25.11.2022
The ‘first noticeable’ sign of a dangerous cholesterol build-up could strike in your hip

High cholesterol isn’t big on announcing its presence but it needs to be detected before laying the groundwork for a slew of complications, ranging from heart disease to stroke. While the fatty culprit rarely shows symptoms, warning signs sometimes appear once cholesterol starts clogging your arteries. One tell-tale sign of this process can strike in your hip.

Leaving high cholesterol untamed can promote plaque build-up in your arteries, which can trigger the “first noticeable” sign.

Dr Rodney Foale, consultant cardiologist at The Harley Street Clinic (part of HCA Healthcare UK) said: “If left untreated, over time high cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis – where arteries become blocked with fatty substances called plaques.”

The main ingredients hidden in plaques include fatty substances, cellular waste products, calcium, fibrin and cholesterol.

Once your arteries get filled with this mixture, they become hard and stiff.

This doesn’t create an ideal environment for blood flow, with your legs taking the hit.

“In some instances, people who don’t treat their high cholesterol can risk developing ‘peripheral arterial disease’ (PAD) – a form of cardiovascular disease – where a build-up of fatty deposits made from cholesterol and other waste substances block the arteries and restrict blood supply to leg muscles,” said Dr Foale.

The “first noticeable symptom” of PAD is claudication, which describes muscle pain triggered by a lack of oxygen, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

This type of pain can strike in your hips and often crops up during an activity, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Another tell-tale sign is that this pain tends to disappear after a few minutes of rest.

The NHS reports: “The pain can range from mild to severe, and usually goes away after a few minutes when you rest.”

The Cleveland Clinic adds that this warning sign can be severe enough to stop you from participating in your usual daily activities, such as “golfing or chasing after grandchildren”.

READ MORE: The toilet sign that’s an ‘early’ indicator of Covid – visible on ‘first day’ of infection

However, your hips aren’t the only area that could break the news of cholesterol build-up in your arteries as your buttocks, calves, thighs and feet could also ring alarm bells.

Apart from pain in different areas of your body, PAD can also lead to other tell-tale signs, according to Dr Foale:

“Unfortunately, PAD can be difficult to detect as many people don’t experience any symptoms,” the expert added.

This silent nature makes PAD very similar to high cholesterol levels which means the most reliable way of determining your cholesterol is through a blood test.

The good news is that once you get the condition confirmed, there’s plenty you can do to minimise your risk of serious problems and get the fatty substance in check.

Dr Foale said: “If treated, through adopting a healthy lifestyle changes, including a balanced diet, doing regular exercise, or medication, high cholesterol levels can be reduced and doesn’t always lead to any serious issues.

“Cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins are the current standard of treatment and are commonly used in addition to these lifestyle changes.”

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  • 7 часов, 58 минут назад 01.12.2022Health Care
    Biden administration prepares to end monkeypox emergency declaration

    The Biden administration is eyeing an end to its public health emergency declaration for mpox, a sign that officials believe they’ve brought the monthslong outbreak under control.

    Health officials are likely to issue a 60-day notice later this week for winding down the declaration, two people with knowledge of the matter told POLITICO. Such a move would put it on track to officially expire by Jan. 31.

    The decision is not yet final, and could still change, the people cautioned. But the discussion comes as U.S. cases of mpox — the virus known as monkeypox until recently — have hit new lows, easing a health crisis that predominantly gripped the community of men who have sex with men throughout much of the spring and summer.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recording just a handful of new infections per day, down from more than 400 average daily cases at the peak of the outbreak. The decline has also alleviated initial fears that the virus would spill into the broader population, further complicating efforts to contain the spread.

    The Biden administration plans to keep its White House-led mpox response operation intact into next year, with officials stressing more work is still needed to drive down cases and guard against a future resurgence.

    But with average daily case counts now in the teens, senior Biden officials are reevaluating whether to keep the emergency declaration in place. Ending the emergency designation for mpox is not expected to have any major impact on the current response effort, the people said.

    Some administration officials also see the potential unwinding of the mpox emergency declaration as a test run for eventually ending the yearslong Covid emergency — a more complex challenge that Biden aides expect to happen at some point next year.

    In a statement, a Health and Human Services Department spokesperson said the department was committed to giving states a 60-day notice before any termination or expiration of the mpox public health emergency.

