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High cholesterol: How your nails could be a major indicator for high levels – what to spot

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High cholesterol can often go undetected but ignoring it can cause dire consequences including a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Your nails can be a surprising tool determining your risk. What to spot?

The study involved a patient with cholesterol crystal embolisation who demonstrated splinter haemorrhages of multiple fingernails and toenails as part of her clinical presentations.

“Our patient’s clinical presentation, and review of the medical literature, raise the possibility that cholesterol crystal embolisation may be associated with splinter haemorrhages,” noted the study.

It concluded that a person’s nails may have hidden clues pertaining to dangerously high cholesterol levels.

What to spot

These splinters present on the nails are small spots of blood that can appear on both the toenails and fingernails.

They are the result of tiny blood vessels that become damaged and burst, leaving small specks of blood that are visible through the nail.

A person may notice a dark red or brown line along their nail groove.

The dark streak closely resembles a splinter.

Despite its bad reputation, cholesterol is actually a necessary substance your body needs to function properly.

It’s particularly important for your skin, brain and nerves.

To help people with this distinction, healthcare professionals have begun differentiating between “good” and “bad” cholesterol.

LDL – which stands for low density lipoprotein – is commonly referred to as bad cholesterol.

If there is too much LDL in your arteries, it will clog them up, which is what we know as high cholesterol, and what cholesterol tests are looking for.



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