How my high cholesterol can be harmful for me?


Hypercholesterolemia is a disease usually "silent", that is to say, it does not normally cause any signs or symptoms that you can feel. Laboratory analysis is the primary means of screening for high cholesterol. For more information on screening for high cholesterol, see the section called Cholesterol.

Why can it be cholesterol harm me? High levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and total cholesterol, and low levels of HDL ("good cholesterol") in the blood have been linked to atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque (a deposit hard of cholesterol and other substances from the blood) on the blood vessel walls, making them stiffer and stronger. Plaques can also rupture, which increases the risk of clots that can clog blood vessels. It follows an increased risk:

  •     heart attack: when blood vessels supplying the heart are blocked by a clot, some parts of the heart muscle may die due to lack of oxygen and nutrients.
  •     stroke (CVA): when blood vessels supplying the brain are blocked by a clot, brain tissue may die or be injured due to lack of blood supply.
  •     angina: When blood vessels supplying the heart are constricted, which causes the heart to receive all the oxygen it needs (but sufficient for it to not die), chest pain may occur .
  •     peripheral vascular disease (circulation problems), also called peripheral arterial disease: when the blood vessels supplying the arms and legs are narrowed or blocked, there may be pain when the limb is used.
Untreated, high cholesterol can lead to serious complications and even death. It is therefore important to check your cholesterol levels as often as your doctor recommends. Lower your cholesterol can save your life. Therefore, if your cholesterol is high, ask your doctor what you can do to lower it.

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