Cholesterol – Causes and Symptoms of Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fatty and a waxy substance that the body needs for the normal functioning of all the organs. The body uses cholesterol to secrete many hormones, vitamin D and to produce bile acids that regulate the digestion of fats. If cholesterol is high in a person, then the excess amount gets collected in the arteries including the carotid arteries and the coronary arteries. This causes plaque that narrows and blocks the arteries which results in reduced blood supply to the heart which leads to various cardiac problems.
Causes of High Cholesterol
The causes for high cholesterol include:
- Hereditary Causes: The metabolism of cholesterol may purely be influenced by the genes. Familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited form of high cholesterol that can lead to heart diseases at an early age.
- Weight: Obesity can increase the cholesterol levels in the blood which results in many cardiac problems.
- Age: Around the age of 60-65, people are at a higher risk of getting this disease.
- Sex: Men above the age of 40 are at a higher risk of suffering this disease than women especially before menopause.
- Alcohol: Drinking alcohol can damage the liver and the heart muscles which leads to high blood pressure and a rise in triglyceride levels which is a type of cholesterol. Hence, alcoholic beverages should not be consumed as this helps to prevent heart disease.
- Mental Stress: Recent studies have shown that stress raises blood cholesterol levels over the long term.
High Cholesterol lifestyle
If any of the following applies to you, then you may be living a high cholesterol lifestyle. They include:
- Eating too much fast food
- You consume whole cheese and whole milk regularly
- No exercise
- You do not check your cholesterol levels
Signs and symptoms
Some of the high cholesterol symptoms include:
- Chest pain which is a squeezing type or a feeling of pressure on the chest
- Nausea or vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Numbness or tingling in the lower extremities
- Cold sensation in the lower extremities
- Open ulcers on the lower extremities that take time to heal
When to consult your doctor?
When you find the above symptoms or if you are living a sedentary lifestyle, then you may be suffering from high cholesterol. When you notice changes in your health, consult your medical health professional immediately because if left untreated, it can lead to cardiac problems and other complications which can be life threatening.