High cholesterol: Vital signs and symptoms you need to be aware of in your toes and fingers

Managing and reducing high cholesterol is crucial as it can lead to acute medical conditions such as blockages in blood vessels that can cause a heart attack or stroke, depending on where the blockage occurs.

Dr. Rahul Agrawal told the Express that “everyone should monitor their cholesterol levels”.

High cholesterol is often asymptomatic, however, there is a “specific set of physical symptoms” that you need to be aware of, including a warning sign of painful fingers and toes.

Read more: Health news

A painful sensation in the fingers or toes can be a direct result of an accumulation of cholesterol that can clog the blood vessels in the legs and hands.

Another possible indication of elevated cholesterol is when there are frequent tingling sensations in the toes and fingers.

“Disruptions in blood flow to certain parts of the body give a tingling sensation in the hands and legs,” explained Dr. Agrawal.

“The high cholesterol level in the blood makes the blood flow thick and affects the normal blood flow in the nerves and causes the tingling.”

Dr. Kevin Martinez, another doctor, added that high cholesterol can lead to fat growth under the skin.



a general practitioner who checks a patient's blood pressure
For those with worrying cholesterol levels, a doctor may prescribe a medication known as statins

Medically referred to as xanthoma, these lumpy growths can occur on the feet and hands, including the fingers and toes.

Xanthomas can vary in size; they can be as small as a pinhead or as large as a grape.

“They often look like a flat bump under the skin and sometimes look yellow or orange,” confirmed Dr. Martinez.

Although xanthomas can be painless, they can be tender to the touch and feel itchy.

These growths can also occur on the buttocks, knees or elbows – either in clusters or standing alone.



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A doctor can diagnose xanthomas, but such a diagnosis may require a skin biopsy.

A lipid blood test can determine if you have high cholesterol or not.

If cholesterol levels are reduced, it is possible for xanthomas to disappear.

The NHS strongly recommends eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly to reduce dangerous cholesterol levels.

People are required to perform at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week to manage their cholesterol levels.

To simplify things, 150 minutes of moderate activity can be divided into 30 minutes of daily activities, such as brisk walking.

“Moderate aerobic activity means you work hard enough to raise your heart rate and sweat,” the health body clarified.

For those with worrying cholesterol levels, a doctor will likely prescribe a medication known as statins.

Heart UK – a leading cholesterol charity – explained that statins work by slowing down the production of cholesterol in the liver.

Since small amounts of cholesterol are needed in the liver to create bile, more cholesterol is extracted from the blood.

Therefore, thanks to statins, cholesterol levels in the blood decrease, which means that less cholesterol is at risk of blocking the arteries.

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