Arm artery disease is one of the more uncommon types of peripheral artery disease. It occurs when one or more of the arteries supplying blood to a patient’s arms and hands become blocked. While it can happen suddenly, most cases of this disease progress slowly over a longer time period.
The most common symptoms experienced by patients with arm artery disease are feelings of discomfort in the arm while in use, including heaviness, fatigue, or cramping. Related symptoms can include:
- Blue-tinged, slow-growing nails
- Lack of pulse
- Muscle atrophy
- Pale, cool skin
- Sensitivity to cold
- Slow-growing arm hair
Arm artery disease is caused by a number of other diseases that affect the circulatory system of the limbs, as well as a variety of other causes ranging from atherosclerosis, to frostbite, to a released blood clot, and even to radiation treatment for breast cancer.
The primary risk factors are one’s age (increased likeliness over the age of 60) and smoking.
Treating Arm Artery Disease
While there is no true cure for arm artery disease, there are several treatment options, depending on several factors (severity, location, and cause of the disease). These range from standard modifications toward a healthy lifestyle, to medical and surgical treatments.