Dr Chris reveals how eyes can indicate high cholesterol levels
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A build-up of fatty plaques inside the arteries, known as atherosclerosis (the trademark of high cholesterol), reduces the amount of blood flow – containing oxygen and nutrients – that are available to tissues. John Hopkins Medicine pointed out that leg cramping is “the most common first symptom” of the condition. The cramping sensation is triggered by exercise and is relieved by rest, when the leg muscle doesn’t need as much blood.
Other tell-tale symptoms of peripheral vascular disease (PVD) include hair loss on the legs and wounds that don’t heal over the heels or ankles.
Skin changes can occur too, with cooler, amoxicillin antibiotic for tooth abscess thin, brittle and/or shiny skin developing on the legs and feet.
You may also notice that there’s a weak pulse in the lower limbs, and gangrene (i.e. the formation of dead tissue) can develop.
The circulatory disease may lead to impotence (difficulty achieving or sustaining an erection).
A “numbness, weakness, or heaviness” can be felt in the muscles, and severe pain could occur.
Due to the lack of blood flow, the toenails can thicken and turn opaque in colouring.
Speaking of colouring, don’t be surprised if a “reddish-blue discolouration of the extremities” (i.e. the hands and feet) takes place.
A burning or aching feeling in the toes might appear at night while lying down flat in bed.
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These symptoms need to be checked over by your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
If you do have PVD, the main goal of treatment is to control the symptoms and to halt the progression of the disease.
This can include lifestyle changes to minimise the upcoming threat of a heart attack or stroke.
Such lifestyle interventions include regular exercise, proper nutrition, and not smoking.
Blood thinner medications may be prescribed, and vascular surgery might need to take place.
Vascular surgery involves a bypass graft – either using a blood vessel from another part of the body of a synthetic tube – to reroute blood flow around the body.
Alternatively, angioplasty can be implemented to open up an artery to increase blood flow.
Examples of angioplasty include a stent, atherectomy, laser, and balloon angioplasty.
A stent is a tiny coil that expands inside the blocked artery to keep the blood vessel open.
The blocked area inside the artery is shaved away by a tiny, technological device.
A laser “vaporises” the blockage in the artery, enabling blood to flow more freely.
Another type of surgery, this is when a small balloon is inflated inside the blocked artery.
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