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Symptoms Of Clogged Arteries

author image Lisabetta DiVita
Lisabetta Divita is a physician whose love for writing flourished while she was exposed to all facets of the medical field during her training. Her writings are currently featured in prominent medical magazines and various online publications. She holds a doctorate in medicine, a master's in biomedicine, and a Bachelor of Science in biology from Boston College.
Symptoms Of Clogged Arteries
A man is eating unhealthy french fries. Photo Credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Clogged arteries, medically known as arteriosclerosis or atherosclerosis, refers to a condition in which fatty substances called cholesterol build up in your blood vessel walls. Medline Plus states that clogged arteries are common and such conditions as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history, smoking and a high-fat diet can lead to atherosclerosis. Clogged arteries can cause various manifestations at different locations in your body.

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Common Symptoms Affecting Your Legs and Arms

According to the Mayo Clinic, clogged arteries in your arms and legs can lead to a condition called peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Manifestations of PAD include muscle cramping of your hip, thigh or calf, especially after climbing stairs or walking. This is called intermittent claudication. With rest, symptoms of intermittent claudication cease to exist but resume with movement. Hair loss on your legs and changes in your toenails and color of your legs are also common symptoms of clogged arteries. Numbness, tingling and coldness of your extremities are also signs of clogged arteries.


Medline Plus states that clogged arteries can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure). Blood pressure refers to the force placed upon your blood vessels when your heart beats and is at rest. Hypertensive symptoms include fatigue, nosebleeds, visual changes and an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

Common Symptoms Affecting Your Heart

According to the Mayo Clinic, clogged heart arteries can lead to angina (chest pain), because your heart does not receive enough blood flow. This pain can be constant, intermittent and evoke a squeezing or heavy sensation in your chest.

Common Symptoms Affecting your Kidneys

Renal artery stenosis is a condition in which the arteries supplying your kidneys become clogged. Sometimes this condition can manifest as bloody urine. If severe enough, you can acquire such kidney diseases as acute kidney failure (condition characterized by decreased or absent urination) or kidney stones (condition characterized by sharp flank pain).

Common Symptoms Affecting Your Brain

Clogged arteries in your brain can lead to symptoms of a stroke. According to the Mayo Clinic, you may develop sudden weakness or numbness in your arms or legs. You may experience facial paralysis and have trouble speaking.

Common Symptoms Affecting Your Intestines

Your intestinal arteries can be clogged and this may lead to a dangerous condition called mesenteric ischemia. According to Medline Plus, symptoms of mesenteric ischemia include stomach pain, especially after eating, diarrhea and vomiting.

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