    The Biden administration first declared the mpox outbreak a public health emergency in August, amid growing criticism over its sluggish early attempts to contain the virus. Health officials at the time were struggling to track the spread of cases more than a month after mpox’s arrival in the U.S., as well as expand testing and accelerate the distribution of a treatment.

    The Aug. 4 emergency declaration aimed to free up new resources and speed the delivery of vaccines at what Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf called a “critical inflection point.” The White House around the same time also moved to take direct control of the response, appointing two coordinators to direct the government’s efforts.

    Federal and state health officials have since pushed aggressively to limit the virus’ transmission and vaccinate at-risk groups. Though the U.S. has recorded nearly 30,000 mpox cases to date, the most of any country by far, the number of new infections has dropped steadily throughout the fall.

    The health department opted to renew the emergency declaration for another 90 days in early November, keeping it in place through the beginning of next year.

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  • 9 часов, 27 минут назад 01.12.2022Health Care
    Man, 42, receives fatty liver diagnosis after ‘severe’ rash spreads to 50% of his body

    Sadly, the most noticeable symptoms of liver disease emerge only once the condition is advanced. At this stage, scarring of the liver is likely if intervention is delayed, but symptoms can still be non-specific. Understanding the full scope of presentations associated with liver disease can help avoid such complications like liver scarring.

    Some doctors believe the liver is the most important organ due to its role in detoxification, energy storage and digestion.

    Knowing the earliest signs of liver disease is therefore imperative in preserving the function of the vital organ.

    Common signs of liver disease include:

    Despite being less widely discussed, skin rashes like psoriasis occur in a considerable amount of cases.

    The Liver Doctor describes the case of a 42-year-old male who presented to a clinic with severe psoriasis that had spread across half of his body.

    “Larry’s skin was also continuously shedding scales, which caused him deep embarrassment and anxiety.”

    Sometimes, however, the patches can also look purple or dark brown on brown and black skin, and the scales may look grey.

    According to the NHS, “some people find their psoriasis causes itching and soreness”, triggering significant discomfort in some cases.

    The more psoriasis a person has on their body, the greater the risk they will not only have liver disease but severe liver disease.

    In fact, research states that having psoriasis on at least 10 percent of the body can nearly double the risk of death from the condition.

    It’s been shown that having certain forms of psoriasis can raise the risk of liver disease too.

    These include:

    How to prevent fatty liver disease

    Studies have shown that diets rich in saturated fat and high fructose corn syrup can lead to NAFLD, so minimising these foods is likely to be beneficial.

    A deficiency in vitamin D should also be avoided as it increases inflammation by thwarting the function of T cells.

    For overweight individuals, losing 10 percent of body weight can substantially decrease fat concentration in the liver.

    The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology adds: “Vigorous exercise can also achieve not only a decrease in liver fat but a reduction of inflammation in [NAFLD].”

    According to the medical journal, small studies have also shown that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce liver fat in NAFLD.

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  • 11 часов, 27 минут назад 01.12.2022Health Care
    The colour in your urine that could signal irreversible liver damage – ‘There’s no cure’

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an umbrella term for a range of conditions triggered by a build-up of fat in the liver. While the early stages of NAFLD don’t usually spur on symptoms, red flag signs often crop up as the condition progresses. Noticing problems associated with NAFLD could therefore mean it has become irreversible.

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease develops in four main stages, with the last destination being known as cirrhosis.

    Unfortunately, “there’s no cure” for this most advanced stage of liver damage, according to the NHS.

    Cirrhosis crops up after years of inflammation and causes your liver to shrink and become scarred and lumpy.

    “This damage is permanent and can lead to liver failure (where your liver stops working properly) and liver cancer,” the health service adds.

    While this stage of fatty liver disease paints a scary picture, cirrhosis is often the only stage that shows warning signs.

    One of the red flag symptoms of this irreversible condition can be spotted in your pee – choluria.

    Choluria, or dark urine, is characterised by a dark brownish colour, resembling cola.

    The reason why your pee turns dark is bilirubin – a yellow substance produced during the normal process of red blood cell breakdown.

    MedLine Plus states: “Your liver uses bilirubin to make bile, a fluid that helps you digest food. A healthy liver removes most of the bilirubin from your body.

    “But if there is a problem with your liver, bilirubin can build up in your blood and get into your urine.”

    According to Science Direct, dark urine often comes hand in hand with other warning signs, including light-coloured stools and jaundice.

    In case you’re not aware, jaundice details the white of your eyes and skin turning yellow and is considered one of the symptoms of cirrhosis, according to the NHS.

    Apart from these three warning signs, cirrhosis also causes symptoms, including:

    The NHS stresses: “See a GP urgently or call 111 if you have any of these symptoms and have a liver condition.

    “There’s no cure for cirrhosis at the moment. However, there are ways to manage the symptoms and any complications and slow its progression.”

    From a healthy diet to exercise, there are various lifestyle tweaks that can help manage the liver condition.

    According to the NHS, you should aim for a healthy weight and follow a diet packed with fruits, vegetables, protein and carbohydrates, but low in fat, sugar and salt. Drinking water instead of sweet drinks could also help.

    Other interventions such as exercise, quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol could also be useful.

    While NAFLD isn’t triggered by alcohol, drinking may make it worse so it’s advisable to cut down or stop drinking alcohol, the health service adds.

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  • 11 часов, 27 минут назад 01.12.2022Health Care
    Four symptoms are affecting the fully-jabbed ‘months’ after infection from Omicron – study

    The Omicron variant has elicited milder illness among the vaccinated population, but its capacity for transmission remains unmatched. Though symptoms are less severe, the long-term effects of Omicron among vaccinated populations remain understudied. Additionally, the impact of three doses of the Covid vaccine on post-acute symptoms remains largely unexplored.

    A recent Danish study confirmed that the frequency of symptoms and health-related problems drop drastically after a third dose of the Covid booster vaccine.

    The recent findings drew from a data set abstained during a national Danish questionnaire survey to evaluate the risk of 26 post-acute symptoms after an omicron infection, four months after the positive test.

    The report concluded: “A considerable amount of cases infected during the Omicron period experience post-acute symptoms and new-onset health problems, four months after testing […].

    “During the Omicron period, a booster vaccination dose was associated with fewer post-acute symptoms and new-onset health problems, four months after infection, compared to two doses of COVID-19 vaccine.”

    The post-acute-infection symptoms studied were:

    To carry out the research more than 34,000 participants were recruited from the Omicron phase, and 9,388 Covid positive individuals were recruited from the Delta phases.

    Medical Life Sciences reported that “four months after a confirmatory infection, the most common post-acute symptom was fatigue/exhaustion, muscle/joint pain, headache and runny nose”.

    It continued: “The prevalence of these post-acute symptoms during the Omicron phases matched those in the Delta phase.”

    New-onset mental exhaustion, memory issues, and concentration problems were less common in individuals vaccinated with three doses than those who received two COVID-19 vaccine doses – four months after infection during the Omicron wave.

    A notable observation was that the risk of dysosmia and dysgeusia decreased during the Omicron wave.

    The Zoe Covid app, which keeps a detailed account of symptoms prevalence based on user data acquisition, has made similar observations.

    A recent analysis conducted by the app looked at health reports from contributors with positive cases in December 2021, when Omicron became dominant.

    These data were compared with data from earlier waves when the Delta was the main variant in circulation.

    The top five symptoms in both periods were:

    These findings were later confirmed by an analysis of contributors were had received confirmation from the government that positive PCR rests results were suspected or confirmed Omicron infections.

    Doctor Claire Steves, a scientist from the ZOE Covid Study and Reader at King’s College London, said runny nose affected nearly 73 percent of new cases, while sore throat occurred in roughly 60 percent of infections.

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  • 13 часов, 27 минут назад 30.11.2022Health Care
    Nearly 80% of cancer patients in palliative care units report the same symptom – ‘severe’

    Palliative care is organised by health services to provide the terminally ill and their families with comfort. One of the essential components of this treatment approach is symptom relief, so identifying symptom patterns is crucial for intervention. Studies suggest three symptoms are frequently observed in units providing palliative care to cancer patients.

    Furthermore, sex differences appeared to affect varying degrees of symptom improvement observed during the study.

    Female patients, for example, exhibited higher scores on the vomiting, anorexia, oedema, depression and anxiety scales, compared to male patients.

