High blood cholesterol levels, medically also referred to as hyperlipidemia, leads to clogged arteries. While it most of all causes clogging of the arteries in and around the heart, it sometimes also impacts the arteries elsewhere, including the limbs present in your legs. This is what causes peripheral artery disease, or PAD, when the legs do not get sufficient blood flow to keep up with the movement and function
Dr Rajesh Jaria, Consultant, Internal Medicine at P.D.Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Khar says, “All problems of high cholesterol are related to plaque deposition and build up in arteries which span the body. When such problems affect the lower limbs of the body, it could result in Peripheral Artery Disorder, which causes significant leg pain as a symptom.”
Also read: Signs of high cholesterol which can show up in the legs
Dr Dheeraj Kapoor, Chief, Endocrinology, Artemis Hospitals Gurugram also believes that while the risk of peripheral diseases is still less seen, Indians are extremely susceptible to heart diseases and have high triglyceride levels, which is reason enough for us to not ignore any such symptoms at the very least.
A big reason for the leg pain is claudication, which can make it difficult for a person to walk across a few steps. “If a patient experiences leg pain, there could be a prime reason for it to be connected to the blockage of arteries of the leg, then the patient can also have blockages elsewhere in the body, including the heart” adds Dr Sridhara N, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Fortis Hospital Cunningham Road.