High cholesterol: The colour of your nails could be a symptom – ‘Great’ way to spot it


Even though not all cholesterol is harmful, the type dubbed as ‘bad’ can put your health at risk. That’s why it’s important to keep your levels in check. While it can be difficult to identify cholesterol as it’s not associated with many symptoms, there’s one tell-tale sign that might help.

She explained: “High cholesterol levels cause blockage of your arteries.

“Here is the thing; the extra cholesterol is deposited in your arteries, forming a plaque.

“It is this plaque that makes the arteries narrow, with large deposits blocking them completely.

“Narrow or blocked arteries limit the blood flow to various parts of your body, including your nails.”


This can leave your nails with dark lines underneath them.

“Although high cholesterol is referred to as a silent condition, dark lines under your nails is one of the great ways to spot it,” Wassermann added.

This sign is sometimes also referred to as splinter haemorrhages. Medline Plus describes it as thin, red to reddish-brown lines under your nails.

These lines also usually run in the direction of nail growth.

Their name comes from their appearance which resembles a splinter under your nail.

Although this sign might point to high cholesterol, the best way to find your levels remains getting a blood test.

You can either have blood taken from your arm or a finger-prick test, the NHS explains.

If you get the condition confirmed, your doctor will choose the best course of action to take the control of your cholesterol back.

How to lower high cholesterol

From lifestyle changes to medication, there’s plenty you can do to get your levels to drop back to the safe zone.

When it comes to your diet, the main thing is to cut back on fatty food packed with saturated fat. Also, certain types of fibre could help to lower the amount of the fatty substance as well.

Other lifestyle changes, including quitting smoking and cutting down on alcohol, could also help.

However, some people might have to take a medication called statins to keep their levels in check.


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