According to the British Heart Foundation, all adults must get their cholesterol checked regularly to ensure that their HDL and LDL ratios are balanced.   |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- Cholesterol, a type of blood fat or lipids, is a waxy substance that helps with the formation of healthy cells and strengthens their membranes. It is of two types – good cholesterol and bad cholesterol.
- While good cholesterol is defined by levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), bad cholesterol is measured basis low-lipoprotein levels (LDL).
- For relief, doctors are likely to recommend lipid-lowering drugs known as statins.
New Delhi: High cholesterol is a condition that troubles many, yet only a handful is aware that they have it. Cholesterol, a type of blood fat or lipids, is a waxy substance that helps with the formation of healthy cells and strengthens their membranes. It is of two types – good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. While good cholesterol is defined by levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), bad cholesterol is measured basis low-lipoprotein levels (LDL).
When lipid levels increase, it can result in deposits of fats in the arteries obstructing smooth blood circulation. This state is known as Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), and despite high cholesterol being a silent killer, there are some signs of this condition that are likely to go missing as they appear on the toes.
Symptoms of PAD
High cholesterol is known as a silent killer for the right reasons – this condition develops slowly and is likely to cause chronic damage without any prominent signs. PAD, too, develops slowly over time with the following symptoms appearing only when things have started to go out of hand:
- Pain in the legs
- Discomfort in legs and feet
- Discomfort during physical activity of exercise – intermittent claudication
As PAD progresses, the symptoms start to occur more frequently and even when the body is at rest. And on the toes, a part of the body that none turns to, the signs start to appear when PAD gets severe. These include:
- Thick toenails
- Toenails turning blue
- Burning sensations in the toes
When looking for signs on the legs, note the following:
- Thinning of the skin on legs
- Pale skin
- The shininess of the skin due to death of tissues triggered by insufficient blood supply – a state known as gangrene
- Ulcers that do not heal easily
- Low hair growth on the legs
- Cold legs, specifically the lower part
- Pain that does not go even when at rest
How to get diagnosed with high cholesterol?
Although a couple of symptoms of this condition are known to occur at later stages, experts recommend going through a blood test for a definite diagnosis of high cholesterol and timely treatment. This is known to raise the risk of developing heart disease and sometimes even of suffering a heart attack.
For relief, doctors are likely to recommend lipid-lowering drugs known as statins. However, cutting down on the intake of saturated fats and refined sugars, and combining them with a balanced workout regime can be helpful. Additionally, giving up smoking and limiting alcohol intake can also help bring cholesterol to a healthy level.
Instead, the following foods must be included in the diet:
- Whole grains
According to the British Heart Foundation, all adults must get their cholesterol checked regularly to ensure that their HDL and LDL ratios are balanced. The total cholesterol of healthy individuals stands at 5mmoI/L or less.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.