High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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Dr Rahul Agrawal highlighted that “everyone needs to monitor their cholesterol levels”. While the condition is usually symptomless, there are “certain set of 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.
Another possible indication of high cholesterol is when there is frequent tingling sensations in the toes and fingers.
“Interruptions in the blood flow to certain parts of the body makes a tingling sensation in hands and legs,” Dr Agrawal explained.
“The high cholesterol levels in the blood make the blood flow thick and affect the normal flow of blood in the nerves and cause tingling.”
Dr Kevin Martinez, another health practitioner, added that high cholesterol can lead to fatty growths under the skin.
Medically referred to as xanthoma, these lumpy growths can appear on the feet and hands, including the fingers and toes.
Xanthomas can vary in size; they can be as small as a pinhead or as large as a grape.
“They often look like a flat bump under the skin and sometimes appear yellow or orange,” Dr Martinez verified.
Although xanthomas can be painless, they might be tender to touch and feel itchy.
These growths may also appear on the buttocks, knees or elbows – either in clusters or standing on their own.
A doctor can diagnose xanthomas, but such a diagnosis might require a skin biopsy.
A lipid blood test can be telling as to whether or not you have high cholesterol.
If cholesterol levels are reduced, it is possible for xanthomas to disappear.
The NHS strongly recommend eating a healthy diet and doing regular exercise to bring down dangerous cholesterol levels.
People are required to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week to address cholesterol levels.
To simplify matters, 150 minutes of moderate activity can be broken down into 30-minute daily activities, such as brisk walking.
“Moderate aerobic activity means you’re working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat,” the health body clarified.
For those with worrying cholesterol levels, a doctor is likely to prescribe medication known as statins.
Heart UK – a leading cholesterol charity – explained that statins work by slowing down the production of cholesterol in the liver.
As small amounts of cholesterol is needed in the liver to create bile, more cholesterol is taken out from the blood.
Therefore, thanks to statins, blood cholesterol levels fall, meaning less cholesterol is at risk of blocking the arteries.
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