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High cholesterol symptoms: The ‘minor growths’ on your face that indicate high levels

High cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol can build up in your arteries, which, over time, can cause a blockage. Depending on where this happens, it may trigger a stroke or a heart attack. Unfortunately, the only way of accurately identifying high cholesterol is to have a blood test.

However, consistently high cholesterol levels can occasionally spill over to the surface.

This often takes the form of Xanthelasma, a “sharply demarcated yellowish collection of cholesterol underneath the skin, usually on or around the eyelids,” N. Bendsoe and K. Svanberg wrote in their book ‘Lasers for Medical Applications‘.

They continued: “Although not harmful or painful, these minor growths may be disfiguring.”

However, high cholesterol does not usually cause symptoms. You can only reliably find out if you have it from a blood test.

READ MORE: High cholesterol symptoms: Signs of high levels found in your head, hands or feet

“Your GP might suggest having a test if they think your cholesterol level could be high,” explains the NHS.

According to the health body, this may be because of your age, weight or another condition you have (like high blood pressure or diabetes).

Ask your GP surgery for a cholesterol test if:

  • You have not had a test before and you’re over 40, overweight, or have high cholesterol or heart problems run in your family
  • You’re more likely to have high cholesterol.

What happened next

Following a formal diagnosis, you will be advised to overhaul your lifestyle in a bid to bring high cholesterol levels under control.

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There are several foods which are not just part of a healthy diet, they can actively help to lower your cholesterol too.

According to UK cholesterol charity Heart UK, cutting down on saturated fat and replacing some of it with unsaturated fats is a great way to lower your cholesterol.

Saturated fat is the kind of fat found in butter, lard, ghee, fatty meats and cheese.

Foods high in unsaturated fat include:

  • Vegetable oils such as olive, sunflower, corn, rapeseed, nut and seed oils
  • Avocado, nuts and seeds
  • Fat spreads made from vegetable oils, such as sunflower and olive oil
  • Oily fish.

“Oily fish are a good source of healthy unsaturated fats, specifically a type called omega-3 fats,” notes Heart UK.

“Aim to eat two portions of fish per week, at least one of which should be oily.”

Oily fish and other key unsaturated fats can be found in a Mediterranean-style diet.

A Mediterranean diet incorporates the traditional healthy living habits of people from countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, including France, Greece, Italy and Spain.

In general, it’s high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. It usually includes a low intake of meat and dairy foods.

An active lifestyle can also help lower your cholesterol level.

“Activities can range from walking and cycling to more vigorous exercise, such as running and energetic dancing,” explains the NHS.

“Doing 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week can improve your cholesterol levels.

Author: Adam Chapman
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Health
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High cholesterol: ‘Yellowish growths’ is a warning sign says the CDC – what to look for

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed

If you’re warned about having high cholesterol levels, implicit in that warning is a specific type of cholesterol. The fatty substance, which is found in our blood, keeps our cells healthy. However, LDL cholesterol, also referred to as the “bad” cholesterol, can build up inside the walls of the blood vessels – a process that contributed to heart disease.

High cholesterol is pernicious because it does not usually produce any outward signs.

“You may not know you have unhealthy cholesterol levels until it is too late – when you have a heart attack or stroke,” warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, some people develop yellowish growths on their skin called xanthomas, which are cholesterol-rich deposits, explains the CDC.

“People with xanthomas may have high cholesterol levels,” it adds.

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How to diagnose high cholesterol

Unfortunately, most people will not experience symptoms of high cholesterol, so the only way to measure blood cholesterol levels is to get a blood test.

“Your GP or practice nurse will take a blood sample, usually by pricking your finger or you might be asked to go for a blood test at your local hospital,” explains the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

According to the BHF, your blood is then checked for levels of good (HDL) cholesterol, bad (non-HDL) cholesterol and triglycerides (another type of blood fat), as well as getting a total cholesterol result.

HDL cholesterol is often dubbed the “good” cholesterol because it counters the harmful effects of LDL cholesterol.

Foods high in saturated fat include:

  • Pies
  • Fried foods
  • Sausages and fatty cuts of meat
  • Butter.

Instead, you should aim to follow a Mediterranean-style diet, advises the NHS.

This means eating more bread, fruit, vegetables and fish, and less meat.

“Replace butter and cheese with products based on vegetable and plant oil, such as olive oil,” adds the NHS.

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