We all know that having high cholesterol is bad. It can have a serious impact on the heart. However, cholesterol isn’t just the heart’s problem. In fact, high cholesterol can affect your health in many ways, which is why it’s important to ensure that your LDL levels (bad cholesterol) are in check.
Our body actually requires cholesterol to function, but when LDL levels become higher than HDL levels, a problem arises. Below you will uncover some other serious health problems that are associated with high cholesterol, which you may or may not have been aware of before.
A potentially serious artery condition can arise from high cholesterol known as atherosclerosis. This condition causes the arteries to become stiff and hard because of built up plaque that lines the arteries. Arteries need to be flexible so that blood can move freely through them. When they stiffen, the pressure at which the blood hits the arterial walls is increased, contributing to high blood pressure—another serious health problem on its own.
Atherosclerosis can also limit the amount of blood that passes through the arteries. The organs that require an ample blood supply start to become starved of oxygenated blood, leading to organ failure. Clogged arteries increase the risk of a blood clot, which can also limit blood flow to essential organs like the heart and brain. In some situations, a blood clot can become deadly if it travels through the body, causing a more serious blockage.
High cholesterol can also cause a heart attack. When the heart can’t receive blood, a heart attack occurs. Heart attacks are medical emergencies and can be life-threatening if not treated right away. It’s important that you recognize the signs and symptoms of a heart attack to spot one early. The earlier you get treatment, the better chance you have of surviving.
You also may be more prone to having a stroke. A stroke occurs in the brain when blood supply is cut off. Strokes can be life-threatening or can leave a patient with lifelong disabilities and challenges.
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is also caused by high cholesterol. PAD can occur without presenting any symptoms, or the patient may experience an intense pain in their leg that goes away after rest. Symptoms include brittle toenails, weakness, numbness in the legs, erectile dysfunction, and hair loss.
As you can see, living with high cholesterol can be dangerous to your health in several ways. It’s important that you try and reduce your LDL levels as much as possible. Lifestyle changes may help you reduce your cholesterol. These include eating well and reducing stress. Needless to say, it’s important to keep your cholesterol levels in check if you want to live a long and healthy life.