High cholesterol is a very serious medical condition. Over time, fatty deposits can develop in your blood vessels. This makes it difficult for blood to pass through and leads to a higher risk of having a stroke or a heart attack.
High cholesterol can also be a contributing factor in someone developing coronary heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Those are all very serious issues that have the potential to shorten your life.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from the effects of high cholesterol is to be aware that you have it and begin treatment. With that in mind, let's talk about some of the symptoms you can look for to determine if you need to be tested for high cholesterol.
It's important to note that high cholesterol usually doesn't cause symptoms until the condition has become very serious. The only way to know for sure that you have it is to have a test performed by a doctor. Doctors recommend having this test performed every 4 to 6 years after you turn 20.
With that in mind here are some symptoms that could possibly indicate you're suffering from high cholesterol.
If the coronary arteries of your heart have been affected by cholesterol you may feel chest pain. You should immediately seek medical help in case you are having a heart attack or other serious medical episode.
Some individuals have what's known as familial hypercholesterolemia, this is a genetic condition that can cause high cholesterol. Symptoms of this condition include yellow patches on your skin or lumps underneath your skin.
Coronary Heart Disease is often caused by high cholesterol. Symptoms of this disease include chest pain, nausea, trouble catching your breath, fatigue, coldness or numbness in your arms, hands, legs, or feet, or pain in the neck, jaw, abdomen, and back.
If you have these symptoms, you should be checked for Coronary Heart Disease and high cholesterol.
Peripheral Arterial Disease is another condition that can be caused by high cholesterol. This disease causes blockages to form in the arteries that supply blood to your arms, stomach, legs, kidneys, and feet. Common symptoms of this disease include cramping, fatigue, achiness, leg pain while moving, and feet pain.
These symptoms indicate that you need to make a trip to your doctor to be tested for both Peripheral Arterial Disease and high cholesterol.
There are certain factors that can contribute to your risk of developing high cholesterol. Those factors include:
The ideal cholesterol level is less than 200 milligrams per deciliter. A number between 200 and 239 is considered borderline, edging towards high. A number over 240 is considered high. Those who have the genetic condition familial hypercholesterolemia typically have a number of 300 or above.
High cholesterol can be diagnosed by your doctor. They will administer a blood test called a lipid panel. The sample is sent to a laboratory where it will be analyzed to determine if you have high cholesterol.
You shouldn't eat or drink anything for at least 12 hours prior to your test to receive accurate results.
High cholesterol can be treated by making certain lifestyle changes, such as changing your diet and incorporating more exercise. If these changes are made and your levels remain too high, your doctor may recommend you begin taking medication to lower your levels.
High cholesterol is a very serious medical condition. If you believe you have it you should seek a medical diagnosis immediately, so that you can begin a treatment course. Remember, these symptoms can indicate any number of medical conditions, so it's crucial to get a professional medical opinion.