High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
It’s vitally important everyone monitors their cholesterol levels regularly to lower the risk of heart diseases and blockages in the blood vessels. High cholesterol levels typically don’t cause any symptoms, and, in most cases, they only cause emergency events. But there are a certain set of physical symptoms of high cholesterol, which indicate high cholesterol levels in the body and warn us to follow the guidelines to control the cholesterol. Experiencing any of these four physical symptoms, however, could indicate your levels are dangerously high.
Pain in Hands and Feet
“Accumulation of cholesterol can clog the blood vessels of legs and hands,” said Medicover Hospitals.
The health site continued: “This build-up of cholesterol can occur continuously and make the hands and feet painful.
“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 affects the normal flow of blood in the nerves and cause tingling.
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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 a heart attack.
A Frequent headache in the back of the head
“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.”
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Cholesterol is carried through your blood, attached to proteins and this combination of proteins and cholesterol is called a lipoprotein.
There are different types of cholesterol, based on what the lipoprotein carries.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). LDL is known as “bad” cholesterol, transports cholesterol particles throughout your body.
LDL cholesterol builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol, picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver.
A lipid profile also typically measures triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood.
Having a high triglyceride level can also increase your risk of heart disease.
The Mayo Clinic lists the risk factors for high cholesterol which include:
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
Eating saturated fat, found in animal products, and trans fats, found in some commercially baked cookies, crackers and microwave popcorn, can raise a person’s cholesterol levels.
Foods that are high in cholesterol, such as red meat and full-fat dairy products, will also increase cholesterol.
A Mediterranean diet is often recommended for those concerned about their levels and wanting to lower them.
Exercise is also key in helping to lower levels and reduce serious health risks.
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