High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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High cholesterol levels could contribute to heart problems, including heart attacks and high blood pressure. There is another disease which may develop from having high levels which if left untreated could lead to gangrene.
High cholesterol can cause a dangerous accumulation of cholesterol and other deposits on the walls of your arteries (atherosclerosis).
These deposits can reduce blood flow through your arteries, which can cause complications including pain in different areas of the body.
Sometimes patients with a high cholesterol level will complain of body aches affecting their lives greatly.
Peripheral artery disease, or PAD, is an accumulation of plaque (fats and cholesterol) in the arteries in your arms.
This makes it harder for your blood to carry oxygen and nutrients to the tissues in those areas.
PAD is a long-term disease.
If your arteries become narrowed or blocked with plaque or a blood clot, blood can’t get through to nourish organs and other tissues.
This causes damage and eventually gangrene.
PAD is widely recognised as a disease of the blood flow that affects the legs, and occasionally the arms.
Peripheral artery disease includes pain when using your arms, such as aching and cramping when knitting, writing or doing other manual tasks.
If peripheral artery disease progresses, pain may even occur when you are at rest or when you’re lying down.
It may be intense enough to disrupt sleep.
Another unusual symptom of PAD which applies to men is erectile dysfunction.
Although if you have this condition, it does not necessarily mean that you have peripheral arterial disease.
Furthermore, you should consider the possibility if you notice the colour of your skin changing e.g. if it is turning blue or pale.
Brittle or slow-growing toenails are also a symptom of PAD.
The first step in reducing your cholesterol is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet, said the NHS.
The health body continued: “It’s important to keep your diet low in fatty food.
“You can swap food containing saturated fat for fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals. This will also help prevent high cholesterol returning.
“Other lifestyle changes, such as taking regular exercise and giving up smoking, can also make a big difference in helping to lower your cholesterol.
“If these measures don’t reduce your cholesterol and you continue to have a high risk of developing heart disease, your GP may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication, such as statins.”
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