High cholesterol often causes emergency events such as stroke or heart disease due to the formation of plaque on your arteries. It can also cause heart disease and other problems.
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What is high cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a lipid, which is a fatty substance produced by your liver. It is essential for the formation of cell membranes, vitamin D, and certain hormones. Cholesterol does not dissolve in water, so it cannot travel alone in your body.
The particles known as lipoproteins help transport cholesterol in the blood. There are two major types of lipoproteins.
Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), also known as “bad cholesterol,” can build up in the arteries and lead to serious health problems, such as heart attacks or strokes.
Eating a lot of fatty foods increases the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood. This is known as high cholesterol, also called hypercholesterolemia or hyperlipidemia.
High-density lipoproteins (HDLs), sometimes called “good cholesterol,” help restore LDL cholesterol in the liver to be eliminated.
If your LDL cholesterol levels are too high, or HDL cholesterol levels are too low, fats accumulate in your bloodstream. These amounts will make it harder for enough blood to flow to your arteries. This can cause problems throughout your body, especially in your heart and mind, or it can be fatal.
Symptoms of high cholesterol?
High cholesterol usually does not cause any symptoms. In most cases, it only results in emergencies. For example, a heart attack or stroke can be caused by damage caused by high cholesterol.
These events usually do not occur until high cholesterol leads to the formation of plaque in your arteries. Plaque can narrow arteries to pass small amounts of blood. The formation of plaque changes the structure of your arterial membrane. This can lead to big problems.
A blood test is the only way to know if your cholesterol is too high. This means having a total cholesterol level in the blood of more than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg / dL). Ask your doctor to test your cholesterol before you turn 20. Then find out that your cholesterol is tested every 4 to 6 years.
The doctor may also recommend that your cholesterol be checked more often if you have a family history of high cholesterol. They may also recommend you if you show the following risk factors:
- have high blood pressure
- they are fat
Genetic factors that cause high cholesterol
There is a condition that causes a higher cholesterol level called familial hypercholesterolemia. People with this condition have cholesterol levels of 300 mg / dL or higher. They may develop xanthoma, which may appear as a yellowish tinge on your skin, or a lump under your skin.
Coronary artery (heart) disease (CAD)
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a form of heart disease. It occurs when the accumulation of clotting of the arteries causes the main arteries that supply your heart to blood to shrink or harden.
Symptoms of heart disease may differ between men and women. However, heart disease remains the first killer of both sexes in the United States. The most common symptoms include:
- angina, chest pain
- severe fatigue
- shortness of breath
- pain in the neck, jaw, upper abdomen, or back
The formation of plaque caused by high cholesterol can put you at greater risk of losing or losing blood to an important part of your brain. This is what happens when a stroke occurs.
A stroke is a medical emergency. It is important to take immediate action and get treatment if you or someone you know has symptoms of a stroke. These symptoms include:
- sudden loss of balance and communication
- sudden dizziness
- facial asymmetry (dangling eyelid and mouth on one side only)
- inability to move, especially one that affects one side of your body
- simple words
- numbness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of your body
- blurred vision, dark vision, or double vision
- sudden headache
- Heart disease
Arteries that supply blood to the heart may shrink slightly due to the formation of blood clots. This process, called atherosclerosis, occurs slowly over time and has no symptoms. Finally, a piece of plaque can break. When this happens, a blood clot forms near the plaque. It can block the flow of blood to the heart muscle and reduce oxygen and nutrients.
This reduction is called ischemia. When the heart is damaged, or part of the heart begins to die from lack of oxygen, it is called heart disease. The medical name for a heart attack is myocardial infarction.
According to the American Heart Association, someone in the United States has a heart attack approximately every 39 seconds.
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
- stiffness, tightness, swelling, pain, or pain in your chest or arms
- difficulty breathing
- anxiety or feelings of impending doom
- nausea, indigestion, or heartburn
- extreme fatigue
A heart attack is a medical emergency. Heart damage can be irreversible, or fatal if treatment does not begin within the first few hours after a heart attack.
It is important to take immediate action and get treatment if you or someone you know has symptoms of a heart attack.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) can occur when plaque builds up on the walls of arteries. This will stop the flow of blood through the arteries, which carry blood to the kidneys, arms, stomach, legs, and feet.
Early PAD symptoms may include:
- pain in your legs during exercise or exercise called intermittent claudication
- discomfort in your legs and feet
As PAD progresses, symptoms occur more frequently and occur at rest. Recent symptoms that may occur as a result of decreased blood flow include: