High cholesterol: ‘Foul-smelling’ feet could signal extremely high blood fats

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Fairly dangerous, atherosclerosis along the arteries in the leg can lead to peripheral artery disease (PAD). Such a condition restricts blood flow to the feet, leading to warning signs. In the earliest of stages, when restricted blood flow only begins to injure nerve cells and tissues, symptoms flare during moments of movement. Experts at the National Library of Medicine described the symptoms as “pain, achiness, fatigue, burning, or discomfort in the muscles of the feet, calves, or thighs”.

“At first, these symptoms may appear only when you walk uphill, walk faster, or walk for longer distances,” the experts added.

Such symptoms quickly dissipate within “minutes” of rest, so some people may not seek medical advice.

This is unfortunate, as the symptoms will progressively become worse, appearing more frequently over time.

In severe stages of peripheral artery disease (PAD), cramping might appear during the night, the toes may start to tingle, and sores on the feet do not heal.

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One possible complication of peripheral artery disease (PAD) is the development of gangrene.

The Mayo Clinic stated: “Gangrene is death of body tissue due to a lack of blood flow.”

One key warning sign of gangrene is a “foul-smelling discharge leaking from a sore” that could be on the foot.

Other signs include: blisters, swelling, and skin that feels cool to the touch.

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There is likely to be skin discolouration too, ranging from pale to blue, purple, black, bronze or red.

Hair may not longer grow on the toes, ankles, or legs, and the skin may appear shiny.

Earlier indications of high cholesterol are hard to come by, unless levels are dangerously high.

To keep on top of your cholesterol levels, you are best booking in a blood test via your doctor.

Heart UK noted that when you get your blood test results, “as a minimum, you should be given your total cholesterol (TC) and HDL (good cholesterol) numbers”.

The charity continued: “Then you can work out your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol (written as the TC:HDL ratio).”

When given your results, ask your doctor to speak through the test results with you.

For example, a total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (TC:HDL) ratio above six is considered “high risk”.

The lower the TC:HDL figure, the better, Heart UK stated, but there are steps you can take to help lower your cholesterol if yours is too high.

To lower your cholesterol naturally, you need to eat a healthy diet, keep active, cut down on alcohol, avoid smoking, and look after any other health conditions you have.

Dietary considerations include eating more heart-healthy foods, such as nuts and seeds.

Oily fish is also recommended, such as sardines, salmon, and mackerel.

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