High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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Extremely high levels of cholesterol will lead to xanthelasma, which are yellowish-orange growths on the eyelids. Usually painless, it is worth checking if you have a few already. Experts at the American Academy of Dermatology Association noted that these skin growths may also appear elsewhere on the face. If, however, you do notice them, you need to get your cholesterol levels checked over by a medical professional pronto.
A medical professional is likely to prescribe statins if you develop xanthelasma.
Seeing such growths are a key indicator that you are at high risk of a heart attack or stroke.
People showcasing extremely high cholesterol levels will be prescribed statins.
Statins work by reducing the amount of cholesterol the body makes, the NHS explained.
However, without key lifestyle changes, statins can only do so much.
To help lower cholesterol levels, alongside medication, the national health body suggests:
- Eating less fatty food
- Exercising more
- Do not smoke
- Cut down on alcohol.
High cholesterol can also be identified by the look of someone’s eyes.
In young people, a visibly grey or white arc above the cornea could be indicative of high cholesterol.
The Mayo Clinic explained that the cornea is a “clear, dome-like covering over the front of the eye”.
The arcus senilis, as it is called, may eventually become a complete ring around the coloured portion (i.e. iris) of the eye.
Fairly common in older adults, if seen in younger patients under the age of 45, it could be a warning of high cholesterol.
Arcus senilis is “caused by fat deposits deep in the edge of the cornea”.
Its presence could be a sign of familial hyperlipidemia, where high cholesterol is related to genetics and not lifestyle.
Familial hyperlipidemia (FH)
Informative charity Heart UK said that FH is an inherited condition, which can lead to extremely high cholesterol.
Without treatment, FH can lead to heart disease at a very young age.
FH is caused by a faulty gene that has issues with removing cholesterol from the blood.
Early diagnosis is imperative to help prevent life-threatening consequences.
A lipid profile blood test is needed to determine FH and cholesterol levels.
A physical examination might take place too, where the doctor may look for xanthelasma.
Other physical signs your doctor will be looking for include:
- Swollen tensions on the knuckles of the hands
- Small fatty lumps on the tendons at the back of the ankle
- White arc shape or ring around the edge of the iris.
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