The warning signs in fingers and toes you might have a ‘silent killer’

KEEPING an eye on your cholesterol levels is key and can help lower your risk of heart problems or a stroke.

It doesn't have any symptoms so can be hard to spot, but one expert has now said that you might be able to spot high cholesterol in your fingers and toes.

High cholesterol occurs when you have too much of a fatty substance in your blood.

The NHS says that it can be caused by several things such as being overweight, smoking and not exercising enough.

The only way to check if you have high blood pressure is to get a blood test which measures lipid levels which can indicate whether or not you have high blood pressure.

While there are no clear telltale signs of high blood pressure, senior consultant physician Dr Rahul Agrawal has said there are some symptoms that could hint at the condition.

Dr Agrawal said: "There are certain physical symptoms to be aware of.

"The warning sign of high cholesterol can include painful fingers and toes. Such a sensation could be the direct result of an accumulation of cholesterol that can clog the blood vessels in the legs and hands", he told The Express.

He said 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.

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.

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 ris

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.

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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