If This Happens To Your Legs, It Might Signal Something About Your Heart Health

Your legs do more than help you get around. If you pay attention to them, they can be an indicator of certain health conditions, according to Harvard Health Publishing. For example, leg cramps can be a symptom of dehydration. Minerals, such as sodium and potassium, help your muscles function, and a lack of them can cause spasms or cramps. Burning, tingling, or numbness are symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, which is the result of nerve damage caused by high blood sugar. If your legs swell, it could be a sign of kidney, liver, or heart disease. Swelling could also indicate heart failure or a blood clot.

Another condition that can present itself in your legs is peripheral artery disease (PAD). Simply put, PAD occurs when you have a buildup of plaque in the arteries that carry blood away from your heart, and the most common type is lower-extremity PAD that restricts blood flow to your legs and feet, per the American Heart Association.

Shiny skin on your legs is a sign of PAD

If the skin on your legs looks shinier than the skin on the rest of your body, it could be a symptom of peripheral artery disease, per Mayo Clinic. According to the National Health Services, your legs may even become pale or blue. You might even notice hair loss on your legs and feet and slow-growing toenails. These conditions are typically due to a lack of blood flow.

Risk factors for PAD include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes. Additionally, your chances of developing it increase if you smoke, are elderly, or have a family history of the disease or heart disease, according to Mayo Clinic.

The best treatment for PAD is adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and eating a balanced, healthy diet. You should work to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control, as well as manage your blood sugar. Losing weight and stopping smoking also help reduce chances (per Mayo Clinic).