High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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Before high cholesterol leads to a heart attack or stroke, the onset of coronary heart disease is likely. As such, one recurrent sensation is a warning sign of the condition. Considered one of the “most common” symptoms of coronary heart disease, according to the NHS, recurrent chest pain is a big signifier. Medically known as angina, the health body explained it occurs when the coronary arteries – supplying blood to the heart – become partially blocked.
The blockages are likely to be fatty deposits of cholesterol alongside waste cells.
The recurrent chest pain can be likened to indigestion, with attacks ranging from mild to severe.
In severe cases, the centre of the chest may feel heavy or tight. This feeling may also spread to the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach.
Episodes of angina are usually triggered by physical activity or stressful situations.
While angina usually passes within 10 minutes, especially if you begin to rest, it is a clear indication that you have dangerously high cholesterol levels.
If cholesterol levels continue to rise from this point onwards, there is a significant risk of the arteries becoming completely blocked.
Should the blood supply to the heart be completely blocked off, a heart attack will ensue and bits of the heart muscle will die.
The symptoms of a heart attack can be very similar to angina, the health body stated.
However, the pain is often more severe and may happen when you are resting.
During a heart attack, other symptoms might appear, including:
- Pain in other parts of the body – it can feel as if the pain is travelling from your chest to your arms, jaw, neck, back or stomach
“If heart pains last longer than 15 minutes, it may be the start of a heart attack,” the NHS warned.
How to lower cholesterol levels
If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, especially if you already have angina, now is the best time to make some changes.
The British Heart Foundation said that an angina diagnosis is a “wake-up call”.
“Making changes to your lifestyle can help prevent your angina from getting worse and save you from having a heart attack,” the charity added.
As well as taking medications prescribed to you, surgery could also be an option.
Operations such as coronary angioplasty or coronary artery bypass surgery could add years onto your life.
One of the most important things you can do to help improve coronary heart disease is to stop smoking if you smoke.
“Any type of smoking will make your condition worse,” the British Heart Foundation warned.
“This includes cigarettes, pipes and cigars, and all other types of tobacco products such as shisha.”
Other measures include exercising regularly and reducing levels of stress.
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