High cholesterol increases your risk of peripheral artery disease. The following are important signs of high cholesterol in your legs and feet.
While cholesterol is necessary for certain functions, high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis, which narrows and reduces circulation. In turn, atherosclerosis can lead to peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition that affects your legs and feet and can raise your risk for serious health conditions.
The most common type of PAD affects the legs and feet, causing symptoms such as leg pain and physical changes (typically in the nails and skin). PAD usually goes underdiagnosed because not everybody presents symptoms. However, if you want to be able to identify PAD and high cholesterol symptoms in your legs and feet when they happen, then keep reading below.
PAD can cause a type of muscle pain called claudication during physical activity, which includes cramping, aching, numbness, and fatigue. Narrow arteries prevent sufficient circulation from happening, and so your body uses pain as a way to tell you that your muscle is under stress. If you feel pain in your legs, taking a break can offer some relief, but the pain can return once you start up again.
However, in severe cases, the muscle pain may not go away even when you rest; some people experience pain, coldness, or numbness in their feet and toes at night or when their legs are elevated. In this case, having the legs in a downward position can help to temporarily ease the pain by pulling more blood toward the feet.
Skin and Hair Changes
PAD may cause loss of leg hair, smooth and shiny skin, and skin color changes (usually a darker or bluish color). This happens due to poor circulation to the skin and hair cells in your legs over time.
People with PAD may also have feet that are cold or cool to the touch since blood flow helps keep your extremities warm. When cholesterol and fat partly block your arteries, it’s hard for your body to get blood to your legs and maintain a stable temperature.
High cholesterol and PAD may also lead to several other symptoms. For example, you may experience weak or missing pulses in your feet and grow thicker, deformed, or discolored toenails. You may also experience muscle atrophy, develop leg sores (arterial ulcers), and even tissue death if PAD goes untreated.
Managing Your Cholesterol
While these are some notable symptoms that you may experience from PAD, the fact is that high cholesterol typically doesn’t present any symptoms. Therefore, it’s important that you check your cholesterol levels and manage them properly. The only way to know what your levels are is through a lipid panel, which is a blood test that measures cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Besides prescription medication, you can manage your cholesterol by practicing healthy habits like exercising regularly, eating healthily, and taking supplements like HeartBeet Complete. Its ingredients promote circulation, blood pressure health, energy levels, and more. Give your health the support it deserves by staying on top of your cholesterol and taking HeartBeet Complete.