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LIFESTYLE & WELL BEING

High cholesterol symptoms: THIS colour in your leg could indicate high cholesterol

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Aug 14, 2022 12:00 PM

Read Time: 3 minute



High cholesterol is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease, and it is linked to plaque buildup in the arteries.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that the body requires in order to create healthy cells. When there is an excess of 'bad' cholesterol or fatty deposits in the blood vessels, the arteries become clogged, making it difficult for blood to flow through them. Furthermore, when these deposits rupture suddenly, they form a clot, which can result in a heart attack or stroke.

While high cholesterol is a condition that can be inherited, it is often an outcome of unhealthy lifestyle choices including unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and excess body weight. What's worse is that increased cholesterol levels usually do not show any signs or symptoms.

Pay close attention to your legs

Undiagnosed and untreated high cholesterol, according to experts, can lead to a condition known as atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis, also known as plaque, is the accumulation of fats, cholesterol, and other substances in and on the artery walls. These fatty deposits or plaque can narrow the arteries, preventing or impeding smooth blood flow to various parts of the body, including the legs. The plaque can also break, causing blood clots, which can be dangerous.

When blood flow to the legs is hampered or blocked, a condition known as peripheral artery disease develops (PAD).

Watch out for the colour in your legs

Because PAD is associated with decreased blood flow to the legs, it can result in colour changes in the legs.

If not detected and treated promptly, your leg may begin to turn pale or blue. This is caused by decreased or reduced blood flow to the legs.

You may also experience a painful ache in your leg, particularly when walking. This pain may go away after a few minutes of rest.

Symptoms of PAD

- Coldness, numbness and weakness in the lower leg or foot, especially when compared with the other side

- Weak or no pulse in the legs or feet

- Painful cramping in one or both of the hips, thighs or calf muscles after certain activities, such as walking or climbing stairs

- Slower growth of the toenails

- Sores on the toes, feet or legs that won't heal

- Pain when using the arms, such as aching and cramping when knitting, writing or doing other manual tasks

- Erectile dysfunction

- Hair loss or slower hair growth on the legs

Get yourself a blood test

While PAD can be an indicator of high cholesterol levels in the body, it does not always show any warning signs or symptoms.

Having said that, it is best if you have yourself tested. A lipid profile, or lipid panel, is a simple blood test that can detect high cholesterol. Your doctor will determine whether or not you will need to fast. The fasting period can range from 8 to 12 hours before the blood draw.

Lower your cholesterol levels with the right lifestyle choices

Making the switch to a healthier lifestyle can do wonders for your overall health.

When it comes to lowering your cholesterol levels, eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet and exercising regularly can help.

Furthermore, if you're already taking medications for it, you must be consistent and thorough in taking them on a regular basis, as prescribed by your doctor.

Most importantly, strive for a healthy body weight, as obesity is a major risk factor for a variety of illnesses, including heart disease.

Also Read: Know why you should wakeup early

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