The Symptoms of High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is essential for the human body. If the body did not have cholesterol, then the skin, brain, nerves, or even the cells would not be able to function properly. Human beings also need cholesterol in order to produce hormones, metabolize fat, and produce vitamin D. However, the problem occurs when the body’s cholesterol levels get too high, as this can lead to a number of other medical complications. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, there are plenty of new high cholesterol clinical trials being conducted all around the country.
Unfortunately, there are no symptoms of high cholesterol itself. However, when a person’s levels remain at a chronically high level for an extended period of time, they could develop atherosclerosis. This is a condition which describes the narrowing of the blood vessels caused by the build-up of fats or plaques such as cholesterol. As this plaque continues to build up in the patient’s blood vessels, this will cause a progressive narrowing (stenosis) which can eventually result in a complete blockage of the artery.
Atherosclerosis can cause a limited, or all together blocked, flow of blood. With a low level of blood flow, parts of the body may not be supplied with the essential nutrients and oxygen that it requires. For people with high cholesterol, this should be an area of concern as this lack of blood flow can be very damaging and potentially lethal. It can eventually cause organ and tissue ischemia (used to describe the restriction of blood flow to these areas).
Common Signs of High Cholesterol
Blood is the essential lifeline for the human body, and without it everything else fails. In general, clogged arteries could eventually lead to a number of other medical complications and the following high cholesterol symptoms:
- Heart Disease
- Pain in the legs
- Heart attack
- Muscle death or dystrophy
As you can now see, high cholesterol on its own will not produce any symptoms on its own. On the other hand, a more severe case where the patient’s levels have hit critical levels can present some symptoms. Also, if patients develop other medical conditions as the result of their high cholesterol, it may present further signs of the disease.
Chronic Cases of High Cholesterol
In more chronic cases, cholesterol deposits (xanthomas) can form under the patient’s skin and even in their tendons. These will appear as nodules in the elbows and knees, or they may look like yellowish pimple-like patches on the skin. Chronic high cholesterol could also cause painful bouts of abdominal pain as the liver or spleen enlarges.
If your doctor has diagnosed you with high cholesterol, you should discuss your treatments options with your doctor (no two cases of high cholesterol can be treated the exact same way). While the more moderate cases do not present any symptoms, your risk of heart attack or stroke will increase. Most patients will need to implement a mixture of physical fitness, healthy diet, and medication in order to control their cholesterol levels.