High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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Although silent, high cholesterol can wreak havoc in your arteries, hiking your risk of severe health conditions. From heart problems to stroke, these conditions can be triggered by the fatty substance blocking your blood vessels. Here’s one warning sign which could help spot high cholesterol.
Cholesterol isn’t all bad. In fact, your body needs some of it to function properly.
There are two types of this substance – “bad” cholesterol and “good” cholesterol.
“Bad” cholesterol is the tricky, fatty part that can boost your risk of health problems, according to the NHS.
The problem occurs when your cholesterol levels become too high. One place where high levels can be spotted is your eyes, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Even though the main organ affected by high cholesterol is your heart, your eyes can also experience issues due to the fatty substance.
The health portal explains that this can present as yellow deposits around your eyelids.
Ophthalmologist Nicole Bajic said: “Cholesterol is a type of lipid that’s a key ingredient in making steroid hormones, vitamin D and bile salts, which help us break down fat in our gut.
“Our bodies have cholesterol moving through our bodies via lipoproteins, including high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is the ‘good’ kind of cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is the ‘bad’ kind.
“And when your body’s balance is off, you can develop those fatty deposits.”
These small, yellowish deposits are also called xanthelasma.
The doctor explains they appear in the skin around your eyes.
The most common location where they can be spotted includes the upper eyelids and the inner part of the eyelids closest to the nose.
Dr Bajic added: “We’re not exactly sure why it occurs in some people with high cholesterol and not others.
“But when you see it on someone who does not have a known history of high cholesterol, it is a good idea to get that checked as there is roughly a 50 percent chance they have it.”
The NHS explains that as high cholesterol doesn’t cause many symptoms, the only way to find out for sure is by having a blood test.
You can have either blood taken from your arm or a finger-prick test.
How to lower high cholesterol?
Some people might have to take a statin medication to avoid any further risks.
However, there are lifestyle changes that can be introduced into your routine for busting levels.
These changes range from a healthy diet to quitting smoking, the NHS explains.
When it comes to food, the key thing is to cut down on fatty food packed with saturated fats.
If you get high cholesterol confirmed, your doctor will talk to you about ways you can keep your levels in check.
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