Can High Cholesterol Make Me Tired
No, high cholesterol doesnt usually cause fatigue, but it can lead to heart diseases, such as coronary artery disease, that do. With this heart condition, excess LDL builds up as plaque in your hearts small arteries, causing them to narrow and stiffen. This reduces blood flow, which can make you feel tired or short of breath and cause chest pain, notes the NHLBI.
If youre taking a statin to treat high cholesterol, possible side effects could come with fatigue, such as memory loss, forgetfulness, and confusion, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However these are very rare. Mayo Clinic describes this as mental fuzziness. Be sure to discuss any similar symptoms with your doctor.
Can Caffeine Affect My Blood Pressure
The caffeine in drinks like coffee, tea, and sodas may cause blood pressure to go up, but only temporarily. In a short time your blood pressure will go back down. Unless you are sensitive to caffeine and your blood pressure does not go down, you do not have to limit caffeine to avoid developing high blood pressure.
Living With High Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, you are twice as likely to develop heart disease. That is why it is important to have your cholesterol levels checked, especially if you have a family history of heart disease. Reducing your LDL bad cholesterol through good diet, exercise, and medicine can make a positive impact on your overall health.
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Cholesterol Deposits On Your Skin
Some people with high cholesterol develop cholesterol nodules or deposits on their skin called xanthomas. The most common locations for xanthomas are on the inner corners of the eyelids near your nose and are only cosmetic problems. Xanthomas can also form on your elbows, knees, arms, and legs.
You can get xanthomas removed, but they can grow back.
What Factors Can Affect Cholesterol Levels
Factors within your control include:
- Diet: Eating a diet of foods high in saturated and trans fats can increase your levels of LDL cholesterol, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute . You should avoid having 10% or more of your total daily calories come from saturated fats, and avoid trans fats as much as possible.
- Weight: Being overweight or obese tends to increase your cholesterol, and is a risk factor for heart disease, according to the National Library of Medicine. While there are some things that may be out of your control that can affect weight including certain conditions and side effects of some medications, if you’re interested in maintaining a healthy weight, you can bring up the topic with your health care provider.
- Smoking: Smoking cigarettes can both increase levels of LDL cholesterol and decrease levels of HDL cholesterol.
- Physical activity: A lack of physical activity is associated with lower levels of HDL cholesterol.
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Signs Of High Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, you generally wont feel anything that lets you know you have high cholesterol. Instead, you may experience symptoms associated with the consequences of having high cholesterol levels.
For instance, you may have high blood pressure as a result of having high cholesterol. When hypertension becomes severe, you may have headaches, difficulty breathing, vision problems, fatigue, irregular heartbeats, and chest pains.
However, in certain severe cases of high cholesterol, you may experience a skin condition called xanthoma. It manifests as waxy deposits under your skin, especially around the eyes and eyelids, hands, elbows, and knees.
Xanthoma mainly appears in people with a genetic form of the condition called familial hypercholesterolemia. If you really want to know if you have high cholesterol, you need to get a blood test.
How Can I Lower My Cholesterol Level
The first step in reducing your cholesterol is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. It’s important to keep your diet low in fatty food.
You can swap food containing saturated fat for fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals. This will also help prevent high cholesterol returning.
If these measures don’t reduce your cholesterol and you continue to have a high risk of developing heart disease, your GP may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication, such as statins.
Your GP will take into account the risk of any side effects from statins. The benefit of lowering your cholesterol must outweigh any risks.
Read more about how high cholesterol is treated
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What Does High Cholesterol Feel Like
High cholesterol can be life-threatening condition if left untreated, because it can significantly affect the blood flow inside the blood vessels of your body. Unfortunately, many times we dont know when it occurs. And in fact, doctors cannot tell clearly about its specific symptoms and what it feels like! However there are plenty of options you can follow to control it and keep it off.
Who is at the highest risk of getting high cholesterol?
Actually, in healthy level, cholesterol is needed by the body to support some bodys functions such as to help produce healthy cells. But when it gets higher than normal, this can be a problem.
There are some factors that can put you at higher risk of developing high cholesterol.
Though some of these risk factors are unchangeable, fortunately most of them are changeable and controllable. In other words, generally high cholesterol is treatable and preventable.
