High cholesterol belongs to a group of conditions that raise your risk of heart disease typically without symptoms. However, like high blood pressure, consistently high cholesterol levels can produce unsettling warning signs. When symptoms do appear, it typically indicates cholesterol is collecting on the inside of your artery walls – a process called atherosclerosis. A sign in your toes can signal a very severe form of this process called peripheral artery disease (PAD).
As PAD specialist Advanced Vascular Surgery explains, PAD describes what happens when the arteries in the legs become blocked, typically from a build up of cholesterol.
“Early in the disease, you may feel pain, cramping, or fatigue in your lower body when you walk or exercise,” says Advanced Vascular Surgery.
However, if you do not receive PAD treatment, your symptoms may worsen, warns the health body.
“You may experience sores on your toes, heels, or lower legs.”
Saturated fat is the kind of fat found in butter, lard, ghee, fatty meats and cheese.
Instead, Heart UK says to opt for the following:
- Vegetable oils such as olive, sunflower, corn, rapeseed, nut and seed oils
- Avocado, nuts and seeds
- Fat spreads made from vegetable oils, such as sunflower and olive oil
- Oily fish.
Many of the above are found naturally in The Mediterranean diet, which is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil.
The Mediterranean diet has been linked with good health, including a healthier heart.
According to the NHS, these include:
- Your cholesterol level has not gone down after changing your diet and lifestyle
- You’re at a high risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
As the health body explains, statins are the most common medicine for high cholesterol.
Statins work by reducing the amount of LDL cholesterol your body makes.
“You take a tablet once a day. You usually need to take them for life,” adds the NHS.