High cholesterol: Pain in arm and chest indicates levels are too high and diet must change

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High cholesterol refers to there being an imbalance of good and bad cholesterol, with the scales weighed down by the latter. This is because cholesterol can build up in the artery wall, restricting the blood flow to your heart, brain and the rest of your body.

A high level of cholesterol in the blood doesn’t have obvious symptoms, but it can increase your risk for conditions that do have symptoms, including angina caused by heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and other circulatory ailments.

If you detect soft, yellowish skin growths on yourself or on your children, ask about being tested for high cholesterol.

You should also contact your doctor if you develop symptoms of heart disease, stroke, or atherosclerosis in other blood vessels, such as left-sided chest pain, pressure, or fullness; dizziness; unsteady gait; slurred speech; or pain in the lower legs.

Any of these conditions may be associated with high cholesterol, and each requires immediate medical intervention.

Dietician Helen Bond said: “Cholesterol can change quite quickly, which is why exercise and eating healthy should be embedded into your everyday routine.

“But we’re talking a few weeks, rather than days – the odd meal or day where you eat a bit more than usual (including too much saturated fat) won’t make a difference to your cholesterol levels in the long run, but if your healthy eating and exercise habits have totally gone out the window during the lockdown, this could have a big impact on your cholesterol levels and your weight.

“Therefore, if your habits have changed over lockdown, now’s the time to reinstate healthy eating habits and get daily exercise (within UK Government guidelines to stay active and stay safe) before those new overindulgences become a habit that’s hard to break.”

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