen, slight cramping/soreness in my calves and behind my right knee, and sometimes tingling in my feet and up my leg. I also get a strange feeling in my neck, almost like a tightness/ full feeling? I went to the doctor about it and she told me running after my 5 kids wasn't enough, that I needed to exercise, take a baby aspirin everyday and I'd be fine. She said my blood pressure was fine and that I should lose a few pounds and aim to get my cholesterol under 200 (my overall cholesterol is 237; HDL 67.) When I asked her if there was any way to check my circulation she said there were no simple tests for that and with my symptoms, not to worry. My grandfather and uncle died of stroke, my mother and another uncle have had blood clots. With everything that is coming out about women, heart disease, PAD, etc... and the symptoms I am having should I simply exercise more and not be concerned?
It is unusual for women to develop PAD premenopausal although it does happen. A physical exam of your pulses will very easily demonstrate the absence or presence of PAD. Most importantly, your weight, elevated cholesterol and family history pose a significant risk for future problems even if you are not affected now. Perhaps you can use your concerns as motivation to change those factors. good luck
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