Ten Symptoms Of High Cholesterol You Shouldnt Ignore
30 May, 2022
Those who know they have a tendency to suffer symptoms from certain health problems are often concerned about it. Therefore, well focus on these below.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance present in the fats of the blood. Although many only know it for its harmful effects on health, in reality, its essential for the optimal functioning of our body. Cholesterol is necessary for the production of bile, which is responsible for digesting fat. In addition, its also responsible for the production of some hormones and helpful for your cardiovascular health.
How To Lower Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medications or both.
Here are some ways to manage your cholesterol.
Eat heart-healthy food
What you eat can make a big difference to your cholesterol levels.
Cut back on foods high in saturated fats like:
- oily fish.
Drink less alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. So drinking less is a good way to lower your cholesterol.
The Ministry of Health recommends no more than 10 standard drinks per week for women and no more than 15 for men. One standard drink is equal to:
- a standard can of 4% beer
- a small glass of wine
- a small single shot of spirits
If you have high cholesterol or you’ve been diagnosed with a heart condition, you may need to drink less than this.
Smoking makes your LDL cholesterol stickier and reduces the amount of HDL cholesterol in your blood. It also damages the artery walls. This increases the build-up of plaque in your arteries and can cause risk of heart attack and stroke.
Quitting smoking is a great way to lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Sitting less and being more active are great ways to reduce high cholesterol.
This doesnt mean you have to join a gym or take up running it just means you need to move your body more throughout the day. Ideally you should do 30 minutes of activity a day.
You could try:
Read more about the benefits of exercise.
Bloating And Digestive Issues
The main reason for increased cholesterol levels is overeating fatty and fried food affects our liver and produces bad cholesterol in the body. If you are facing high cholesterol, then you may feel bloated even after eating significantly less.
Your stomach makes you feel heaviness and disinterest in appetite. The excess flow of lipid substance directly affects the metabolism and triggers the digestive system in your body, and you feel bloating and heaviness.
If you are constantly feeling these issues, then you must go for a lipid profile test.
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Eating A Lot Of Fatty Foods And Lack Of Exercise
Well admit, this sign seems pretty straightforward, but theres absolutely no denying that eating a lot of fatty foods greatly increases the cholesterol levels in your body. A lack of exercise allows cholesterol to build up in your body. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking are also highly detrimental. In short, if youre living an unhealthy lifestyle, chances are youre also dealing with high cholesterol.
Complications Of Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease is a very serious health condition, and requires immediate treatment. Otherwise, it can lead to a number of problems, such as:
- Arrhythmia , which is caused by the heart not receiving the required amount of blood it needs to stay healthy. It can also be caused by heart tissue damage, which causes interference with the hearts electrical impulse, thus leading to abnormal heart beats.
- Heart attacks are one of the major threats of people who have coronary heart disease. Heart attacks are usually a consequence of plaque rupture, which lead to blood clot formation. This causes blood flow interruption to the heart, which damaged its muscle.
- This happens because certain parts of the heart do not receive enough nutrients and oxygen, which is typically a consequence of reduced blood flow . Heart failure can also be caused by heart attacks, as these weaken the heart and prevent it from having the strength to pump blood normally.
- Chest pains are also caused by coronary heart disease. Depending on the type of chest pains you have, these can appear both when you are resting, and when you are too stressed or physically active.
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Myth: I Dont Need Statins Or Other Medicines For My Cholesterol I Can Manage My Cholesterol With Diet And Exercise
Fact: Although many people can achieve good cholesterol levels by making healthy food choices and getting enough physical activity, some people may also need medicines called statins to lower their cholesterol levels. Guidelinesexternal icon also suggest that other medicines in addition to statins may be needed to help control cholesterol.2
People who may need statins or other medicines to manage cholesterol levels include the following:
- People with familial hypercholesterolemia or people with very high levels of bad cholesterol. FH is a genetic condition that causes very high LDL cholesterol levels beginning at a young age. If left untreated, cholesterol levels will continue to get worse. This greatly raises the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke at a young age.
- People with cardiovascular disease . People with CVD may already have narrowed arteries because of too much plaque. Medicines that lower cholesterol may help reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke.