The options in controlling and lowering cholesterol often involve the opposite ways of changeable risk factors of the problem. The following are some risk factors of high cholesterol:
What Causes High Cholesterol
Your liver produces cholesterol, but you also get cholesterol from food. Eating too many foods that are high in fat can increase your cholesterol level.
Being overweight and inactive also causes high cholesterol. If you are overweight, you most likely have a higher level of triglycerides. If you never exercise and arent active in general, it can lower your HDL .
You family history also affects your cholesterol level. Research has shown that high cholesterol tends to run in families. If you have an immediate family member who has it, you could have it, too.
Smoking also causes high cholesterol. It lowers your HDL .
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How Do Doctors Decide Who Is Prescribed A Statin
- Have clinical atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease , including those with a personal history of stroke, heart attack, or peripheral vascular disease, and also those who suffer from chest pains
- Have high cholesterol
- Are age 40 to 75 and have diabetes
- Are age 40 to 75 and have an estimated 10-year risk of an ASCVD event greater than 7.5 percent
Take Your Medicines Properly
Some people find it hard to take their medicines properly. If you do take medicine, it is important to use it the right way.
Some people don’t see why they should take medicines every day when they don’t feel sick. Cholesterol doesn’t make you feel sick. But it’s important to take your statin medicine, because it can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Some side effects are more likely and may be worse when you use higher doses of statins. If you’re having side effects, tell your doctor. You may be able to take a different statin.
For more information, see:
Be sure to tell your doctor everything you take. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicine, and natural health products. Sometimes they can interact with other medicines and cause problems.
If you have trouble taking your medicine for any reason, talk to your doctor.
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Is Dietary Cholesterol Harmful
Research has shown that dietary cholesterol does not significantly impact cholesterol levels in your body, and data from population studies does not support an association between dietary cholesterol and heart disease in the general population .
Though dietary cholesterol can slightly impact cholesterol levels, this isnt an issue for most people.
In fact, two-thirds of the worlds population experience little or no increase in cholesterol levels after eating cholesterol-rich foods even in large amounts .
A small number of people are considered cholesterol non-compensators or hyper-responders and appear to be more vulnerable to high-cholesterol foods.
However, hyper-responders are thought to recycle extra cholesterol back to the liver for excretion .
Dietary cholesterol has also been shown to beneficially affect the LDL-to-HDL ratio, which is considered the best indicator of heart disease risk .
While research shows that its unnecessary for most people to avoid dietary cholesterol, keep in mind that not all cholesterol-containing foods are healthy.
Here are 7 healthy high-cholesterol foods and 4 to avoid.
Here are 7 high-cholesterol foods that are incredibly nutritious.
The Lowdown Onhigh Cholesterol
There are a number of potential causes of high cholesterol. A brief spike in cholesterol can be caused by dietary changes, weight gain, lack of exercise, manifestation of LDL receptor dysfunction or onset of other diseases, says Guy L. Mintz, MD, director of cardiovascular health and lipidology at Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, New York.
Other behaviors that can cause your cholesterol to spike include smoking, exposure to tobacco smoke and excess weight, according to the American Heart Association. A family history of high cholesterol can also be the culprit, but non-heart-healthy behaviors are usually to blame.
Contrary to popular belief, however, high cholesterol does not cause headaches or dizziness, says Dr. Mintz. In fact, high cholesterol does not cause any specific symptoms, according to the NIH.
That said, people with extremely high cholesterol can show certain signs, such as xanthoma and corneal arcus .
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Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
Often, there are no specific symptoms of high cholesterol. You could have high cholesterol and not know it.
If you have high cholesterol, your body may store the extra cholesterol in your arteries. These are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. A buildup of cholesterol in your arteries is known as plaque. Over time, plaque can become hard and make your arteries narrow. Large deposits of plaque can completely block an artery. Cholesterol plaques can also break apart, leading to formation of a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood.
A blocked artery to the heart can cause a heart attack. A blocked artery to your brain can cause a stroke.
Many people dont discover that they have high cholesterol until they suffer one of these life-threatening events. Some people find out through routine check-ups that include blood tests.
Treatment For High Cholesterol
Lifestyle changes are one of the first things your doctor will recommend for managing high cholesterol. All medications can cause side effects, including medications to lower your cholesterol, and many people can successfully lower their cholesterol without them. Your doctor will determine which treatment approach is best for you.
