We all know that cholesterol is something you don’t want to have. But what if you don’t know you have it? When it comes to your health, there are many things we can’t see—and one of those things is cholesterol. Maybe your doctor has mentioned it, or a friend has told you to watch out for it. But how do you know if you have the signs of high cholesterol?
In this article, we’ll talk about how you can tell if your cholesterol levels are too high. We’ll also go into the steps you can take to bring it down.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that your body needs to function. It’s present in every cell. And it’s important for the health of your cells, nerves, and brain. Your body produces all of the cholesterol that it needs. So, you don’t need any from your diet.
You only need to worry about cholesterol if there is too much of it in your blood. This can lead to heart disease or stroke. So, you should know what high cholesterol is like and how to lower it if needed.
What Is High Cholesterol?
High cholesterol is a blood condition that can put you at risk for heart disease. If you have high cholesterol, your blood carries too much LDL, which is the “bad” kind of cholesterol. It’s called “bad” because it can build up in your arteries and make them hard and narrow, which increases your risk for heart disease.
High cholesterol levels are common in people who have unhealthy lifestyles or those who have certain medical conditions. But having one of these risk factors doesn’t always mean you’ll get high cholesterol. Moreover, not having any of them doesn’t mean you won’t. It’s important to know your risk factors so you can take steps to prevent high cholesterol before it becomes a problem.
What Causes High Cholesterol?
You may have heard that high cholesterol is caused by eating fatty foods. But that’s not necessarily true. While eating too much saturated fat can raise your levels, there are other causes of high cholesterol.
Your body naturally makes cholesterol to help you stay healthy and deal with stress. Your liver produces about 80% of the cholesterol in your blood, and your intestines make up about 20% of it. You also get some cholesterol from the food you eat.
When you’re under stress or have a health problem, like diabetes or high blood pressure, your body makes more cholesterol than it needs. This raises your risk for heart disease and stroke because it increases the risk that plaque will build up in your arteries—the main cause of heart attacks and strokes.
Risk Factors for High Cholesterol
There are many risk factors for high cholesterol. These include:
As you get older, your cholesterol levels can rise. People over 40 are at an increased risk of developing high cholesterol.
Your family history may play a role in whether or not you develop high cholesterol. If one or both of your parents had high cholesterol, then it’s more likely that you will too.
A diet high in saturated fats and low in fruits and vegetables can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol.
Your lifestyle choices, such as diet, exercise, and smoking, can all influence your risk of developing high cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, so it’s important to make healthy choices throughout life!
Know The Signs Of High Cholesterol
Just like we all know how to tell when someone is feeling ill, there are certain signs that can indicate if your cholesterol levels are too high. If you notice any of these symptoms, you might want to take a trip to the doctor:
Chest pain is one of the most common symptoms of high cholesterol. Moreover, it can be a sign of a life-threatening condition. If you experience chest pain, make sure to see your doctor as soon as possible.
When you have high cholesterol, your arteries are clogged with plaque. This means that the blood can’t flow through, and it begins to collect in between the cells. This can cause chest pain and even heart attacks.
If you have chest pain that lasts for more than 30 minutes, or if it comes on with shortness of breath or sweating, call 911 immediately.
Shortness Of Breath
Shortness of breath is one of the first but often overlooked signs of high cholesterol. If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, it can be a sign that your heart can’t pump as much blood as it normally does. This can happen because high cholesterol has caused plaque buildup in your arteries, which makes them narrower. When this happens, your heart has to work harder to pump blood through those narrowed arteries, leading to shortness of breath.
Some people may experience shortness of breath without any other symptoms, while others may have more serious complications such as heart attacks or strokes. It’s important to get checked out by a doctor if you notice any new symptoms or if existing symptoms worsen over time.
Fatigue is a symptom of high cholesterol that you may not have considered. High levels of cholesterol can cause your body to produce more LDL (low-density lipoprotein), which is the “bad” type of cholesterol. As it builds up, it can become hard and sticky, making it difficult for your heart to pump blood through your arteries. This is what causes heart disease.
Fatigue can also result from plaque buildup in the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle. If this happens, blood flow is reduced, and so is the oxygen supply to the heart muscle. The heart then has to work harder to pump blood through narrowed arteries, which will make you feel tired even when you’re resting.
Yellowing of The Skin
If you have high cholesterol, you may notice a yellowing of your skin in the form of xanthomas. These are raised bumps that appear on your skin and are caused by deposits of fats and cholesterol within the skin.
Although they usually appear as small bumps on the lower legs, they can also be seen on the elbows, knees, buttocks, and arms. They can range in color from light yellow to dark brown, depending on how much cholesterol is deposited in them.
Xanthomas are more common in people who are obese or diabetic because these conditions lead to high levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).
Grayish-White Circles In The Eyes
The signs of high cholesterol are not always obvious. But one common symptom is grayish-white circles in the eyes.
When your body has too much cholesterol, it can accumulate in the blood vessels and form deposits on their walls. This can lead to the hardening of the arteries, which restricts blood flow and increases your risk for heart disease.
The deposits can also cause scarring on the inside of your arteries, which reduces their elasticity and makes them stiffer. This can make it more difficult for your heart to pump blood through them.
If you have this condition, the fat in your blood is building up around your eyes. This can cause inflammation and irritation. The inflammation and irritation can lead to swelling and pain in the area. This could make it difficult for you to open your eyes properly or even see clearly.
The most common symptoms are a little different than you might think when it comes to high cholesterol.
For instance, did you know that impotence is a common symptom of high cholesterol? It’s true! And it’s not just men who can experience this symptom—women can get it too.
When your cholesterol levels are high, it can cause plaque to build up in your arteries and veins. This buildup makes it more difficult for blood to flow through them and reach the organs that rely on them for oxygen. The result is poor circulation, which can lead to sexual dysfunction in both men and women.
How To Know If You Have High Cholesterol?
If you are worried about your cholesterol level, it is a good idea to start by taking a look at the following numbers. These are the most common ways of measuring cholesterol and will give you an idea of what level is considered normal.
Total cholesterol levels are considered normal if they’re between 100 and 199 mg/dL. However, if your total cholesterol levels are above 200 mg/dL, you may be at risk of developing heart disease or stroke.
Moreover, the best way to find out if your cholesterol is high is by getting a blood test. Your blood test will measure your total cholesterol and HDL (good) cholesterol. It will also measure LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is the type of cholesterol that builds up in your arteries over time and causes heart disease.
High cholesterol is a common condition that can lead to heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. It’s not uncommon for people to have high cholesterol but not know it—especially since there are not many symptoms associated with the condition. But knowing the signs of high cholesterol can help you get a jump-start on taking care of your heart health.