Intermittent Claudication is a condition where it is painful to walk due to blocked leg arteries. It is medically (and on TV) known as PAD or Peripheral Arterial Disease. It is different from the lower extremity diseases of the Diabetic (which affects small blood vessels). PAD affects the large trunk vessels in the lower extremity primarily where the aorta (the large blood vessel coming from the heart) bifurcates (splits) into the iliac arteries (the two main leg arteries) resulting in another name for this disease: Aortoiliac disease. It is the same disease process that occurs in the heart and neck. There is a strong correlation of this to smoking. In all my years of practice, I have never seen this in a person with less than 30 pack years of cigarette smoking. (Note: a pack year is defined as the number of years smoked times the amount of packs per day so 2 packs per day for 15 years would be 30 pack years).
This has been treated successfully at this Clinic. In a 109 patient study (Paper #14) we have shown that there has been significant improvement of the ABI (Ankle/Brachial Index) after a patient received 30 infusions of EDTA. The ABI is a very simple test where we start by measuring the systolic (the upper number) blood pressure at the ankle (hence the A) and the arm (Brachial artery hence the B) and by dividing A by B (i.e. A/B) we get a number (hence the I for index). If that number is 1.0 to 1.5 that is normal because the leg artery is larger and has a higher pressure. On the other hand, if the pressure is low in the leg due to blockage (the pressure can not get by the blockage and the pressure is lower) then the ABI might be lower. The lower the index, the greater the degree of blockage.