High cholesterol: Two peculiar sensations felt in the extremities warning of your risk

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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High cholesterol means a person has too much cholesterol in their blood. Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced by the liver. Although cholesterol is not intrinsically bad (your body needs a healthy amount to function), having high cholesterol could result in a major clog in your arteries increasing your risk of heart attacks or strokes. Your extremities could indicate whether your cholesterol is becoming too high. What to spot?

Numbness or coldness in your extremities is a sign of high cholesterol.

An extremity is a limb or appendage of the body, particularly the hands and feet. 

As cholesterol begins to build up in the blood and accumulate in the arteries and veins, one of the consequences over time can be coldness and numbness in the body’s limbs.

If high cholesterol persists for a long period of time, it can contribute to tingling and numbness in the limbs in other ways, as well, noted the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

The site added: “Over time, high cholesterol leads to plaque, which is made up of cholesterol and other materials, accumulating in your blood vessel walls.

“These narrow areas and blockages can prevent oxygen-rich blood from reaching the arms and feet and tingling and numbness are the result.

“As these blockages worsen, they are eventually classified as peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

“Other signs and symptoms of the disease include leg pain and cramping, sores on the legs or feet that won’t heal, cold legs or feet or a change in colour in the legs, feet or toenails.”

Anyone experiencing tingling in their limbs should mention them to their healthcare profession to ascertain what it actually is.

It’s important to rule out whether its not a nerve tissue or something which is non-vascular.

It also important to determine if it’s an artery-related problem or a non-artery-related problem.

Questions to ask you GP if concerned about any unusual symptoms or cholesterol issues include:

  • Am I at risk for heart disease?
  • How often should I get my cholesterol tested?
  • What are my cholesterol levels? Are they high?
  • What lifestyle changes do I need to make to help improve my cholesterol levels and heart health?
  • Do I need cholesterol medicine?
  • What are the side effects of the medicine?

How to avoid high cholesterol

The older you are, the higher your chances of having high cholesterol, but the early impetus to make lifestyle changes can significantly lower this risk.

Cholesterol is generally associated with an unhealthy diet, with evidence pointing to saturated fat as the main culprit.

Avoiding alcohol in excess is paramount because it is broken down in the liver and rebuilt into triglycerides, thereby raising levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Moderate drinking, a healthy diet, and regular exercise are all key for lowering LDL cholesterol.

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