Health

Warning signs in your breath that mean you may have high cholesterol


High cholesterol levels are considered an indicator of heart and other circulatory diseases which are responsible for a quarter of UK deaths. An expert reveals the warning signs to look out for

Signs in your breath, arms and jaw can indicate high cholesterol

Dubbed a silent killer due to the lack of symptoms, high cholesterol either runs in the family or is caused by lifestyle choices – such as by eating fatty food, not exercising enough, smoking and drinking alcohol.

When your cholesterol levels are high, it can cause your blood vessels to thicken and cut off blood supply to the heart and brain.

But since there tends to be no symptoms, people often don’t realise that their cholesterol is high until its too late.

If left untreated, high cholesterol can result in health emergencies like a heart attack or stroke.

Though signs may be hard to spot, there might be some indications of a blockage caused by high cholesterol.

How is your breathing pattern a sign of high cholesterol?








The first sign of high cholesterol is often a heart attack or stroke
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The first sign of high cholesterol tends to be a heart attack or stroke, often caused by a large blockage in your artery.

The American College of Cardiology Foundation advises that we can keep an eye out for symptoms like chest pain, pain in the arms or jaw, nausea, sweating, or shortness of breath.

These issues usually occur when blood supply to the heart or brain is slowed or blocked, so it’s best to contact your GP for a cholesterol test if you’ve noticed any of these signs.

How to test for high cholesterol?








A blood test can help you find out if you high cholesterol
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Image:

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You can find out if you have high cholesterol through a blood test. If you’re over 40, you may be able to have a test during your NHS health check,

Dr Rhianna McClymont, Lead GP at Livi , the digital healthcare provider, said: “There are generally no outward signs of a problem – that’s why it’s often best to get tested.

“Your GP can measure cholesterol using a blood test and will consider your age, sex, weight, blood pressure, personal and family medical history before deciding on an action.”

How to lower your cholesterol?

Dr. McClymont gives the following tips to lower your cholesterol :

1. Cut back on saturated fats

Saturated fats are found in meats, cheese, vegetable oils and other animal- based foods. Cutting back on your saturated fat intake could reduce the risk of heart disease by 17 percent, and reducing the amount of fats you use could lower it by as much as 30 percent.

2. Eat more fibre

Dr. McClymont says eating three grams of soluble fibre a day – the amount you get from three apples – can help lower cholesterol. Other fibre-rich food she suggests include wholegrain versions of foods, like cereals, pasta and bread, as well as beans, oats, fruit and vegetables into your diet.



3. Exercise regularly

Just two hours exercise like aerobics in your week reduce the risk of heart disease by 7.6 percent in women and 5.1 percent in men. It also helps to increase your levels of HDL cholesterol, which is the form that protects your heart.

4. Eat home cooking instead of junk food

Processed foods are high in saturated fats, refined grains, added sugars and salt, so instead cook from scratch and use fresh ingredients where possible.

Dr McClymont advises that its worth trying more plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet which includes brightly coloured fruits, vegetables and wholegrains, alongside servings of fish and healthy fats, like olive oil, can reduce blood cholesterol by up to 15 percent.

She added: “If diet and lifestyle changes aren’t enough, your doctor might prescribe you a statin, as they block production of the harmful LDL cholesterol.”


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