High cholesterol: The simple shin test indicative of dangerously high levels

High cholesterol: The simple shin test indicative of dangerously high levels

11/07/2021

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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A simple shin test, suggested by Dr Chris Illiades, can help determine whether or not your cholesterol levels are astronomically high and require immediate medical supervision. Dr Illiades says to press a finger against your shin to see if a depression or dent is left behind, known as a “pitting edema”. If so, this could indicate congestive heart failure – where the heart muscle is struggling to pump blood as efficiently as it should.

Weighing in on the health condition, Dr Michael Cutler confirmed that heart failure is a serious condition.

The NHS stated that the condition “tends to gradually get worse over time” and that there is no cure.

The main symptoms of heart failure include:

  • Breathlessness after rest or activity
  • Feeling tired most of the time
  • Finding exercise exhausting
  • Swollen ankles and legs.

Some people might experience a persistent cough, a fast heart rate, and dizziness.

Medical staff can order blood tests, an ECG and echocardiogram to confirm a heart failure diagnosis.

Treatment for heart failure aims to control the symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease.

Typically, treatment is a combination of medications, lifestyle changes, and surgery.

People with heart failure may be offered a bypass operation or a heart transplant.

Heart disease “can severely limit the activities you’re able to do and is often, eventually, fatal”.

In order to minimise the risk of developing heart failure, you need to limit cholesterol levels.

The experts at the Mayo Clinic propose exercising on most days of the week to improve cholesterol.

By exercising, you are helping to raise the number of high-density lipoprotein that can pick up “bad” cholesterol and transport it to the liver to be broken down.

In tandem with 30 minutes of daily exercise, at least five times per week, you can help reduce “bad” cholesterol by being mindful of what you eat.

You will need to reduce your consumption of red meat and full-fat dairy products, which are high in saturated fats.

In addition, the consumption of foods rich in soluble fibre should be increased, as it can help reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream.

Foods rich in soluble fibre include: oatmeal, kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples, and pears.

“Sometimes healthy lifestyle changes aren’t enough to lower cholesterol levels,” the experts warned.

“If your doctor recommends medication to help lower your cholesterol, take it as prescribed while continuing your lifestyle changes.”

By continuing to implement a healthy diet and exercise regime, you can keep your medication dose lower.

If you are struggling to lead a healthy lifestyle, talk to your doctor for support.

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