- People with diabetes.Type 2 diabetes lowers HDL or good cholesterol levels and raises bad cholesterol levels. This combination raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Other groups of people may also need medicines to manage their cholesterol, including people who have a high risk for CVD. Always talk to your health care provider about the best ways to manage your cholesterol.
Is High Cholesterol Always Bad
When we talk about cholesterol levels, the total number may be misleading. Your total cholesterol is a score that combines your HDL and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride level.
Since this score combines different types of cholesterol, lets use two examples to unpack what this number means:
Person A has a normal total cholesterol level. But when you look at the breakdown, they have low HDL cholesterol and a higher LDL cholesterol.
Person B has high total cholesterol. But they have high HDL cholesterol and low LDL cholesterol.
Person A is at much higher risk for things like heart disease than Person B, even though Person A has normal total cholesterol and Person B has high cholesterol.
Its also helpful to remember that some people with high LDL may never develop blockages in the heart or other organs. When we look at LDL cholesterol, we have to keep the big picture in mind. If youre young and have no risk factors, then your LDL level may not be as harmful as it is for someone who is over 60 or has other risk factors for heart disease.
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Who Should Take Statins
Estimates are that in addition to the people already taking them, another 15 million to 20 million people should be taking statin drugs based on their risk factors for heart disease. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to determine the amount of cholesterol in your blood. If you have high levels of LDLcholesterol, you have a greater chance of heart disease, especially when there are other factors that increase your risk. Based on your overall risk, your doctor may recommend you take statins to help lower your cholesterol by a certain amount.
However, not all cholesterol is bad. Itâs good, for instance, to have high levels of HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol prevents plaque buildup in the arteries by transporting the bad cholesterol out of the blood to the liver. From there, it is eliminated from the body.
Tingles In Your Hands And Feet
A sort of tingling sensation in your hands and your feet definitely isnt uncommon if youre dealing with too high cholesterol levels. Because of blocked blood vessels, the peripheral nerves in your feet and hands are also affected as theyre not getting enough oxygen and blood flow. This usually doesnt result in pain, but can induce a rather noticeable tingling sensation instead.
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The Link Between Heartburn And Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in the body. High cholesterol doesn’t usually cause noticeable symptoms, although it can lead to major health risks like heart attack and stroke. Most of the cholesterol in our bodies is produced in the liver, though some of it comes from the foods we eat. The body needs some cholesterol, as it is important to the body’s cell membranes and to the production of certain hormones, and helps act as insulation for your nerves. Cholesterol also aids in the manufacture of bile .
The Appearance Of Cholesterol Bubbles On The Skin
Sometimes, the excessive amount of cholesterol may manifest on the outside of your body as well. A yellowish sort of rash can appear on the skin, which is filled with cholesterol. Theyre called xanthomas and are usually found on the Achilles heel and the hand, although theyre sometimes located on the tendons of your foot, knee or elbow too.
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This Morning: Dr Chris Urges People To ‘know Their Numbers’
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High cholesterol does not provide obvious symptoms that something is not quite right. Often, when symptoms do appear it could be too late. Feeling pain on this side of your chest could mean your levels are too high.
S To Lower Cholesterol And Risks Of Related Diseases
A few simple changes can lower your cholesterol and cut your risk for conditions linked to high cholesterol.
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The Big Results And Conclusions: Statins Were Not Good Pain Medications
- No matter what statin was used: Statin use was not associated with a lower risk of worsening pain. In other words, statins were not good pain medications.
- Atorvastatin use was associated with a reduced risk of developing pain, whilst rosuvastatin leads to a higher risk of developing pain.
From the researchers: The effect of statins use on knee osteoarthritis outcomes remains unclear, although in our study those using statins for over five years and those using atorvastatin reported a significantly lower risk of developing knee pain.
- First, the Atorvastatin user was associated with a reduced risk of developing pain AS COMPARED to which lead to a higher risk of developing pain. So the Atorvastatin produced less knee pain risk, but still a risk.
- Either way, if you already have knee pain, cholesterol-lowering medicine will not help make it less painful or from it getting worse.
So again, all these research universities and national resources and a long-term study of over 1000 patients came to this conclusion: The effect of statins use on knee osteoarthritis outcomes remains unclear.
