Peripheral artery disease - questions

Although I like to do research on symptoms, causes, etc., I usually don't get paranoid about what I find. Within the last 3 or 4 years I noticed my toes colored blue to near black a lot. Just tonight I could not get warm and my remedy for that is to get into a hot tub. Such relief! Anyway, again, black toes, but this time the tops of my knees were also discolored. I tried some research and the closest thing I found came down to peripheral artery disease. Yes I could stand to lose 20 or 30 pounds. Once I was diagnosed as hypothyroid I was hoping my change in meds might help some there. I too have RLS, and sometimes severe cramping in my toes. I have regular blood labs done. No diabetes, no high cholesterol, although I do have high blood pressure. Also I am not the most sedentary person. If I do a job requiring more sitting than I should be doing in a day, I always have to go outside and walk, and in the summer I swim in the pool everyday. I was wondering if the fact that when I have blood drawn for labs, and also at times when I have a procedure done requiring an IV, medical professionals cannot get my veins without sticking me numerous times, and then they usually have to resort to using the tiniest needles and go really slow. Could my experience with these labs and IV's be telling as to a major problem with my arteries, besides the color I am experiencing? Anyone who has an input would be appreciated.

5 Replies

  • Black toes!That sounds alarming have you seen yout doctor about this?

  • I probably should see my regular family doctor although I don't have much hope for him. I guess one reason I haven't been awfully concerned is prior to going to a podiatrist, (because of foot pain), two years ago my toes were dark. I showed them to him and told him it looked like some black socks stained my feet, but mentioned that I wore white, and not black. He looked at them and said, ah, just looks like bad circulation. Then proceeded to inject even more painful steroid shots into my toes. It's so disgusting, I've seen the care my husband gets from the same doctors that I go to, and noticed that I don't get the same concern and respect as he does ----??

  • I can't comment on the toes but I wouldn't worry about the bloods.

    You say you are carrying some weight - that leaves the veins much harder to get, (a very skinny person is awkward too as the veins can 'jump' if you don't anchor them).

    When I had weight I had nurses and Drs jag me several times, now they get it first go. If they are having problems getting it out of the inner aspect of the elbow they can take blood from the back of the hands although they don't as it can be a bit sore there, (although I would rather have that then 3/4 attempts at elbow).

    Hope you get sorted with the other!

  • Just an opinion from quite a bit of reading but no medical degree- if you eat quite a bit of grain products and/or sugar, the constant assault of insulin in your bloodstream may be destroying the smallest blood vessels, whether you've been actually diagnosed with diabetes or not. Amputation is apparently common with diabetics; you might consider cutting WAY back on anything that goes to sugar when you eat it, including fruit, but like I say, I don't have a medical degree, it just seems logical. And there are supplements that improve blood flow like ginkgo biloba. You can google supplements for circulation and probably turn up thousands of sites.

  • That is a hard one. I cut way back, although not out 100% on the grains and also cut out the rich baked desserts. Now you mentioned fruit. If that is a problem it may be my downfall because that has become my only remaining enjoyment as my dessert after a meal, (having an apple or an orange).

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