Signs of high cholesterol could be felt in the toes – ‘Especially at night’, warns expert

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Signs of high cholesterol could be felt in the toes – ‘Especially at night’, warns expert

According to Dr David R. Sullivan, otherwise known as the "foot doctor", there can be symptoms of high cholesterol that can appear on the feet.Dr Sull

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According to Dr David R. Sullivan, otherwise known as the “foot doctor”, there can be symptoms of high cholesterol that can appear on the feet.

Dr Sullivan noted: “Burning toe and foot pain, specifically at night, could be a warning sign of high cholesterol levels.”

He explained: “This pain could indicate atherosclerosis, a build-up of plaque that forms in your blood vessels, preventing blood from flowing freely.”

Dr Sullivan added: “Unlike the pain of everyday wear and tear, this high cholesterol warning sign found in the feet will burn or ache while you’re resting in bed.

“This is a sign that your extremities aren’t getting enough oxygen-rich blood.”

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Anybody experiencing such symptoms are strongly recommended to ask their doctor for an immediate blood cholesterol test.

Over time, if left untreated, too much cholesterol can lead to peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

Senior cardiac nurse Emily McGrath, based at the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said in the worst-case scenario, PAD can be “life-threatening”.

McGrath noted: “PAD usually affects the legs – it can often lead to leg pain when walking and, in severe cases, gangrene and even amputation.”

“Cramp-like pain” during exercise can be representative of PAD, in addition to:

  • Persistent pain
  • Ulcers
  • Gangrene in the feet.

Anybody presenting such symptoms should be referred to a vascular specialist by their GP.

“Blood flow can also be checked using a Doppler test,” said McGrath. “A Doppler test is used to compare blood pressure at the ankle as a ratio to blood pressure in the arm.”

McGrath stated a “normal ratio” would be “0.9 to 1.1” whereas a person with PAD will have a ratio below 0.9.

Then a duplex ultrasound would reveal “here and how severe the narrowings in your arteries are”.

People who have PAD have up to “five times” higher risk of a heart attack compared to those who do not have the condition.

Preventative measures will be implemented to help reduce this risk, but a doctor will discuss your individual needs with you during a consultation.

Anybody hoping to lower their cholesterol levels is recommended by the NHS to exercise more frequently.

Source: | This article first appeared on Express.co.uk

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