The Forming Of A Grey Ring Around Your Cornea
This one is pretty tough to spot, so look closely. If you notice that theres a greyish ring around the cornea of your eye, that could be a pretty good indication of high cholesterol being built up in that area. The cornea covers the iris of the eye. Because the grey rings are common with older people, its only a reliable indicator of high cholesterol for people under 45.
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What Drugs Are Used To Treat High Cholesterol
Cholesterol-lowering drugs include:
Cholesterol-lowering medicine is most effective when combined with a healthy diet and exercise program.
Statins Statins block the production of cholesterol in the liver itself. They lower LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides and have a mild effect in raising HDL, the “good” cholesterol. These drugs are the first line of treatment for most people with high cholesterol.
Statins carry warnings that memory loss, mental confusion, muscle aches, neuropathy, liver issues, high blood sugar, and type 2 diabetes are possible side effects. It’s important to remember that statins may also interact with other medications you take.
Examples of statins include:
Advicor and Simcor are both combinations of a statin and niacin .
Caduet is a combination of a statin and a blood pressure-lowering drug called Norvasc. Vytorin is a combination of a statin and a cholesterol absorption inhibitor .
Selective cholesterol absorption inhibitorsEzetimibe works to lower LDL by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. Vytorin is a newer drug that is a combination of ezetimibe and a statin , and can decrease total and LDL cholesterol and raise HDL levels. There is not sufficient medical evidence to show that ezetimibe prevents heart attacks.
Myth #: Dietary Cholesterol Is The Most Important Part Of My Diet
Researchers now know that eating foods high in cholesterol doesnt necessarily lead to high blood cholesterol levels.
A more direct culprit may be saturated fat. Foods that are high in cholesterol are also often high in saturated fat.
Still, dietary cholesterol can make a difference. A found that each additional 300 milligrams of cholesterol or more per day was associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death.
Counting any one nutrient isnt the solution. To improve cardiovascular health, the s 2019 science advisory suggests doctors focus on helping their patients improve their overall eating patterns.
That means eating more:
High cholesterol affects people of all body types and ages. Even fit people and those under 40 years old should get tested.
The American Heart Association recommends checking cholesterol levels even if youre at low risk for heart disease.
The American Heart Association advises the following test schedule for people who dont have a family history of heart disease or other risk factors for the condition:
- one test between 9 and 11 years old
- one test between 17 and 21 years old
- one test every 4 to 6 years for people over 20, as long as risk remains low
The CDC and recommend more frequent testing for people who:
- have heart disease
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Scary Effects Of High Cholesterol On The Body
High cholesterol is most often the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, but ones genes can also play a role. There are genetic conditions that can lead to either overproduction of cholesterol, or, more commonly the inability to break down excess cholesterol, Dr. Tania Elliott, Chief Medical Officer of EHE, says. Think of LDL bad cholesterol as the bad person who throws trash all over, making roads unpassable. HDL good cholesterol is, using the same logic, the nice person picking up the trash, clearing the way.
How To Prevent Complications
Garg emphasizes that to address or prevent any complications from high cholesterol, the first thing patients need to do is identify what about their lifestyle can be improved, with the help of their healthcare team. The American Heart Association recommends reducing saturated and trans fats in your diet focusing on fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein exercising at a moderate intensity for at least 150 minutes a week and losing excess weight.
Once we get beyond , then we start to talk about what medications we can use to further reduce risk, says Garg.
There are a number of cholesterol-lowering medications, according to the AHA. The most commonly prescribed are statins, which work in the liver to prevent cholesterol from forming and can help reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Others include PCSK9 inhibitors, selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors, bile acid sequestrants, niacin, and fibrates. Talk to your doctor about which medication or combination of medications is right for you.
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Who Should Be Tested
Your GP may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:
- have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini-stroke , or peripheral arterial disease
- are over the age of 40 people over 40 should have their estimate of CVD risk reviewed regularly
- have a family history of early cardiovascular disease for example, if your father or brother developed heart disease or had a heart attack or stroke before the age of 55, or if your mother or sister had these conditions before the age of 65
- have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition, such as familial hypercholesterolaemia
- are overweight or obese
- have high blood pressure or diabetes
- have another medical condition, such as kidney disease, an underactive thyroid, or an inflamed pancreas these conditions can cause increased levels of cholesterol or triglycerides