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High cholesterol: What colour is the skin on your leg? The sign of ‘fatty deposits’

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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The health body warns that changing skin colour on your legs, such as turning pale or blue, is a possible sign of PAD. The symptoms of PAD often develop slowly, over time, it adds. The NHS notes if your symptoms develop quickly, or get suddenly worse, it could be a sign of a serious problem requiring immediate treatment.

It adds: “Many people with PAD have no symptoms. However, some develop a painful ache in their legs when they walk, which usually disappears after a few minutes’ rest. The medical term for this is ‘intermittent claudication’.”

The Cleveland Clinic states: “PAD can build up over a lifetime, and the symptoms may not become obvious until later in life.”

It says that with intermittent claudication, your leg muscles may feel:

  • Numb
  • Weak
  • Heavy
  • Tired.

The Cleveland Clinic says that half of the people who have developed PAD don’t have any symptoms.

PAD is usually diagnosed through a physical examination by a GP, and by comparing the blood pressure in your arm and your ankle.

The NHS says other symptoms of PAD can include:

  • Hair loss on your legs and feet
  • Numbness or weakness in the legs
  • Ulcers (open sores) on your feet and legs, which do not heal
  • Shiny skin
  • In men, erectile dysfunction
  • Brittle nails
  • The muscles in your legs shrinking (wasting).

High cholesterol is somewhat common in the UK, and is more common in people who are overweight.

Indeed, the NHS says that more than two in five people in England have high cholesterol, which can unfortunately lead to a number of negative health consequences.

Nonetheless, high cholesterol often has no symptoms, so many people are unaware they have it.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) recommends all adults have a cholesterol check at any age, even if they feel completely well. It should be repeated every five years – or more often if the test was abnormal.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to reduce high cholesterol, and PAD will not always be a consequence.

Changing what you eat, being more active, and stopping smoking can help get your cholesterol back to a healthy level.

The NHS says: “To reduce your cholesterol, try to cut down on fatty food, especially food that contains a type of fat called saturated fat. You can still have foods that contain a healthier type of fat called unsaturated fat.”

You might need medicine to lower your cholesterol if your cholesterol level has not gone down after changing your diet and lifestyle.

Statins are the most common medicine for high cholesterol, according to the health service, and work by reducing the amount of cholesterol your body makes.

You usually have to continue taking statins for life because if you stop taking them, your cholesterol will return to a high level within a few weeks.

The NHS says that there are five types of statin available on prescription in the UK. They are: atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin.

It notes that a review of scientific studies into the effectiveness of statins found around one in every 50 people who take the medicine for five years will avoid a serious event, such as a heart attack or stroke, as a result.

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