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Risks associated with high cholesterol in the blood

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Cholesterol is a kind of fat that is carried in the blood in the form of lipoproteins. There are two types of cholesterol, viz. low density lipoproteins (bad cholesterol) and high density lipoproteins (good cholesterol). Health risks crop up when LDL levels rise and the cholesterol begins to deposit inside the arteries which further blocks normal circulation of blood.

As per doctors, total cholesterol level should be <  5.0 mmol/l of which LDL cholesterol must be 3.0 mmol/l or less. Any value above the normal range symbolizes rise in cholesterol levels and can eventually lead to various types of health complications. 

We shall broadly explain the risks associated with high cholesterol in the blood in the following segment:


High Blood Pressure

In most cases increase in cholesterol is always linked with high blood pressure. As the lipoproteins begin depositing in the walls of the arteries, they become hard and are blocked gradually. This cuts off blood supply and the heart works more to pump enough blood. As a result blood flows with high pressure inside the arteries.

 

Atherosclerosis

The fatty deposits of cholesterol, cells and debris, commonly known as plaques formed inside the arteries gradually start blocking the arteries and harden them. This condition potentially leads to coronary artery disease (artery of the heart), peripheral artery disease (artery of the legs) and cerebrovascular disease (artery of the brain).

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Chest pain or angina

When the artery supplying blood to the heart is blocked due to rise in cholesterol, you are most likely to experience tightness and pressure in the chest which is known as angina. This is one of the primary symptoms of coronary artery disease.

 

Heart attack

High cholesterol is the biggest risk factor for heart attack and this why doctors warn you and advise you to control your rising cholesterol levels. As explained above, when cholesterol deposits block blood flow to the heart, the individual will have a heart attack.

 

Stroke

The principle behind stroke is similar to that of heart attack. The only difference is that stroke occurs when blood circulation is blocked inside the artery connected to the brain. High cholesterol is a risk factor for stroke as well.

 

Type 2 diabetes

High cholesterol is one of the possible reasons behind reduction of body’s ability to use insulin properly. This can subsequently lead to type 2 diabetes.

We offer you a special note on keeping your cholesterol levels under control: 

  • Try to quit smoking or cut is down as much as possible
  • Exercise everyday for half an hour at least. A brisk walk is enough
  • Eat a balanced diet. Avoid consumption of saturated fats and simple carbohydrates
  • Get your blood pressure and lipoprotein profile checked to be assured
  • Control your weight through healthy eating and exercise 

Your health is precious, so take care.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updated: April 06, 2014