High Cholesterol symptoms
The hidden warning signs that people mistake as ‘getting older’
Major health problems are linked to high cholesterol. The primary cause of major illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, coronary artery disease, and stroke is the accumulation of plaques built on by the presence of excessive amounts of cholesterol in the body. High cholesterol is commonly referred to as the silent killer since it has no symptoms.
There are no outward and direct indications of an increase in cholesterol levels in the body. However, if cholesterol level stays high consistently, it clogs up the arteries that supply blood to the extremities and this can cause symptoms The phenomenon is called peripheral artery disease (PAD) and can cause mild leg pain named as “claudication.” People generally credit this type of mild leg pain to “getting older and slowing down”
There are some other signs of less blood flow in the lower limbs:
- loss of leg hair
- foot ulcers that don’t heal
Recurring leg pain while doing exercise is also a significant sign. As per health experts, many people mistakenly think that it is just a part of getting older, but it doesn’t get digested why an otherwise healthy person should feel leg pain.
Why is It Problematic?
Cholesterol is vital for many bodily functions but this fatty and waxy substance is extremely lethal if it exceeds the normal level. Cholesterol plays a critical role in creation of cell membranes and hormones. While deciding whether a person has excessive cholesterol or not, mostly two types of cholesterol are analysed. They are low-density lipoproteins (LDL), often known as “bad cholesterol,” and high-density lipoprotein(HDL), also known as “good cholesterol,” There are triglycerides in the body which are used as a stored energy source. Triglyceride levels rise in the body while not in use, which raises your chance of developing heart disease.
Normal Cholesterol Level
The amount of low-density lipoproteins, high-density lipoproteins, and triglycerides are taken into consideration when calculating the total cholesterol level. LDL cholesterol levels have to be under 70 milligrams per decilitre under ideal circumstances. When it comes to low-density lipoproteins, a range of 100 to 130 milligrams per decilitre is considered normal for those who do not have any risk factors. The Harvard study states that “It also affects how much cholesterol is present in high-density lipoproteins. Stroke, heart disease, and atherosclerosis are more likely to occur in people with levels below 40 mg/dL. A triglyceride level of less than 150 mg/dL is generally regarded as a desirable target.”
The Signs of High Cholesterol Level
Typically, high cholesterol doesn’t show any symptoms until it causes a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke. Such types of heart disease take place only when high levels of cholesterol have led to fatty plaque build-up in the arteries. This results in narrowing the arteries and altering the composition of the arterial lining, which is also known as heart disease. High cholesterol damages the heart over time, and early warning signals of a damaged heart, if discovered in time, can assist in receiving medical care as needed:
Watch out for following red flags:
- Chest Pain or angina
- Difficulty in speaking
- Blood pressure rising
Causes and Risks Factors
You are also more likely to have high cholesterol if your family has a history of heart disease or high cholesterol.
Everyone’s risk of high cholesterol rises with age due to age-related metabolic changes, particularly how the liver eliminates LDL cholesterol from the blood.
Women who have reached menopause or are over 55 tend to have LDL cholesterol levels that are lower than those of males. The HDL cholesterol levels of males are typically greater than those of women.
Heavy cholesterol levels are known to be influenced by diets high in cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fats. The majority of animal and full-fat dairy products as well as some oils that are solid at room temperature are rich in saturated fat.
Moderate to vigorous exercise can raise HDL cholesterol levels and reduce LDL cholesterol particle size, making it less hazardous.
Obesity is associated with increased levels of triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol. Body mass index (BMI) over 30 is considered as obesity. Although those who are overweight or obese according to the BMI scale are more likely to have high cholesterol, high cholesterol can also afflict those who have a lower BMI.
Your cholesterol level may be determined by a quick blood test known as a lipoprotein profile. Triglycerides, a kind of blood fat, are often reported along with your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. You must refrain from eating or drinking anything other than water for at least 9 to 12 hours before the test when you’re ready for it. Some cholesterol tests, however, do not call for fasting. Consult your doctor to check this.
Ways to Lower Cholesterol
In order to stay healthy and not let cholesterol make you feel old, you must do the things that prevent the cholesterol level getting high. Get into following activities to keep the high cholesterol level at bay.
Lifestyle Change: Smoking and drinking have adverse effects on overall health and not indulging in them prevent high cholesterol and heart disease.
Regular Exercise: Experts recommend that adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week.
Healthy Diet: Avoid red meat and full-fat dairy products as they have saturated fats that raise total cholesterol. Instead go for vegetable oils, oats, beans, oily fish, avocados, and other foods which raise HDL cholesterol levels while lowering LDL cholesterol.
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