Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Just diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease

1-minute read

Receiving a diagnosis of peripheral vascular disease should be taken as a serious warning sign that you need to make significant lifestyle changes to reduce your risk of disability and possibly death.

The build-up of atheroma (fatty deposits on the walls of the arteries) makes the arteries narrower and restricts the flow of blood to the legs, causing your muscles to experience painful cramps which only get better after you rest your legs. This process is called 'atherosclerosis'.

There are many factors that can dangerously speed up the narrowing of your arteries such as:

Different medications or surgery can be used to treat the underlying causes of peripheral vascular disease while reducing your risk of developing another cardiovascular disease.

It is also important to take regular walks or to follow an exercise program, to lose weight and to follow a healthy diet.

If you smoke, your condition is far more likely to deteriorate if you continue to smoke. It is therefore critically important for you to stop smoking if you have peripheral vascular disease.

Last reviewed: January 2018

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Peripheral vascular disease

Peripheral vascular disease is the reduced circulation of blood to a body part other than the brain or heart. It is caused by a narrowed or blocked blood vessel. The main cause is atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of fatty deposits that narrow a blood vessel, usually an artery. The narrowed blood vessel reduces the circulation of blood to the associated body part.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Peripheral arterial disease (arteriosclerosis) information | myVMC

Peripheral arterial disease is arteriosclerosis or damage to the blood vessels of the legs and feet. Blood flow is restricted and nerve damage may occur.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Raynaud phenomenon - ACD

Raynaud phenomenon is an intermittent constriction of the blood flow to the fingers and toes precipitated by cold, emotion and some drugs that cause spasm of the small arteries bringing blood to the fingers and toes.

Read more on Australasian College of Dermatologists website

What is Raynaud’s phenomenon?

Raynaud’s phenomenon is the name given to the temporary interruption of blood supply to the fingers or toes (occasionally the ears and nose), which occurs as a result of spasm causing the vessel to squeeze and get smaller.

Read more on Autoimmune Resource and Research Centre website

Raynauds phenomenon - Musculoskeletal Australia (MSK)

Key points | Symptoms |Primary Raynauds phenomenon |Secondary Raynauds phenomenon | Diagnosis | Treatment | Prevention |Complications | Where to get help | How we can help | More to explore| Download PDFRaynauds phenomenon is a condition that can cause discomfort as the blood supply to your extremities becomes reduced

Read more on Musculoskeletal Australia website

Raynaud's phenomenon - Better Health Channel

Raynaud's phenomenon can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, so see your doctor if you experience it.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Raynaud's Phenomenon Raynaud's disease | myVMC

Medical information about Raynaud's disease constriction of blood vessel in Raynauds Syndrome symptoms of Raynaud's phenomenon treatment

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Raynaud's phenomenon (Raynaud's disease) information | myVMC

Raynaud's phenomenon causes narrowing of the blood vessels, leading to impaired blood supply and tissue death in fingers, toes, ears and nose.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

Peripheral arterial disease - myDr.com.au

Peripheral arterial disease refers to a narrowing of the blood vessels in the legs. Find out about the symptoms, risk factors, tests and treatment.

Read more on myDr website

Leg ache - myDr.com.au

One of the more serious causes of leg pain is intermittent claudication. Find out more about this condition.

Read more on myDr website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo