Unusual changes in your hands that could be sign of common but deadly condition

High cholesterol can mean you have narrow arteries -Credit:Getty

A dangerous condition that typically has no symptoms has been found to create 'visible signs' on your hands.

The only way you can know you have high cholesterol is by getting a quick test at the doctor's office - but experts have said there is a sign of this condition that shows on your hands.

Wales Online reports that high cholesterol can mean you have narrow arteries - which can lead to blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) said that one side effect of high cholesterol can appear on a person's hands. The BHF said: "There are usually no symptoms of high cholesterol. But if left untreated, it can lead to heart attack and stroke. It's often a hidden risk factor which means it can happen without us knowing until it's too late. That is why it's so important to get your cholesterol level checked."

However, if you have familial hypercholesterolaemia, you may have "visible signs", which include a condition called tendon xanthomata, which can cause lumps to form on your knuckles.

A xanthoma is a skin lesion caused by the accumulation of fat under the skin. These may appear smooth and a normal skin colour, and can also appear on the Achilles tendon.

Skin specialists at Derm Net explain: "Tendon xanthomas (tendinous xanthoma) are slowly enlarging subcutaneous nodules usually found attached to the Achilles tendon or tendons over the knuckles. They are smooth, firm to palpation, and mobile. The overlying skin colour is normal.

"Tendon xanthomas are most commonly associated with familial hypercholesterolaemia, but can also be seen in cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis and sitosterolaemia."

Other visible signs of high cholesterol includes xanthelasmas around the eyes. These will be small, yellow lumps of cholesterol near the inner corner of your eyes.

If you notice you have xanthelasmas you should speak to your GP. They might conduct a test to check your cholesterol levels.

Doctors may also explain some lifestyle changes you can make that will lower your cholesterol. These include:

  • Cutting back on saturated fats

  • Exercising more

  • Quitting smoking

  • Cutting back on alcohol

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