High Cholesterol Symptoms: Signs And Risk Factors

Date December 6, 2017

We all know how high cholesterol can harm the human body. High cholesterol in the body can be caused by malnutrition, namely by an over-consumption of fatty foods and a lack of fruits and vegetables. Bad habits, a sedentary lifestyle, and excess weight can make the situation even worse.

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First symptoms

Regular blood control and visits to a doctor can help to monitor the level of cholesterol and reveal any changes in a timely manner. Even if you feel well, your body will definitely give you a signal if there is an increase in the cholesterol level. Below are 8 symptoms of high cholesterol you should never ignore:

1. Bumps on the eyelids

If you notice a tiny pimple formation on your eyelids, take a closer look and examine its color. A yellowish color indicates an increase in cholesterol. However, these bumps do not affect the eyesight in any way. One of the options for getting rid of the bumps on your eyelids is a cosmetological intervention. However, you'd better completely eliminate the problem by normalizing your blood composition.

2. Grey ring around the iris

Most often, the formation of a "ring" around the iris is an age-related change. If you are not 45 yet but the ring is there, you probably have a high cholesterol level.

3. Tingling in the limbs

The sensation of numbness and tingling in the fingers, hands, and feet is a clear sign of reduced permeability of the vessels. This means that tissues and peripheral nerve endings receive less oxygen and nutrients since the capillaries are clogged.

4. Pain in the upper parts of the spine

Unpleasant sensations in the back of the head, neck, shoulder girdle and upper spine indicate insufficient blood flow. Another symptom may be dizziness, which can be explained by poor nutrition of the brain.

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5. Heart palpitations

We tend to associate an increased heart rate with physical exertion. This phenomenon is quite normal and should not cause any concern. However, if you constantly feel heart palpitations even when you are not physically active, it means that your heart has to work with increased intensity and pump blood more quickly. This is due to the fact the vessels are clogged with cholesterol. Heart palpitations are often accompanied by severe pain in the left side of the chest.

6. Lack of appetite and excess weight

Disorders in the metabolism of lipids create favorable conditions for the accumulation of fats in the abdominal cavity. In addition, due to the reduced ability of the gastrointestinal tract to digest food, food lingers in the intestine longer than necessary. As a result, a person has a feeling of satiety most of the time while the body mass continues to grow. In addition, people with high cholesterol have loose stools.

7. Fatigue and excessive emotions

Due to chronic digestive problems, the body does not receive sufficient energy for it to function normally. Other symptoms of high cholesterol include frequent mood swings, a short attention span, poor memory, and depression.

8. Lipomas

A lipoma is a tumor made of fatty tissue. Lipomas develop in the area between the skin and the muscle tissue. They usually develop in the neck, arms and legs, and the abdominal region. If you discover a lipoma in any part of your body, it's time to visit a doctor for a blood test.

Pay attention to your legs

In addition to affecting the heart, high cholesterol can also cause problems with your legs. In particular, it can lead to peripheral arterial disease (PAD). High cholesterol often provokes a stroke and a heart attack. If you want to detect a problem in time, you need to pay attention to the signals of your body.

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1. Tiredness in the legs

Insufficient blood circulation causes a feeling of discomfort and even severe pain in the legs, which can be expressed from the lower leg to the pelvis and can affect either one leg or both. Generally, a person may experience discomfort and unpleasant sensations while walking.

2. Nighttime cramps

Cramps or spasms are a clear sign of circulatory disorders caused by clogged blood vessels. If you have a spasm, you can dangle your foot off the bed. This will stimulate the blood flow to the lower parts of your legs and will relieve the pain.

3. Skin and nail changes

Hair loss, slow growth, and tightening of the nail structure, as well shiny and tight skin indicate high cholesterol in the blood. Carefully examine your skin and look for a change in color. If your skin turns reddish or bluish, most probably you have blood circulation problems. Besides, there might be ulcers (sometimes of a trophic nature) that are quite difficult to treat. The absence of pain in these body parts indicates the death of your nerve endings.

4. Cold feet

A sensation of coldness in the feet is a normal phenomenon at low temperatures. Besides, it can be an age-related change. However, you need to consult a doctor if one foot is warmer than the other.

5. Atrophy of calf muscles

Peripheral arterial disease caused by a high cholesterol level can provoke a decrease in the size of the gastrocnemius muscle at the expense of reducing the number of its fibers. This is fraught with further destruction of tissue and even life-threatening gangrene.

It is worth noting that the disease can be asymptomatic at least in the first stages. The risk group includes people with diabetes, hypertension, and heart problems, as well as people who are over 50.

Maintaining a healthy nutrition

Prevention is always better than treatment. After all, the body's response to treatment methods is an individual choice, which can complicate the whole process and make the treatment longer.

The best preventive method is to refuse harmful foods at a young age. It goes without saying that any cardinal change in gastronomic habits is a physical and emotional stress. However, the body will react normally if changes are made gradually.

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As a first step, you can replace red meat with white meat and seafood, namely low-fat fish. You can use vegetable products that are rich in protein, for example, legumes.

Reduce the use of butter and bacon and give preference to low-fat margarine. In a few days, you can start using vegetable analogs.

You can gradually refuse whole milk first by replacing it with fat-free milk and then fully rejecting it and using soy or almond instead.

Cheese lovers can try replacing it with curds, as well as tofu and avocado. These products can perfectly cope with excess cholesterol.

Instead of using confectionery, you should give preference to natural sweets, for example, dried fruits and honey.

Healthy blood vessels are an important component of a healthy and happy life. It's never too late to start taking care of yourself! We wish you health and well-being!

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This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.