Dr Chris reveals how eyes can indicate high cholesterol levels
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High cholesterol is when a person has too much of a fatty substance known as cholesterol in their blood. Cholesterol can build up in your arteries which, over time, can cause a blockage. This may trigger a stroke or a heart attack. Early symptoms you may be at risk include any of these three walking-related signs.
“Achilles tendons are the most common sites of tendon xanthomas,” explains a study published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease.
Tendon xanthomas are cholesterol deposits in tendons.
They appear as slowly enlarging papules or subcutaneous nodules attached to tendons.
According to the study researchers, “Achilles tendon thickening is the early characteristic of Achilles tendon xanthomas”.
Tendons connect the muscles to the bones and are made up of a tough, fibrous material.
Tendons serve as tension bands which help the muscles and bones work together during movement.
The Achilles is the strongest of all tendons and is located at the back of the legs and connects the calf to the heel bone.
Tendon problems can arise from sudden injury or repetitive movements.
Having high cholesterol is known to put a person’s tendons at risk.
Elevated cholesterol may cause issues like Achilles tendonitis, which is when your Achilles tendon becomes inflamed and irritated.
- Pain climbing stairs
- Pain in your heel after physical activity
- Swelling in your heel
- Weakness in your lower leg.
Small lumps in the Achilles tendon are sometimes caused by high cholesterol levels, resulting in cholesterol deposits in the tendon itself, said Vascular Health Clinics
The health site continued: “Aside from treating cholesterol itself, treatment for xanthomas involves taking a biopsy of the lesion but leaving the nodules intact.
“Xanthoma of the Achilles tendon is a rather rare, interesting orthopaedic condition that has important ramifications in internal medicine and dermatology because the lesion is associated with a specific disturbance of lipid metabolism.”
How to lower your cholesterol levels
A few small swaps can make a big difference to your cholesterol level, said the British Heart Foundation.
It advised simple methods to help naturally lower your levels which include:
- Swapping butter to vegetable oil spreads like sunflower, olive or rapeseed oil spreads
- Switching whole milk to skimmed milk
- Using natural yoghurt instead of sour cream or double cream
- Replacing regular mince with leaner, lower-fat options
- Swapping red or processed meat for fish, turkey or chicken without the skin, or plant-based proteins such as lentils, soya or Quorn
- Switch your crisps for unsalted nuts
- Having reduced-fat cheese instead of regular cheese
- Ordering less takeaways.
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