The patient experiences pain on walking – first on climbing up the stairs or walking uphill. He has to stop and rest for about a minute before the pain disappears and allows him to walk an identical distance before stopping again due to similar pain. This is called ‘claudication’ in technical terms.
Over time if the patient continues to smoke the narrowing worsens leading to total blockage. The pain also progressively worsens until he gets pain all the time – day and night. This is called rest pain.
This rest pain is a warning sign that your leg is now in danger if you continue to smoke or do not seek medical help.
As the blood supply continues to reduce to the leg the patient may have ulcers that do not heal or blue toes.This is the progression of the disease to Gangrene. You are in danger of getting your leg amputated should you not seek medical help from a specialist Vascular Surgeon.
Having reached a provisional diagnosis your doctor would confirm his diagnosis by ordering a few tests.