    Patients with cancer in the gastrointestinal tract, on the other hand, exhibited higher scores on constipation, vomiting, anorexia, oedema, depression and anxiety scales.

    In 2011, the Lancet launched a probe into the experience of pain among terminally ill patients to broaden understanding of its characteristics.

    According to the report, pain suffered by terminally ill patients tends to range from moderate to severe.

    The report states that the experience of pain is constant across major terminal diseases, not just cancer.

    In cancer, pain is typically described as chronic because it lasts longer than the pain caused by other ailments.

    The Cancer Organisation states that it also tends to make patients feel irritable, sleep poorly, and decrease their appetite, and concentration.

    When pain occurs it tends to be indicative that cancer has invaded or destroyed nearby tissues, suggesting it’s spreading.

    When tumours grow, they are more likely to press on the nerves, nearby organs, or against the bones.

    Another common cause of pain in cancer is attributed to the chemicals released by the disease, which can be managed with the help of treatments.

    “It is possible to relieve all pain to some extent with the right treatment,” states Cancer Research UK.

    “With good pain control, most people should be able to be free of pain when they are lying or sitting down.”

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  • 13 часов, 27 минут назад 30.11.2022Health Care
    Man, 24, hit with cancer diagnosis after his friend spotted a warning sign in his eyes

    Scott Fryatt, 24, was struck down with severe abdominal pain when he was house-sitting for a friend in Glasgow. The pain subsided but he felt like something wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t until his mate noticed a certain colour in his eyes that he called NHS. Unfortunately, hospital tests revealed “incurable” cancer.

    Back In April 2022, Scott struggled with symptoms for the first time when house-sitting for his friend.

    He fell “violently” ill and struggled with a bad case of abdominal pain. Fortunately, these stubborn symptoms eventually left him alone but something still felt off.

    A lunch with his friend, who pointed out that his eyes had gone yellow around the sides, was the last drop. Scott decided to contact the NHS.

    They rushed him to a hospital where he was tested for gallbladder stones and hepatitis but medical professionals could not get to the root of the problem.

    Scott told EdinburghLive: “They could not find anything wrong with me but my liver was failing and my blood counts were all over the place.

    “There is this chemical called bilirubin that indicates how healthy your liver is, the higher the number the more severe the liver failure, and mine were through the roof. Doctors did not know what to make of it.

    “They carried out a lot of tests but decided to send me to see a liver specialist at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh.

    “I spent about four or five weeks there getting further tests done and put on 22kg in water weight which I found out was common when your liver starts to fail.

    “I was so ill and getting worse as time went on. After a while they said I needed a liver transplant and began carrying out scans to make sure I could physically cope.

    “Unfortunately, during this process they also found out that I had lymphoma. They carried out a biopsy to make sure that the procedure would not make the cancer go mad.”

    After Scott was cleared, he was granted a transplant within a week as a matter of urgency.

    Yellow eyes, like in Scott’s case, describe a condition known as jaundice, which can be one of the signs pointing to lymphoma, according to the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

    Jaundice occurs when there’s too much yellowish substance called bilirubin in the blood.

    As the 24-year-old explained his bilirubin was “through the roof”, which left him with the abnormal tint in his eyes.

    The journal reports that while jaundice occurs in a fair number of patients with lymphoma, it is rarely seen as a presenting complaint.

    According to the Mayo Clinic, other lymphoma symptoms can include:

    Scott was booked for another scan in early October to see if his cancer was localised or if it had spread.

    Scott added: “I went into the scan thinking that the lymphoma would be localised as doctors believed that was the most likely case. Unfortunately, it showed that it was everywhere and had spread all over my body.

    “It was tough going in and expecting good news and to then walk out with the knowledge that I had incurable lymphoma. The good news was that it can be treated and that it should not impact how long I live for.

    “In late October they gave me my first round of chemo and I have just been on that journey since.”

    When being treated, Scott was given a bed in the Teenage Cancer Trust ward, where he sympathised greatly with the younger cancer patients. Impressed that the Trust covered all aspects impacting young cancer patients’ lives, Scott has decided to organise a fundraiser. You can support Scott’s GoFundMe here.

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Health Care The 'first noticeable' sign of a dangerous cholesterol build-up could strike in your hip