Beware.. A sign in the toes warns of high cholesterol

Beware.. A sign in the toes warns of high cholesterol
Beware.. A sign in the toes warns of high cholesterol

Expressive – iStock

Dubai – Al

Published in: May 12, 2023: 11:43 AM GST
Last updated: May 12, 2023: 12:44 PM GST

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that your body needs to build cells, make vitamins, and produce hormones like estrogen and testosterone. But eating too much can lead to clogged blood vessels, increasing your risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots.

Although there are often no obvious symptoms of high cholesterol, one sign to watch out for is related to the toes.

Dr. Sami Fairouzi, a consultant cardiologist at the Harley Street Clinic, told HuffPost that PAD can cause your toenails to become brittle or grow slowly.

High cholesterol causes peripheral aerobic disease, called PAD for short, which is where fatty plaques build up in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, that limit blood flow to your legs.

Also known as peripheral vascular disease (PVD), peripheral arterial disease can lead to poor circulation to your nails — which means there isn’t enough oxygen or nutrients to encourage nail growth.

numbness and weakness

While the disease can occur in any blood vessel, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is most common in the legs.

Also, other symptoms of PAD to look for include numbness or weakness in the legs, and open sores that won’t heal.

Your skin color may also change slightly, becoming paler than usual, but it may be difficult to see on dark skin, according to the British Daily Mail.

Not exercising.. and gaining weight

High levels of cholesterol are mainly caused by eating fatty foods, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol, but it can also be hereditary.

The condition itself has no symptoms and can only be detected by a blood test. Cholesterol is formed in the liver and transported in the blood by proteins. It is generally divided into two types, harmful and good. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) transports cholesterol from cells to the liver where it is broken down or passed as waste. This is called “good cholesterol”.

The “bad cholesterol”, which is low-density lipoprotein (LDL), transports cholesterol into cells, in excess and then builds up in the artery walls.

Treating high cholesterol is with approved drugs, but the NHS says lifestyle changes can help lower it, such as eating less fatty foods, getting more exercise, quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol.

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