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High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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High cholesterol refers to the presence of fatty molecules in the blood that progressively clogs the arteries leading to the heart and brain – making it a major risk factor for stroke and heart attack. The effects of high cholesterol levels take hold over time, but the longer they’re left uncorrected, the more they contribute to the development of peripheral artery disease (PAD). As the veins become progressively clogged, the appearance of the skin is likely to change.

Many of the symptoms that occur in the legs and arms are the results of peripheral artery disease, where cholesterol molecules have narrowed passageways inside the veins.

People with PAD often exhibit several changes to the skin in these areas of the body.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, states that “smooth, shiny skin; skin that is cool to the touch” could be symptomatic of PAD.

The tightening of the skin is often accompanied by a loss of hair on the legs and feet and the thickening of toenails.

READ MORE: High cholesterol: Unsaturated oils could lower levels by 30% – other tips from a GP

What’s more, the Midwest Institute for Non-surgical Therapy adds that the skin might become dry and itchy, or pigmented and thick.

Some of the most classic symptoms, however, effexor xr for depression and anxiety may include pain, aches or cramps, that may come more pronounced walking.

Cramping can also happen in the buttock, hip, thighs or calf muscles, which is medically recognised as claudication.

Signs of PAD are often concentrated in the legs as these limbs are subjected to more physical exertion.

The health association Heart explains: “Working muscles need more blood flow. Resting muscle can get by with less.”

“The most common symptoms of lower-extremity peripheral artery disease is painful muscle cramping in the hips, thighs or calves when walking, climbing stairs or exercising.

“The pain of PAD often goes away when your stop exercising, although this may take a few minutes.”

Some of the lesser-known signs signalling interruptions in blood flow to the extremities may include a tingling sensation in the hands and legs.

Kunal Karmali, a cardiologist with Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, told LiveStrong: “I think tingling, particularly in the legs, or ashiness can sometimes be symptoms of leg arteries having blockages.

“Those blockages could have formed because of high levels of cholesterol, and so that brings us back to the importance of prevention.”

Peripheral artery disease can be prevented by amending lifestyle habits linked to the condition, such as smoking and drinking.

Because the condition doesn’t produce symptoms, levels of high cholesterol should be checked regularly through blood tests.

If a formal PAD diagnosis is made, doctors may choose to proceed with one of two available treatments.

Patients may undergo angioplasty, which involves the insertion of a tiny balloon inside the vessel which helps it widen.

An artery bypass graft, on the other hand, involves taking a blood vessel from another body part and using it to bypass the blockage inside an artery.

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