High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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You can find out if you have high cholesterol from a blood test. As high cholesterol levels tend not to cause any symptoms and in most cases, only cause emergency events, it is important to get yours checked. Nonetheless, there are some possible warning signs of high cholesterol symptoms.
Medicover Hospitals health site has outlined some physical symptoms that can indicate high cholesterol levels.
These may occur in your hands or feet, as well as in other areas of your body.
If you experience pain in your hand or feet, this may be due to an accumulation of cholesterol that can clog the blood vessels of legs and hands, according to the site.
It says: “This build-up of cholesterol can occur continuously and make the hands and feet painful.”
Medicover Hospitals also lists three other warning signs of high cholesterol.
It says frequent tingling may be a sign, as interruptions in the blood flow to certain parts of the body makes a tingling sensation in hands and legs.
“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,” it says.
Moreover, you may experience chest pain in the left side.
“Chest pain, especially on the left side indicates blockage of blood vessels around the heart and can cause pain.
“Sometimes, the pain may even spread up to the neck. The high levels of cholesterol in the blood can cause chest pain and can also be a sign of heart attack,” reads the site.
Finally, it says that a frequent headache in the back of the head could be an indicator of the condition.“
The blockage of blood vessels in the area around the head causes a headache in the back of the head. This occurs when the blood vessels are clogged by the cholesterol plaque. If this is left unchecked, the blood vessels can rupture and cause a stroke,” it states.
When LDL or “bad” cholesterol builds on the walls of the arteries, inflammatory substances are released in the body which can hike the risk of a heart attack.
As a general guide, the NHS recommends that total cholesterol levels should be 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults.
In the UK, three out of five adults have total cholesterol levels of 5mmol/L.The NHS says high cholesterol is mainly caused by eating fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol.
“You can lower your cholesterol by eating healthily and getting more exercise. Some people also need to take medicine,” it says.
The main things to do to help combat high cholesterol is to change your diet and exercise.
According to cholesterol charity Heart UK, you should eat more unsaturated fatty foods than saturated ones.
The charity says you should aim to eat two portions of fish per week and one of those portions should be oily fish.
The best way to find out if you really have high cholesterol levels is by going to see your GP and getting a blood test done.
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