Blausen_0052_Artery_NormalvPartially-BlockedVesselCholesterol is a naturally occurring waxy substance that is produced by the liver but it also comes directly from some foods.  There are two types of cholesterol HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol).  HDL is High Density Lipoprotein and LDL is Low Density Lipoprotein. Studies have shown that the rate of LDL or bad cholesterol production by the liver is increased with the consumption of excessive amounts of saturated fats and any regular amount of trans fats. In additional we merely add to this problem if we consume too much cholesterol from foods that are high in cholesterol.

So how does this relate to peripheral neuropathy? Well consider the fact that the bad LDL cholesterol will cause plaque that builds up in an already glucose damaged vein, artery or capillary.  This will further exacerbate the condition under which the blood can no longer reach some nerve cells in order to supply an adequate amount of oxygen for the nerve cells to thrive and survive. It is the permanent death of nerve cells that cause the pain and discomfort of peripheral neuropathy and ultimately leads to such numbness that your nerves can no longer sense touch or real pain.

In terms of lifestyle and cholesterol it is important to consider doing two things: 1) keep the amount of saturated fats at the daily recommended rate of 20g per day while consuming no more than 300mg of cholesterol from foods per day (200mg/day for people with high cholesterol)..  This will help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol. 2) Exercise regularly.  This will have the effect of raising your HDL (good) cholesterol.  By raising HDL you will balance and lessen the bad effects of LDL.

Some foods that have high cholesterol which you should consider avoiding:

  • Dairy products like whole milk, 2% milk, cream, sour cream, ice cream, full fat cheese
  • High fat meats particularly red meat
  • Egg yolks
  • Shell Fish like shrimp