Tom Kerridge is told he is at 'high risk' of heart disease
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There are around 7.6 million people living with heart disease in the UK: four million men and 3.6 million women. But how do you spot the signs of heart disease? Did you know that these five subtle changes to your skin can indicate an unhealthy heart?
This week, the NHS announced that from October, all NHS pharmacies will provide blood pressure checks to over-40s. This is part of an effort to prevent cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and identify those at risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Statistics from the British Heart Foundation show that one in four people in the UK die from heart and circulatory diseases. That’s over 160,000 people per year, and one person loses their life to heart disease every three minutes.
Heart disease is a major health problem in the UK. Spotting the symptoms early and getting treatment can help to manage the symptoms of heart disease and reduce the risk of heart attacks or other serious complications.
Did you know that your skin can give you clues about the health of your heart? These are the five subtle changes to your skin that you should never ignore.
1 – Swelling in your feet and lower legs
Swelling in your feet, clomid and arimidex on steroid cycle ankles and lower legs can be a tell-tale sign that your heart isn’t working as well as it should.
One symptom of heart diseases is a buildup of fluid in the legs, which causes visible swelling.
If you notice your feet and lower legs are swollen, and there’s no obvious reason like an injury to that area, you should have it checked out by a doctor.
2 – Blue or purple patches on your skin
When you have blue or purple patches on your skin, it can be a sign of a blockage in a blood vessel.
Some people experience their extremities turning blue when they’re extremely cold, but if it’s happening to you while you’re at a normal temperature, it could be a sign that your blood isn’t getting enough oxygen.
If you get the patches on your toes, it is named blue toe syndrome and if left untreated it could cause the skin and tissue of the affected area to die.
3 – Blue or purple net-like pattern
This net-like pattern makes your skin look mottled and discoloured. Again, some people might experience this when they’re really chilly, and it can also be a side effect of taking certain medicines.
However, a blue or purple-ish net-like pattern appearing without an obvious cause could be a symptom of heart disease. The technical term is ‘cholesterol embolisation syndrome’.
The pattern on your skin is a sign that small arteries have become blocked, which can cause damage to tissues and organs.
4 – Yellow waxy growths
Yellow or orange waxy growths might appear on your skin if you have unhealthy levels of cholesterol. These lumps are usually painless, but that doesn’t mean they are harmless.
They tend to grow in the corners of your eyes, the back of your lower legs, or in the lines of your palms.
See your doctor right away if you develop these growths. They will need to run some tests to check your cholesterol.
Getting your cholesterol under control should then lead to the growths receding, but if not then a dermatologist can help.
5 – Waxy bumps
A sudden appearance of a cluster of waxy bumps on your skin, that looks a bit like a rash, can be a sign of very high cholesterol or diabetes.
These bumps are actually made up of cholesterol, caused by a worryingly-high level of a type of cholesterol known as triglycerides in the blood.
High cholesterol puts you at risk for serious heart diseases, so you must get these seen to straight away.
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