Common Symptoms of High Cholesterol

Symptoms of High Cholesterol

Cholesterol, a steroidal fat, is an essential chemical for many bodily functions. It also helps in the synthesis of Vitamin D and bile juice. It is synthesized by all vertebrates and, thus, is present in large quantities in animal fats.

Symptoms of High Cholesterol

Types of Cholesterols

Cholesterol is both good and bad, depending on its mode of transportation in the blood. Cholesterol is mostly insoluble in liquids and needs to be carried in the bloodstream by lipoproteins. It's the type of lipoprotein that is carrying the cholesterol molecule that decides whether it is harmful or beneficial. All non-high-density lipoproteins are considered harmful, especially low-density lipoproteins, while high-density lipoproteins are beneficial.

symptoms of cholesterol

Symptoms of high cholesterol are few or non-existent until the cholesterol starts affecting the blood flow through the arteries. In some people, high cholesterol levels can cause deposition of cholesterol around the eyelid beneath the skin. It is called xanthalesma and is typically a symptom of high cholesterol levels. These deposits can also occur in the fingers. Arcus senilis are another type of deposition found in the corneal margins in the eye.

Cholesterol Deposits

Xanthalesma deposits are easy to identify. They are yellowish in color and have a clear boundary, appearing as nodules under the skin around the inner eyelids. Sometimes, they may be hereditary, and, in such cases, may not be a symptom of high cholesterol. Xanthoma is a superset of xanthalesma. It appears in tendons anywhere on the body but typically in the limbs. The deposits are larger than those found around the eyelids. Fingers, feet and the Achilles tendon are common areas where they appear.


Atheroma is a plaque that forms in the arteries through deposition of cholesterol, causing narrowing of the arterial walls or even complete blockage. Depending on the region to which the artery is supplying blood, various symptoms can be experienced. While a complete blockage results in a heart attack, impaired blood flow has less severe symptoms. If the affected artery is supplying blood to the brain dizziness, vision loss, vertigo and difficulty speaking are common symptoms. An impaired blood flow to the heart results in pain in the chest area.

Dietary modifications can reduce cholesterol levels by 15 percent. High cholesterol has a genetic component, so those with a family history of heart attack and stroke are definitely at greater risk. Changes in the diet work better when done along with regular exercise.

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