Lifestyle changes that can help lower your cholesterol include:
- Adenosine triphosphate-citrate lyase inhibitors
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But Why Is My Cholesterol So High
High cholesterol happens when theres too much cholesterol in your blood the medical term for it is hypercholesterolemia. This condition affects almost 1 in 3 adults. Wow!
So, how does your blood get choked with this fat? Many of the potential causes of high cholesterol are lifestyle-related diet, exercise, and so on. But family history and other medical issues can influence your cholesterol too.
These vices and habits may increase your risk of high cholesterol:
- excessive drinking
- a diet high in saturated fat
- a diet high in trans fat
Who Is At Risk For Xanthoma
Talk to your doctor about your risk and what you can do to minimize the chances of developing the condition.
How Do You Lower Your Cholesterol
The good news is, there are some easy steps you can take to lower your cholesterol if yours is high or borderline high.
Note that the same approach is used to treat high cholesterol regardless of whether the high cholesterol was genetically passed down or developed over time, says McIntyre. If there is presence of a known gene variant, or a known family history of high cholesterol, blood tests may be recommended at more regular intervals during youth compared to individuals without a family history.
Here are a few tried-and-true tips on lowering cholesterol.
1. Add more fiber to your diet. Because fiber reduces absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream, youll want to consume five to 10 grams of soluble fiber each day, and at least 25 to 35 grams of total dietary fiber each day, says McIntyre. Soluble fiber specifically reduces LDL cholesterol. You can find soluble fiber in foods like oats, kidney beans, brussels sprouts, apples, and pears. To up your overall fiber intake, nosh on fruits and veggies , beans and legumes, whole grains and whole grain flour products, nuts, and seeds, suggests McIntyre.
2. Make avocado your new food BFF. Avocados are a potent source of both fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids , says McIntyre. Research out of Penn State suggests eating one small avocado per day, as part of a heart-healthy diet, may be able to help improve LDL cholesterol.
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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What Should My Cholesterol Levels Be
Blood cholesterol is measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood, often shortened to mmol/L.
As a general guide, total cholesterol levels should be:
- 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults
- 4mmol/L or less for those at high risk
As a general guide, LDL levels should be:
- 3mmol/L or less for healthy adults
- 2mmol/L or less for those at high risk
An ideal level of HDL is above 1mmol/L. A lower level of HDL can increase your risk of heart disease.
Your ratio of total cholesterol to HDL may also be calculated. This is your total cholesterol level divided by your HDL level. Generally, this ratio should be below four, as a higher ratio increases your risk of heart disease.
Cholesterol is only one risk factor. The level at which specific treatment is required will depend on whether other risk factors, such as smoking and high blood pressure, are also present.
When To Have A Cholesterol Test
The Canadian Cardiovascular Society recommends testing for men and women age 40 and older or who are post-menopausal. Children with a family history of lipid disorders should also be tested. Testing is also recommended for people of any age who have:footnote 1
- Strong risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, or abdominal obesity.
- A strong family history of premature cardiovascular disease.
- Inflammatory diseases, such as lupus, psoriasis, or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Chronic kidney diseases.
For more information, see Making Lifestyle Changes.
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What Happens If You Have High Cholesterol
What does high cholesterol mean?
High cholesterol means there is too much cholesterol in your blood. This can clog up your arteries the large blood vessels that carry blood around your body. Over time, this can lead to serious problems.
How does cholesterol clog up your arteries?
Excess cholesterol can be laid down in the walls of your arteries. Fatty areas known as plaques can form, and these become harder with time, making the arteries stiffer and narrower. This process is called atherosclerosis.
When the arteries become narrower, its harder for blood to flow through them. This puts a strain on your heart because it has to work harder to pump blood around your body. Eventually, the heart can become weak and cant work as well as it should.
Blood clots can form over the fatty, hardened parts of the arteries. The blood clots can block the artery completely, cutting off the blood flow. Bits of the blood clots can break away and become lodged in an artery or vein in another part of the body, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.
When Should My Cholesterol Levels 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
- have a family history of early cardiovascular disease
- have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition
- are overweight
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Other Natural Health Products
There are some natural health products that you may hear about to lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Talk with your doctor about the best ways to lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Tell your doctor if you plan to use natural health products. Your doctor can make sure they are safe for you.