High cholesterol can pose serious health risks, leading to a heart attack, stroke or liver disease. It is often caused by an unhealthy lifestyle and certain genetic factors.
A waxy substance called cholesterol can be found in your blood's lipids (or fats). To function properly, your body needs some cholesterol. But if you have too much in your blood, it can stick to the walls of your arteries and form plaque. Plaque is a buildup of cholesterol, fat, and other substances in and on your artery walls.
Over time, plaque hardens and narrows your arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other organs. Plaque can also rupture (break open) suddenly. This causes a heart attack or stroke.
You can have high cholesterol and not know it because it usually doesn’t cause symptoms. That’s why it’s important to get your cholesterol checked regularly starting at age 20 if you have any risk factors for heart disease or stroke.
High cholesterol levels can be caused by a variety of things. genetics, unhealthy lifestyle choices, and certain medical conditions can all contribute to high cholesterol.
If you have high cholesterol, it is important to identify the cause so that you can make the necessary changes to improve your health. Work with your doctor to determine the cause of your high cholesterol and develop a plan to lower your levels.
When you have high cholesterol, it can cause a buildup of plaque in your arteries. This can lead to narrowing of the arteries, which can then lead to symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and an irregular heartbeat.
If you have any of these symptoms, it's important to see your doctor right away so that you can get treatment.
If you have any of the high cholesterol symptoms mentioned above and are concerned about your cholesterol levels, make an appointment to see your doctor. They will likely give you a physical exam and order a blood test called a lipid panel to measure your LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels.
If your LDL level is 130 mg/dL or higher, your HDL level is less than 40 mg/dL, or your triglyceride level is 150 mg/dL or higher, you have high cholesterol. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help lower your cholesterol levels.
List of Lab Tests to Diagnose High Cholesterol
If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce your cholesterol level. While medication may also be necessary, making these changes can have a significant impact on your overall health.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it is important to consult with your doctor to get your cholesterol levels checked. High cholesterol levels can lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. However, with early detection and treatment, you can minimize your risk of developing these conditions.
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