This Morning's Dr Chris discusses the signs of high cholesterol
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The tricky part about high cholesterol is that it can trigger serious health conditions, such as heart problems and strokes. This happens because too much of the fatty substance in your blood can block your blood vessels. So, it’s important to keep high levels at bay and be aware of having this condition.
Cholesterol is not all bad as your body needs it to function.
There are two types of this substance – “bad” cholesterol and the “good” one.
“Bad” cholesterol is the one leading to health problems, while the “good” type makes you less likely to develop problems.
The problem occurs when your levels become too high. Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh from Medicine Direct shares one tell for high cholesterol.
The pharmacist said: “Most people with high cholesterol will not exhibit any symptoms at all.
“This is what makes it dangerous.
“There are a lot of people out there who do not know they have high cholesterol until they are struck down with a serious problem, such as a heart attack.
“However, you may have high cholesterol if you notice yellow-tinted growths or lesions on your skin.”
Mr Abdeh explains how to spot these skin signs: “The yellow tinted growths can form in various places around the body.
“These are cholesterol deposits and flare up when you have a build-up of cholesterol underneath the skin.”
“Although they are not painless and are benign, they can be a warning sign that you have dangerously high cholesterol levels or another serious underlying condition.”
He stresses that if you find growths or lesions like these, you need to speak to your GP as soon as possible.
The pharmacist added: “You should visit your doctor and get your cholesterol levels checked.
“Avoiding this could lead to a heart attack, stroke or other serious debilitating illness.”
Even though skin signs like these could be pointing to high levels, the expert noted that the most reliable way to identify high cholesterol is by having a blood test.
You can either have your blood taken from your arm or a finger-prick test to measure the fatty substance, the NHS explains.
How can I lower my cholesterol?
Some people might have to take a medicine called statins but there are also other interventions that can help.
The pharmacist shared: “Dietary changes like cutting down on the amount of saturated fat you eat can also help to lower cholesterol levels.
“The likes of beef, lamb and full-fat dairy products are all examples of foods that contain high levels of saturated fat.
“You should instead make sure that you are eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as other foods that are high in fibre.”
He also recommended other lifestyle tweaks, including maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise and quitting smoking.
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