High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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High cholesterol means you have too much of a waxy substance called cholesterol in your blood. High cholesterol is a precursor to heart disease so its vital to stamp it out. Unfortunately, an absence of symptoms often hinders this effort. Although it’s rare, you can experience a breakout of cholesterol symptoms on the body.
A case report published in the journal Advances in Dermatology and Allergology documents the physical symptoms of high cholesterol.
The case report presents a 24-year-old woman with a skin eruption that had appeared a few months earlier.
She presented with xanthomas – a condition in which fatty growths of cholesterol develop underneath the skin.
The woman was admitted to the clinic in February 2012 with numerous scattered yellow papules (a raised lesion or new growth) mainly on the lower and upper limbs.
“The eruption occurred in a very short time after appendectomy,” the case study states.
The lesions were 2–5 mm size, dome-shaped and with no subjective complaints.
Laboratory tests suggested high cholesterol, yet with no involvement of abdominal organs.
After clinical diagnosis, the oral therapy with statins (atorvastatin and rosuvastatin) was started.
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Statins reduce the production of cholesterol inside the liver, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
The patient was also referred to the Clinic of Metabolic Diseases for further diagnosis and combined high cholesterol therapy.
As a result of the therapy, the skin lesions cleared up and a gradual normalisation of the cholesterol level in blood serum was obtained.
Xanthoma – everything you need to know
According to the Winchester Hospital, the most common places xanthomas can appear are the elbows, joints, tendons, knees, hands, feet, and buttocks.
“They range from very small to up to three inches in size.”
According to the health body, xanthoma is more common in older adults.
Your chances of having xanthomas are higher if you:
- Have one of the metabolic problems listed above
- Have very high cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
Getting tested for high cholesterol
In more cases than not, high cholesterol will not present symptoms. You can only find out if you have it from a blood test.
“Your GP might suggest having a test if they think your cholesterol level could be high,” explains the NHS.
How to lower high cholesterol
According to the NHS, cutting down on fatty food, especially food that contains a type of fat called saturated fat, can reduce high cholesterol levels.
Saturated fat is the kind of fat found in butter, lard, ghee, fatty meats and cheese.
“You can still have foods that contain a healthier type of fat called unsaturated fat,” notes the NHS.
Try to eat more:
- Oily fish, like mackerel and salmon
- Brown rice, bread and pasta
- Nuts and seeds
- Fruits and vegetables.
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