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Signs and Symptoms of High Cholesterol: What to Watch Out For

Signs and Symptoms of High Cholesterol: What to Watch Out For

High cholesterol levels in the blood can raise the risk of heart diseases, that is why many people are concerned about their cholesterol levels. When specific cholesterol limits are exceeded, a person is diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol. On its own, high cholesterol does not indicate any medical condition.
It may happen if someone consumes a diet heavy in fat. 


It's critical to keep in mind that high cholesterol is among the major risk factor for heart disease. The prevalence rate of dyslipidemia (high levels of bad cholesterol in the body) in young adults is relatively high, ranging from 12.0% to 13.0%. Moreover, a number of studies have revealed a link between elevated serum cholesterol levels in young adults and subsequent cardiovascular events including angina, heart attacks, and strokes
Therefore, taking action to lower their cholesterol could potentially be an excellent move towards their heart health. Let’s know more about the symptoms of high cholesterol and ways to manage it in this article.

What is High Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a steroid in the blood stream as a lipoprotein that is necessary for cell membrane functioning and as a precursor of bile acids, progesterone, Vitamin D, estrogens, glucocorticosteroids, and mineralocorticoids. An excess of this in the blood is known as high cholesterol (a waxy substance). It is also referred to as Hyperlipidemia or hypercholesterolemia. It is closely associated with numerous health issues. Thus, it has the potential to initiate some very serious issues (like coronary artery disease). However, other illnesses, particularly those that cause inflammation in the body (such as lupus), may also be the cause of it. High blood pressure is a common condition experienced by those who have high blood cholesterol levels.

To function optimally, your body requires precisely the right amount of lipids. Your body cannot utilize all the fats if you have an excess of them. Your arteries begin to fill with more fat. They form plaque (fatty deposits) in your blood when they combine with other substances.
For years, this plaque may not cause any issues, but it gradually grows larger and larger inside your arteries. This explains why it's risky to have high cholesterol untreated. Subsequently, the excess lipids in your blood contribute to the plaque's growth. 

Symptoms of High Cholesterol

Typically, elevated blood cholesterol levels do not cause any symptoms. However, if left unmanaged, it can result in a stroke and heart attack. It can occur without our knowledge until it's too late because it's often a hidden risk factor. It's crucial to have your cholesterol checked because of this. On the other hand, if you have familial hypercholesterolemia, you might exhibit certain high cholesterol symptoms. Among these are:

  • Tendon xanthomata: Small tissue growths caused by cholesterol on your hand knuckles, knees, or Achilles tendon at your ankle back.
  • Xanthelasmas: Small and yellow lumps of cholesterol that appear near the inner corner of your eye.
  • Corneal arcus: This is the faint white ring that encircles your iris, the coloured portion of your eye.

Causes of High Cholesterol

Medical conditions that increase unhealthy cholesterol levels in the blood are

Medications for certain diseases can increase unhealthy cholesterol levels in the blood. These drugs are

  • Beta-blockers
  • Prednisone
  • Amiodarone
  • Cyclosporine
  • Anabolic steroids
  • Diuretics
  • HIV protease inhibiors

Lifestyle Factors that increase unhealthy cholesterol levels in the blood are

  • Smoking or tobacco use
  • Stress
  • Excess alcohol intake
  • Sedentary lifestyle -more screen time
  • Poor dietary habits
  • Obesity
  • Aging

What Diseases are Associated with High Cholesterol?

Depending on which blood vessels are obstructed, having high cholesterol increases your chance of developing additional illnesses. These illnesses are:

  • Coronary artery disease (CAD): It occurs due to blockage of blood vessels (coronary artery) supplying blood to the heart. It can have fatal complications.
  • Carotid artery disease: It is the narrowing of arteries supplying blood to the brain parts. It may cause a stroke.
  • Peripheral artery disease (PAD): It is narrowing of blood vessels supplying arms or legs. It is dangerous because it often remains asymptomatic until the obstruction reaches to 60%.
  • High blood pressure: It happens because cholesterol plaque along with calcium causes hardening and narrowing of your arteries. Therefore, the effort required by your heart to pump blood through them is greater. Your blood pressure rises excessively as a result.

Good Cholesterol vs Bad Cholesterol

Lipids are present in various forms in our body. "Good cholesterol" and "bad cholesterol" are the two main types that you have likely heard about. HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol. Consider what the letter "H" stands for: "helpful." Cholesterol is carried to your liver by your HDLs. Your liver regulates the amounts of cholesterol in your body. Your body produces just the amount of cholesterol it needs and eliminates the excess. To transfer cholesterol to your liver, you need a sufficient amount of HDLs. Your blood will have excess cholesterol if your HDLs are too low.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is considered bad cholesterol. This is the one that causes the buildup of plaque in your arteries. Over time, heart disease can be brought on by an excess of low-density lipoproteins in your blood.

How to Manage High Cholesterol?

Regular checks on your serum cholesterol level along with other lipoproteins (HDL, LDL and trigycerides). A blood test is the only method to determine whether you have high cholesterol. A blood test, called a lipid profile test, tells you how many lipids are circulating in your blood. What is considered high cholesterol depends on your age, sex and history of heart disease.

You may control your blood cholesterol levels to a great extent by incorporating following lifestyle modifications

Your doctor may prescribe you following medicines to control your cholesterol levels

  • Statins
  • Cholesterol absorption inhibitors
  • Citrate lyase inhibitors
  • Bile acid binding resins
  • PCSK 9 inhibitors
  • Fibrate
  • Niacin
  • Omega-3 fatty acids supplements

Conclusion

High cholesterol is silent but a hidden danger. For years, you might be unaware that you have an excess of lipids in your blood. All ages are affected by high cholesterol, even those who are physically active and in good health. Heart disease and high cholesterol are risks associated with certain medical conditions. To find out, all it takes is a simple blood test, Lipid Panel Test.

Take control of your blood cholesterol levels right now. Get your lipid panel test done now.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Which cholesterol is harmful?

A: Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is sometimes referred to as "bad cholesterol." It contains cholesterol, which can adhere to arterial walls, build up in the lining of the vessel to form plaque, and occasionally obstruct blood flow.

Q2: How can I control my cholesterol levels?

A: Reducing body weight can aid in lowering cholesterol. Consume a diet low in fat. Give special attention to plant-based foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Cut back on trans and saturated fats.

Q3: How does high cholesterol affect one?

A: Although cholesterol is necessary for the body to produce healthy cells, excessive cholesterol can raise your risk of heart disease. It is possible to get fatty deposits in your blood vessels if your cholesterol is high. When these deposits accumulate over time, your arteries can no longer properly circulate blood.
 

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