High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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Dr Jeffrey Lander verified that left untreated, high cholesterol and high blood pressure can lead to a heart attack or stroke. To help minimise such risk, it will help to know when your reading needs to be reduced. High cholesterol is one of the main risk factors for high blood pressure, and once a person develops hypertension, and it’s severe enough, you may begin to experience more headaches. Headaches are one sign around the face that cholesterol levels could be dangerously high.
Another warning sign of excessive cholesterol is developing vision problems.
Other symptoms might include: fatigue, difficulty breathing, and chest pains.
What is cholesterol?
Dr Lander confirmed that cholesterol is a “waxy type of fat produced by the liver”.
Cholesterol is “essential” to the digestion of food and in the production of hormones and vitamin D.
When cholesterol levels become too high, however, it can negatively affect blood circulation and contribute to the development of heart disease.
High cholesterol can also lead to a skin condition called xanthoma, Dr Lander certified.
Xanthoma is when waxy deposits of cholesterol develop under the skin, particularly around the eyes and eyelids.
These growths are visible to the naked eye, and any sight of them should prompt a visit to the doctor.
If you are concerned about cholesterol levels, a blood test arranged by your doctor can see if it is something to be concerned about.
Some people feel perfectly fine with high cholesterol, with no visible warning signs.
This does not, however, imply that there is nothing to worry about – high cholesterol is dangerous.
Too much cholesterol can embed along the artery walls, hardening and developing into plaques.
Plaques on the artery walls narrow the blood vessel passageway for oxygenated blood.
This process is known as atherosclerosis, which can obstruct blood flow to the heart or brain, leading to a life-threatening attack.
The free NHS Health Check tests for cholesterol levels, as well as blood pressure.
Anybody registered to a doctor’s clinic will be invited for the NHS Health Check from the age of 40 to 74, every five years.
The check-up is designed to test for signs of:
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
Results of the NHS Health Check will involve your cardiovascular risk over the next decade.
“If your cholesterol test results are outside the healthy range, your health professional will provide advice on how to lower your cholesterol through changes to your diet,” the NHS stated.
“They may also advise treatment with medicines, called statins.”
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