The tricky thing with high cholesterol is the symptoms can be hard to spot, and instead sudden emergency events, like a heart attack, reveal the issue. High cholesterol is sometimes even nicknamed ‘the silent killer’ for this reason. Do you know this surprising sexual symptom that could mean you have high cholesterol?
The dangers of high cholesterol are well-documented. Unchecked cholesterol can lead to heart attacks and strokes, which can be fatal.
Doctors can test your cholesterol with a blood test. These are offered to those considered ‘at risk’: who are overweight, over 40 or have a history of heart disease.
However, if you aren’t considered at risk you can still develop high cholesterol, which is why it’s so important to spot the signs.
High cholesterol can be really dangerous, but it can also be managed by making changes to your diet, or with medicines.
The key thing is spotting the signs of high cholesterol before it causes major complications.
Cholesterol itself doesn’t have obvious symptoms, but some conditions can develop as a result of high cholesterol.
One of those conditions is erectile dysfunction: if you suffer from this sexual problem, it could be a symptom of underlying health issues.
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How can I lower my cholesterol?
The good news is that you can bring your cholesterol down, or prevent high cholesterol, by making some changes to your lifestyle.
Research has shown that vegan and vegetarian diets are linked with lower cholesterol and lower risk of heart disease. Even if you aren’t ready to cut it out completely, reducing the amount of meat you eat is a step in the right direction.
- Eat fewer saturated fats – these are found in things like fatty and processed meat, butter and cream
- Eat lots of fibre – high-fibre foods include lentils, beans, fruit and vegetables
- Do more exercise – even taking the stairs instead of an escalator is a great start to getting more steps in, walking and jogging are also great ways to get your blood pumping
- Stop smoking – it might be difficult, but your body will thank you!
- Cut down on alcohol – this will help your liver to stay in tip-top shape for filtering out bad cholesterol