The first signs of silent killer can strike when you walk – what to watch out for | The Sun

HAVING high cholesterol can bring with it a host of nasty side effects.

Cholesterol itself is found in fats and is needed to build healthy cells, but can increase the risk of heart disease if levels are too high.

This is because high levels of cholesterol can build up in the artery walls and reduce blood flow to the heart.

This increases the risk of a clot forming around the body and also heart issues.

The condition doesn't have any symptoms so can be hard to spot, but one tell-tail sign can be felt in your legs, according to the NHS.

High cholesterol can cause problems with circulation throughout the body, including the legs, by blocking or limiting blood flow in the arteries in the extremities. 

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This is known as Peripheral Arterial Disease, or PAD.

If you have PAD, you will experience reduced blood-flow to your legs, which can cause pain, usually when exercising, Healthline says

You may notice pain when walking, running or even just climbing the stairs.

This type of pain usually stops when you stop the activity that has caused it.

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It’s important to seek advice from your GP if you experience this type of pain.

a tingling sensation in the fingers and toes could also be a key sign of the condition.

There is also a condition called Xanthoma – which is where fat builds up underneath the surface of the skin.

Little bumps can appear if your cholesterol is too high.

These little growths can appear anywhere on the body but are particularly common on the hands and feet.

What’s the best way to lower cholesterol?

Cutting back cholesterol to the levels we were born with reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes by a third, a study found.

There are a number of ways you can cut back, including:

  • Maintain a healthy diet which is low in fatty food
  • Swap saturated fat for fruit, veg and wholegrain cereals
  • Give up smoking
  • Take regular exercise

What's an ideal safe level of cholesterol?

The way you can measure blood cholesterol levels is using the unit millimoles per litre of blood (mmol/L).

Your levels of cholesterol should be:

  • 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults
  • 4mmol/L or less for those at high risk

When it comes to measuring LDLs, the levels should be:

  • 3mmol/L or less for healthy adults
  • 2mmol/L or less for those at high rise

The little lumps aren't dangerous and will usually disappear once you have managed to lower your cholesterol levels.

Around 40 per cent of Brits are thought to suffer with high, or borderline high cholesterol levels.

Medications for the condition were previously found to have cost the NHS around £16.7million a year.

It was yesterday also revealed that your sleep could also be an indicator of high cholesterol.

Dr Don Grant, clinical lead at The Independent Pharmacy, said previous studies have shown links to sleeping issues and high cholesterol.

He explained that Michael Grandner, director of the Sleep and Health Research Program at the University of Arizona noted the connection in 2014 in a study published in the Sleep Journal.

Patients who participated in the study were assessed on their lifestyle habits as well as their sleep duration and whether or not they snored.

Their lipid levels were also measured and this is what indicates levels of good and bad cholesterol.

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It found that people who slept for less than six hours each night were more likely to have LDL, which is bad cholesterol.

High cholesterol has links to heart disease and the researches said that the study confirmed that a lack of sleep was linked to this.

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